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Pondering All These Things in My Heart: 3 Simple Thoughts on Christmas Traditions

Pondering All These Things in My Heart: 3 Simple Christmas Traditions

Written by Talvi McCuskey.

'Tis the season--that wonderful time of year when we can excitedly point our children to the truth of the gospel and celebrate with them. 

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When I was growing up, the Christmastime consisted of a few traditions which I remember well. We would decorate the house with special care, bake cookies, and always listen to certain Christmas songs- most notably the album Come on, Ring Those Bells by Evie. It's a classic!

Eventually, we would get our tree, decorate it; and then one day, find a few presents peeking out from under it. I don’t remember any particular presents, mind you. But I do remember how my mama made me feel around Christmas—loved and excited and special. She made it clear that Christmas was a time for holiness and humility. Now, as a mama myself, I often reflect on what I want to convey to my children during this time of year.

Like Mary so long ago, I ponder all these things in my heart.

I ask myself, what is it that my mother did to make Christmas exciting and wonderful for me? I think the answer is twofold: she loved us well and unconditionally, and she continued to carry out some time-honored family traditions, even when she could have easily opted out.

I think that Christmas traditions are important. They act as markers to clearly indicate that this day, month, and event are different from the rest of the year--that this point in time should be celebrated. When traditions are observed—the pretty decorations put in place, and the music humming—I think that our senses become awakened as something deep inside us resonates with the celebration.

Pondering All These Things in My Heart: 3 Simple Christmas Traditions #christmas #christianchristmas #christmastraditions

Not unlike other kids, my children know that this is a special time--they know that Jesus is real and that He is good. And like I did all those years ago, they look to their mom--they look to me--to learn how that will translate to their lives directly.

Contrary to what I'm told on Pinterest, I don’t think I have to go to extraordinary lengths to convey to my children the depth and true meaning of Christmas. They are hard-wired to embrace it. I only have to foster a sense of wonder. 

As I pondered and made my plans for what that wonder-nurturing would look like in my home this year, I decided that it would involve three simple traditions. 

Pondering All These Things in My Heart: 3 Simple Christmas Traditions #christmas #christianchristmas #christmastraditions

First, we will listen to all the Christmas music we can, sing and play carols on the piano, as well as listen to Handel's Messiah and a whole variety of other cherished music. Second, we will bake together and share our goodies with neighbors and loved ones, being as hospitable as possible. Third, we will read through Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp- although any Bible reading plan or book that tells the real story of the birth of Jesus would do just as well. Lastly, we--or more specifically, I will focus on praying for my kids and myself each day, asking that we would really exhibit the fruits of the Spirit; that we would really love each other better and also those around us. 

God so loved us that he gave us his Son, therefore the true heart of Christmas must be deeply rooted in our love for Him, and for one another. This inexplicable love is what I want my traditions to be based upon, and what I want to ponder and impart to my children this season.

It's not a flashy plan. But, I'm reaching for simple. How about you?


  1. I love this plan. It's totally doable and puts Christ at the center of Christmas. Thanks for sharing, and Merry Christmas!

    1. Doable. That's what I was thinking too as I read it.
      Thanks for reading! And Merry Christmas to you as well!