December can be a stressful month! For me, one of the most stressful parts about it is how busy I am. I tend to think less of Christ in the time of year that is meant for us to grow closer to Him. Luckily, my family and I have traditions that help me to be reminded of what Christmas and New Years are all about!
One tradition that I like is my “rememberlutions box.” New Years can make people sad because they think of all the New Years Resolutions they made the year before and they see all of the progress they didn’t make. That’s why I use my rememberlutions box. I have a cute little box (it used to be a jar) that I decorated and throughout the year I write accomplishments I’ve made and good things that have happened to me. I put them in my box and on New Years Eve I read all of the papers in my box. They can be as simple as “11/24: someone paid for my meal at Chick-Fil-A,” or as complicated as “12/23: I finally reached the fitness goal that I set for myself on January 1.” The best part about it is that you get a rundown of your year and you get to remember all of the positive things that have happened, AND you can save them in your journal! Our goal here as children of God is not to focus on the progress we’re not making, but to focus on the amazing things that we do accomplish and to see all of the progress we are making so that we can continue to get better.
Another tradition that I love is the party that is at my grandma’s house on Christmas Eve. We get to celebrate and have a good time together, but the best part is that there is always a spiritual aspect to it! Every year, my cute grandpa reads Luke 2, the story of Jesus’ birth, as the young kids, who are dressed as the characters in the story, act out the sacred event. This helps to remind us of what all this crazy hustle and bustle is truly for. I am reminded that I should be putting more effort into reading my scriptures and focusing on Christ. Is your hustle and bustle being put toward the Savior or the holiday?
My favorite tradition that my family has during the holidays occurs on Christmas Day. A lot of people get wrapped up in the joy of presents. Recognizing this, my parents decided to help us to focus on Christ first. On Christmas morning, my family goes to the temple grounds, we walk around the temple, and we talk about Christ. Sometimes we meet missionaries that will tell us stories, or we go in the visitor’s center and talk to the workers that always tell us about the cool things that have happened in the temple or on the temple grounds. Either way, we feel the spirit and we get to focus on Christ before we open presents and see our extended family members. This is my favorite tradition because my parents always remind us that Christ comes first, but this is their way of staying true to their word and really SHOWING us that Christ comes first. Actions do speak louder than words.
Traditions are a big part of how you experience holidays. They are important because they teach us and they help us to progress and to become better.
What are your favorite traditions? How do those traditions help or teach you?