Tales of Tradition: Creating and Embracing Family Christmas Traditions

Creating and Embracing Family Christmas Traditions

Written by: Sara Jones, Coordinator of Sales at WinShape Camps

Unexpected Joy in Disrupted Plans

I remember like it was yesterday praying, begging, pleading to God to gift my husband and I a baby to love. We had this deep desire to be parents and longing in our hearts to grow our family. God asked us to wait…for 3 years! I would like to tell you that the wait was easy and without tears, but it was not easy. A lot of beautiful things were birthed in us while we waited, but it was painful and hard and not our plan.

Fast forward to an April morning when we finally discovered that WE WERE PREGNANT, and the baby would be due the week before Christmas! Immediately we began dreaming of Christmas traditions we could start as a new family of 3. We discussed the ways our parents and grandparents created Christmas magic. And the list was long….

With a baby on the way, we would now get to pass on some of our favorite traditions to another generation. We could hardly contain our joy and excitement, until… we saw the due date come and go. MY plan for Christmas morning was to be snuggling a baby in my living room, sipping hot coffee, and indulging in homemade breakfast casserole (a tradition my mom started) while gazing at our Christmas tree. Instead.. the baby was a week past the due date. We would spend our first Christmas in the hospital NICU. And alas, a CPR class on Christmas morning was required before we could take our baby home. THIS WAS NOT OUR PLAN!

And so, new plans were made. My husband went to J.Crew and bought our nurses wool socks and a dozen donuts, and our Christmas meal transitioned to our favorite sushi place. No Lenox China, and yes, I cried (hello hormones) because I had to leave my baby at the hospital for another night. Now.. fast forward 7 years and we STILL eat sushi at Christmas! It’s our tradition, and I love it. It wasn’t the plan, but we started something new.

What Are Your Christmas Traditions?

Traditions are important to our family; we identified its importance early on in our marriage. However, because our Christmas tradition list was long, we knew we could only pick a few (to keep from overwhelming ourselves and keep calm when the world tells us to engage in the crazy and busy.) I follow an account on Instagram called @joyful_mothers. I love this reminder so much I want to share it with you.


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A post shared by Joyful Mothers (Rachel Comfort Zwayne) (@joyful_mothers)

Working on the customer experience team at WinShape Camps, I receive calls daily from parents, and grandparents with questions or needing help registering their kids for camp. So the other day, my phone rings…. It’s Mrs. Marsha, a grandmother of one of our campers. She’s asking if we have a Christmas ornament with our WinShape logo on it for her grandkids. She explains that this is a Christmas tradition that she’s carried on for 40 years! Mrs. Marsha shared that she wants this tradition to be her legacy and hopes that her kids will carry it forward long after she’s gone. I tell this story because her story sparked a reflection about this whole Christmas tradition thing! What are the important traditions I want to carry out for my family? What would I want passed down for generations?

The Humble Birth of Baby Jesus

This time of year always makes me think about Jesus’ birth story and how I am CERTAIN that Mary’s plan was not to give birth surrounded by farm animals. She was turned away from the inn because there was no room for her. Jesus, the Prince of Peace was born in a manger and his first visitors were shepherds tending their flocks in a nearby field. (Luke 2:7) After a 5000ish year wait, the SAVIOR of the world was born! HALLELUJAH!! A humble birth and a whole lot of joy. JOY TO THE WORLD!

Find Joy in the LORD this Christmas

Yes, Creating Christmas magic for your family is both exciting and important, but it should never come at the expense of your joy. If all your plans and expectation aren’t what you hoped for, maybe start by simply reading the Christmas story on Christmas Eve or eating sushi (with no dishes to clean.) The Prince of Peace offers us peace that I sometimes have a hard time understanding. Amidst the chaos of the world, Jesus is our peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and you can have it this Christmas season. I hope we can all agree that the joy of a simple Christmas tradition (like Mrs. Marsha) is magical for your family. When things don’t go as planned, we can find joy in God’s plan and receive His gift of peace this Christmas season. It really is the most wonderful time of the year!

Written by: Sara Jones, Coordinator of Sales at WinShape Camps