First Posted 12/15/09

Does your family have Christmas traditions? Do you remember the traditions you had as a child? Ashley has been completing a unit on Christmas traditions at school and I thought I would share ours with you!

Merry Christmas!

My Family Christmas Traditions
By: Ashley Berta

Every family has their own traditions. The Berta family is no exception. We do a lot of fun things in my family to make Christmas special.

A few traditions…….

One of our traditions is we always have a Christmas tree. First, we get a live tree and tie it to our van. When we get our tree home, we bring up the ornaments from our basement. We have tons and tons of ornaments. The kids pick out all the ornaments that belong to us individually. Like, if the ornament says your name on it, you made it, or someone gave it to you, you would automatically get that one without taking a turn. We call it “automatic dibs.” Then we divide the ornaments between the four of us kids (we don’t include my baby sister, Abigail) and we take
turns going to the huge pile of ornaments and picking one. After we’ve picked all the ornaments, and there’s not one left, we trade.

We play “shop.” If someone wants one of your ornaments, they can trade one of their ornaments for yours. But, you don’t HAVE to trade if you don’t want to. If someone offers a trade and you
don’t like it, you’d say, “No deal!” to them. Finally, after we like all of the ornaments that we have, we shout, “Ashley’s (or whoever’s) ornament store is closed!”

While the kids are picking the ornaments, Mom and Dad put up the lights and tinsel. Then, we put up the ornaments. When all the ornaments are up, my mom makes hot chocolate, and we
spread out blankets around the tree, lie down, and sip our hot chocolate. While we’re sipping our cocoa, we talk about what we want for Christmas.

Another tradition is we do “Gift with Purchase”. This is when we decorate plain ornaments, or make a small craft that has something to do with Christmas. When we go shopping we give it
to a clerk at a check out center at a store.

One last Christmas tradition is we sing at a nursing home. We get into our van and drive off to the nursing home. At the nursing home we sing Christmas carols. We walk up and down the halls singing.

Christmas Eve…..

During the day, we decorate Gingerbread houses. The boys make one and the girls make one. On Christmas Eve we put out some snacks to eat. We never really have a meal. Then we get dressed in our matching, fancy, and dressy Christmas clothes to take pictures. After we take pictures we head off to church. We ride around looking at Christmas lights after church. When we get home, we eat more snacks, and sometimes watch a Christmas movie. But we always have to be in bed early.

Christmas Day…….

On Christmas day we kids are so excited to open presents! But my mom always makes us wait for my dad. He's hard to wake up! We can’t just say “Come on, Dad. It’s Christmas,” and he’ll wake up. No! We have to jump on him, and shake him, and pinch him, and so on. But the way he always gets up is by Mom’s kisses and sweet talk. YUCK!!!!

But when my dads finally gets up, Mom is ready with the video camera. She tapes us as we all walk down the stairs.

Sometimes it gets annoying because it takes FOREVER to just get down the stairs. When we do get downstairs we sort out our presents and open them from oldest kid, to littlest (or sometimes
the other way around), one at a time. And all the way through it Mom is video taping it. For the rest of the day we play with our toys, or watch our new movies, or whatever.

So this is my family’s Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and a few of our traditions! Every Christmas is the same at the Berta’s house!

Like Ashley, one of my favorite traditions is the "Gift with Purchase," an idea that I got from the book, "Redeeming the Season."

Our family makes simple crafts like ornaments, and then we give them to sales clerks, thanking them for working during the holidays. We make sure to include a scripture and message of God’s love through the birth of Jesus. The reaction of surprise and thankfulness of the clerks is so worth the effort! They love being appreciated!

This season, especially when you have the opportunity to spread Christ’s love with strangers, remember to keep Christ in Christmas. Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed in the details, but remain in His peace. Help your family to bask in the gift of Jesus….His love, His peace, and His hope.

Please take a few moments and join "At the Well" to see and SHARE some more Christmas traditions!

5 thoughts shared....:

Leah said...

How precious!! And what memories the kids will have.


Lori at The Davidson Den said...


Ashley said...

That is wonderful!

Thanks so much for sharing Tracy!

Julie Arduini said...

These are fantastic ideas. This is so inspiring, thank you!

Jo said...

What a lovely post! The description of your kids all trading ornaments around is so funny - I've never heard of anything remotely like that before.