Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Tradition of the Heart
One of my favorite Christmas traditions our family has is called, "The Jesus Box. Years ago when my kids just got old enough to be curious about the gifts under the tree I realized that there was no way they would focus on others when they kept wondering what was in each box for themselves. So I took all the presents out from under the Christmas tree and stored them back into my closet. Then I took a shoebox and wrapped it and cut a slit in the top. I attached a pen on a string to the box and cut up little pieces of paper and stacked them on the package. I told the kids that if they noticed anyone in the family doing something nice for someone else they could write what they saw on one of the slips of paper and put it in the Jesus box. The rule was they could only write about what they saw someone else do and not anything they did. That of course meant that if they wanted their name in the box they actually had to do nice things! This activity went on for the entire month of December. On Christmas morning the kids came into our bedroom so we could all go downstairs together. The Jesus box was brought out and after a prayer time it was the first present that was opened Christmas morning. Each slip of paper was read individually and the result was astounding. We realized how many nice things everyone really does do throughout our weeks. The little slips of paper said things like, "Angelina made coffee for Mom this morning." or, "Noah vacuumed without being told". We really felt like this put the focus of Christmas back where it belonged...others not self. This has remained one of our favorite family traditions for more than ten years and I am sure each of our kids will continue it on in their homes.