Creating Christ-Centered Christmas Traditions

Creating Christ-Centered Christmas Traditions

“Change is good but tradition is better,” I always say.   I’m a sentimental person and I love traditions.  As my husband and I are growing in our relationship and beginning to raise a family we want to start our own family traditions.  Each year we’ve tried to incorporate meaningful experiences into our Christmas season in hopes that they will become a part of our Christmas traditions.  Both my husband and I were very blessed to have grown up in such wonderful families and had great Christmas traditions growing up.  Now that we’re the adults we have to pick and choose what we’ll do and how we’ll spend out time.  That’s a big responsibility!  As our little one is growing older we’re really wanting to focus on finding more Christ-centered activities that we could do together to remind our family of the significance of the season; the birth of our Savior –  Jesus Christ.

Reading the Christmas Story

This is one of the traditions that my grandmother always had.  She chose a different family member to read the Christmas story, Luke 2:1-20, every Christmas Eve.  I think this would also a great passage to memorize as a family!

Special Church Service

My husband’s family celebrated the Christmas season with a candle light service a week or so before Christmas.  It’s been a while since I’ve participated but if I remember correctly there was a message, songs were sang, and then everyone gathered around a the church carrying the unlit candle that they were given when they walked in.  The pastor would light his candle and then he would share it with his wife so she could light hers.  She would light her kid’s and then they would light the person’s candle beside them.  This went on one by one until the room was glowing.  This is symbolic of the lights that we are to be in the world.  Our church doesn’t have a special service like this and we live too far away to go to my in-laws but I think this is a nice tradition that we would keep if we had the opportunity.

Gift Giving

Most everyone participates in the tradition of giving gifts but I think it’s a great tradition to give to others who won’t be giving a gift back in return.

  • A tradition my Mom and I had while I was growing up was to fill five shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  I received so much joy from this and I look forward to passing this tradition on to my little girl.  I’m sure she’ll enjoy picking out the gifts as she gets a little older.
  • My husband’s family had a tradition where his mom and sisters had a baking day.  They baked dozens and dozens of cookies and later that evening they went around and delivered tins of cookies to their neighbors.  One of his sisters told me that she’s carried this tradition on with her girls and the first time she went to deliver cookies to her neighbors people actually tried to pay her for the cookies.  People aren’t use to getting something for nothing but the very best gift of all is free and what a great time of year to tell people {while giving them yummy cookies}!
  • I hope to start the tradition of donating new and used toys to local charities every year around Christmas.  This year, many of the items we’ve received for our Christmas Gift Guide will be donated to local charities.
  • My husband’s work finds a couple families every year who is in need and gets their Christmas list from them.  Many kids request things like socks, pink gloves, and a coat.  I love donating to them and as my daughter gets older she can help pick out the items with us.
  • Giving anonymously to someone you know who is going without is one of the biggest blessings you can ever receive!


I know that too much emphasis can be put on decorating but I think making your home a pleasing, pleasant place to be can be a wonderful thing.  Ann Voskamp once said, “Creating is good theology. In the beginning God created.”  I love that!  Stores are full with a variety of Christmas decorations but what kind of decorations can help bring your focus to God?  How about leaving a Bible laid open to Luke 2?  I knew someone who use to decorate the top of her tree with different names of God.  I think that’s a neat idea.  The nativity scene is always humbling, isn’t it?  The thought that God “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Phil.2:7).  If that doesn’t humble you, nothing will.  Sure, snowmen and snowflakes have their place in decorating but I want to try to make it a tradition of my home to have Christ shine through the glitter and tinsel.

Christmas Movies

I’m a fan of just about every Christmas movie from Hallmark’s lovey dovey Christmas movies to Elf but I want to add in a few Christ-centered movies too.  The Nativity is a great movie for sure but I would like to find some kid-friendly ones.  If you have any that you can recommend, please let me know!

Church Christmas Play

Being the timid child that I was I had a love/hate relationship with Christmas plays.  I loved the thought of performing well but I hated the lump in my throat that inevitably came every time I spoke in front of a crowd. Usually, I was fortunate enough to have play directors who understood that and gave me minimal roles.  If any of my previous directors are reading this, thank you!!  Looking back now I remember several different plays vividly.  I was only a small child but they had an impact on me!  Being grown now, I realize that it can be awkward and sometimes even painful to sit through the poor acting of other people’s children.  We’re much more forgiving of our own children’s mistakes.  Whether it’s an Oscar winning performance or not, I believe that giving your children the chance to be in a Christmas play will help reinforce the real story of Christmas.  My little one is still too little to participate in plays just yet but I’m hoping that shortly down the road this will be another one we can add to our list of Christmas traditions.

Please share some of your favorite Christmas traditions with us!  This is a great time to re-focus on why we celebrate Christmas. If you don’t have any traditions of your own, I hope these ideas that I’ve shared will help you in making Christmas an extra-special time for your family.

God bless you and yours this Christmas season.  Merry Christmas!!!  May you fill your homes and your hearts with His peace and share the light and love of Christ with all who surround you!

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About Ashley

Ashley is very happily married and the mother to a beautiful little girl, and she is the main voice behind Embracing Beauty.


  1. Jessica Clemons Frey says

    Love this Ashley..gave me some ideas….we always go to Cracker Barrel every year and each of us get to pick an ornament for each of us.We had no ornaments when we got married except the cheap balls and stuff like that. Now we have a memory for each one. We are glad we started this tradition. Plus they are on sale this time of year 40% off.Also, Christmas Day before breakfast and gifts, since we were married, Craig always read the story of Jesus birth to us and we pray and thank God.. Cookies ..oh me would seem weird not to bake for Christmas..i love to make cookies..and crafts for gifts. I love your pick of the Nativity, we love that movie too…theres others id like to add…but cant think of the titles…most of them are Hallmark. I love those :-0
    We also love the candle light tea at Old Salem, we started that last year as a couple and really enjoyed it and im sure as the boys grow up we will take them with us . I hope you have a Very Merry Christmas and Your Family too. Love you and God Bless

  2. says

    I love the Charlie Brown Christmas special from 1967. It’s perfect for kids and focuses on the true meaning of Christmas. Another great Christmas tradition is keeping the baby Jesus out of the manger until Christmas morning. You can hide baby Jesus somewhere in the house. Have the kids look for him, and only after he is found will they be allowed to open their presents. This puts the focus on Christmas as a birthday celebration and makes a fun tradition of hide and seek too. We went to midnight mass last. This is a church service that starts just before midnight on Christmas Eve and includes all the most cherished carols of the season, a small band, and beautiful readings from the Bible. Our kids loved it last year and want to do it again this year. We are also doing the Jesse Tree. I love the idea of filling shoe boxes with gifts. That is a wonderful idea.

  3. Veggie Tales has some good kid friendly videos that teach the true meaning of Christmas. Plus much much more.

  4. I love this! Christmas really is all about presents these days. I am expecting a little one in May and my husband and I are very excited to “fix” the current views on Christmas and make it about so much more! We also love the idea of doing volunteer work as a family every Christmas or Christmas Eve… reading a Christmas story at a children’s hospital, volunteering to pass out cocoa and cookies at the senior center’s Christmas party, taking a shift during the soup kitchen’s busiest hour, etc.

  5. Natalie Almy says

    Great list! We have started some of these ourselves!

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