Monday, November 21, 2011

Intentional Family Traditions - Advent & a little give away

I have a strict rule: Nothing Christmas before Thanksgiving! But I’m about to break that rule (again). This time I have to because of the timely nature of what I’m about to share. So, if you’re like me and can’t handle anything Christmas before the proper time, please read on, just this once!
I promise it will be ok!

I grew up in a family with a lot of holiday traditions. Every year was the same and we loved it! I think that’s why I love Christmas so much - more than the amazing funnel cakes that we only got once a year, or the magical pajamas that just appeared on Christmas Eve - Christmas traditions were something I could count on. We found security and grounding through our traditions. We forged an unbreakable bond that only the Jones family shared. They were our traditions and they were special to only us. At the holidays, I always knew I was a part of something great. I belonged to something bigger than myself and that was an exclusive group called The Jones Family.

     It wasn’t until last year when my neighbor inquired about our family traditions growing up that I realized that not everyone grew up with family traditions. But my neighbor, seeing the joy that came over me as I shared about Christmases growing up, wanted that desperately for her family now and was making an intentional effort to start some new family traditions with her husband and children that she didn’t have growing up. I admire that so much. Being intentional with our families is so important. We only get one shot at this and it goes so quickly! The value in being intentional with how we do family has a powerful impact that reaches through the generations.

Through this 5 week series of Intentional Family Traditions I’m going to share with you some fun and meaningful traditions to incorporate this holiday season. I hope you’ll share some of your tradition highlights and ideas too! Most of all, I hope to challenge you to be intentional this holiday season with putting your family first and focusing on Jesus above all else.

So, here is a new holiday tradition that we’re starting this year and I want to encourage you to do the same. I’ve ordered an Advent Devotional and we’re going to do a family devotional every night in the month of December. We always try to do fun things that keep us focused on Jesus throughout December, but a nightly devotional will take it to a new level! There are so many great resources out there and I honestly had a hard time choosing the “right” book. But I decided to just go for it and trust that it will be wonderful.

Advent means: coming or arrival. The Advent season is the season of preparation for the coming of Christ, the arrival of the Messiah. I’m looking forward to focusing my heart on the coming of Jesus every night in December. Through this devotional I’ve chosen, there is a daily scripture reading, brief devotional and then a family activity like making an ornament, singing a carol, or going outside to star gaze… I know this is going to bless my family this year.

CHALLENGE: take some time between now and December and decide how you want to be Intentional with preparing your family for the arrival of Jesus. There are tons of resources at Christian Book (dot) com.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ GIVE AWAY ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I was so excited about this new tradition that I ordered 2 books and I want to give one away to one of you! So, to kick off Intentional Family Traditions, I’m giving away the book, Our Family Christmas, this Friday.
Our Family Christmas: A Memory-Making Devotional 
To enter, simply leave a comment on this post
saying that you want to be Intentional with your family this holiday season!
You can enter as many times as you want and I’ll pick a winner on Friday. 


  1. I love Chrismas memories with my family as well, and cant wait to continue them with my boys!

  2. I have a young growing family and dec is my fav time of year. I love family traditions and already have lots in place..some from my memories of childhood and some new ones I have made up as i go along. Not long now till the festivites begin! :D

  3. I love Christmas memories some old & some new ones. Thank you for this oppourtunity this would be a great new tradition!

  4. I love Christmas traditions and can't wait for December 1st to get here. One lovely idea I heard years ago was to move baby Jesus a little closer to the stable each night until Christmas. It is so exciting for little ones to have a concrete visual of the greatest gift every given and how joyful they get when they see Jesus in the stable on Christmas morning. Happy Birthday Jesus!!

  5. I didn't have family traditions growing up and I desire to start some with my family. I decided we are going to do a Jesse tree during advent every year starting this year. Time for me to start making ornaments!

  6. My oldest has already been reminding us that we have to get our tree the day after Christmas... once the kids catch on to your family's traditions, they will not let you forget!

  7. I just ordered the Veggietales kids devo book that you recommended, and am really excited about doing that with my daughters. An Advent devo sounds fantastic too!! Great idea :)

  8. We've got a slew of traditions and growing, creative kids just add to the fun! Every year we make an ornament, sometimes just for us and sometimes for all their teachers. I will try to remember to post a photo on FB of their favorite for you...a gift box of a baby Jesus. So simple they all contributed, so fun they want to do it again, and so preciously perfect at Christmas.

  9. I have been so anxious for this Christmas season to start some traditions with my family! Can't believe we're almost there! Keep up the good work on your blog - LOVE it =)

  10. Our family was so full of traditions for the holidays when I was growing up. My husband, as well, had many traditions. Trying to incorporate them by picking and choosing our favorite for our children is such an adventure! Love this post... as always :)

  11. We got our wonderful Advent packet from church today. Getting excited and upping my chances of winning yours.

  12. I want to be intentional with Christmas traditions this year. Have you seen this site? I'll be thinking of ways to give more and buy less this Christmas and get my kids involved!

  13. I've made wonderful memories with my children thru the years as they have grown...but they are all grown now and I want to do something different...I've always gotten them new pajamas for Christmas eve to wear on Christmas day ... we've had many themes fun and crazy colorful or silly (my adult son even bought special pj's for his girlfriend last year so she would fit right in ) we've never done the everyone match this year I'd like to get everyone matching pj's ...girlfriends and boyfriends grandpa and auntie and have a family photo session (a fun one) we've never taken a family photo before I think we're long over due ...fingers crossed they don't kill me (lol) ...wish me luck for a new silly family memory to come : )



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