Christmas traditions are an important part of our life.  There are three values our traditions attempt to uphold as we celebrate the holiday:  Jesus at the center, generosity and family.

To keep Jesus at the center, we always attend a Christmas Eve service at RiverTree (for me it’s actually 7 of them).  On Christmas Eve we sit in front of our fireplace and read the Christmas story together before putting the kids to bed.  Prior to eating brunch with my parents we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.

To lift up the value of generosity we do our best to create financial margin in our lives so that we can bless others.  This manifests itself in special monetary gifts to the children we sponsor through Compassion International, responding to spur of the moment needs we become aware of, giving gifts to ministry partners in exchanges rather than gifts to one another (ie. we gave twin sheet sets to the Christian Children’s Home of Ohio this year as gifts to our Elders), and, in general, doing our best to remain open-handed with God’s blessings.

As far as family goes, we begin Christmas day with just our immediate family (usually from 7-10).  My parents then come to our house for brunch from 10-1.  At 3 we’ll spend the rest of the day with Julie’s family at their house.

A couple of other traditions . . . Because Julie and I were engaged to be married on Christmas Eve, after the children are in bed for the night, we eat chocolate covered strawberries, drink non-alcoholic champagne and dance to our song–“True Companions.”

What are your traditions?