‘Tis the season for family traditions! Family traditions are a lot of fun! I remember getting matching jammies every Christmas Eve. My (twin) sisters and I would come downstairs once the “sun was up” (mom’s rule!) and then eat cinnamon rolls as we opened our stockings. We were so spoiled! We got an abundance of toys, clothes, and goodies! “Santa” was so good to Us! But what do I remember most vividly? The matching pj’s and the cinnamon rolls. 

‘Tis the season to start our own traditions! When Adam and I got married we knew we wanted to start our own traditions. We go to Christmas Eve service together which is essential and then we watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.” When we were first married we bought gifts for each other. That didn’t end well! My husband is the worst gift receiver and he returned everything. I was hurt because I had taken the time to pick what I thought were the perfect gifts just for him to take them back! Then, we realized we didn’t have to go overboard and buy each other a ton of things! A few years ago we started our own tradition. We bought each other 1 special ornament and a stocking of fun treats. We still do this! It’s so much fun! We are so very blessed to be able to get what we want when we want it. We are able to keep our holiday season focused on giving thanks to our Heavenly Father and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. We buy each other ornaments and then a few fun things – but we’re not bogged down or stressed out about finding the perfect gifts for each other. Actually, there’s no pressure around the holidays for us! We don’t buy gifts for friends/family and they don’t buy them for us. ‘Tis the season for family and friends, not shopping malls and credit card bills. We don’t have to buy a gift just for the sake of buying one. For me, ” ’tis the season” means that it’s the season to show love, reflect, and lend a helping hand – just as Jesus would do. 

‘Tis the season to help others! We don’t buy gifts for our family and we haven’t even bought anything for our son; however, we do spend time and money towards charity. One year we served breakfast at a homeless shelter. Another year we bought gifts for a child off of the angel tree at the mall. A few years ago we bought gifts for a family to give to their 2 young boys. This year we packed a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. The last two falls we’ve made “blessing bags” that we keep in our cars for when we see someone in need. We generally keep quiet about the things we do for others. I’m not writing this to sound self righteous or to seek praise. But I am writing it because it feels good to do good! 
If you find yourself being stressed out about what to get someone – then maybe… don’t! Do something for them. Make a donation in their name. Spend time with them or even spend time donating your time with them! It’s okay to say “let’s not do gifts” and focus on “the season.”

‘Tis the season to nurse your baby! Last holiday season my baby was still very new. I was kind of nervous about nursing him while out and about and at family gatherings, but I didn’t let those anxious feelings keep me from giving my baby what he needed -his mama’s milk! I remember wearing a nursing cover at first, but then I discovered the two shirt method! Every nursing mama should know about this! Wear a tight fitting tank top under whatever shirt you’re wearing and when it’s time to nurse your baby pull your shirt up, tank down and ta-da! Once you’ve got this down you can pretty much nurse with confidence anywhere! But wait! There’s more! Learn to nurse your baby while wearing him/her and life is forever changed! You can shop, volunteer, or do just about anything while nursing and babywearing! You can help normalize breastfeeding by not hiding away in other rooms during family functions, but by confidently nursing your baby anytime/anywhere!

Last year we started a new tradition with my side of the family. I made an overnight egg casserole (scroll down for a link!) and of course, cinnamon rolls, on Christmas morning. My mom, stepdad, gram, and sister came to my house in the morning. “Everette” gave his homemade craft gifts and we all ate breakfast together. This year will be very similar! Except I did cave into my mom’s super cute tradition and I bought the three of us matching jammies!

‘Tis the season to teach our children… Our son is still little. We’ve discussed giving 3 gifts (because that’s what the 3 wise men brought Jesus), or 4 gifts (something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read). We aren’t buying him anything this year (except maybe an ornament?) What I want him to know the most about this season is that: we give thanks to God for all things, no matter the circumstance, and at all times, (not just on Thanksgiving!) -and- that Jesus was born to come and die on a cross for our sins. I want him to know that we need to show the love of Christ to others at Christmas time (& all the time!) My favorite pastor always said “Christmas is not your birthday!” We aren’t doing Santa so hopefully E won’t get it twisted and think it is!

Click here for a link to the casserole everyone loves!

What will you do this season? Do you have a fun tradition? Please share in the comments!