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Keeping the Spirit of Christmas Alive: Inspirational Traditions from Seton Families - by Christine Smitha

Keeping the Spirit of Christmas Alive: Inspirational Traditions from Seton Families

2 minutes

In today’s fast-paced and voraciously consumptive culture, it is hardly less difficult to celebrate Christmas than it is to remember Advent. Truth be told, it isn’t easy to keep the Christmas spirit alive, especially after Christmas, when everyone else seems to have forgotten that it ever was Christmas.

Last month, we ran an article that presented several ways to celebrate Advent, using that time to prepare ourselves and our families for the coming of Christ.

This month, we look at ways to rejoice in the birth of our Savior, keeping that joyful and grateful spirit alive even while our neighbors take down their trees and pack up the decorations.

Perhaps some of these Seton family traditions will lend you inspiration this year. (Thank you, once again, to all who shared their Christmas traditions with us on Facebook.) As you bring out the old traditions and perhaps, celebrate new ones this year, everyone at Seton Home Study School wishes you and your family the most blessed Christmas season.

May the light of the newborn Child give you joy and hope for the coming year, and may He bless you with every grace during this holy Christmas season.

Keeping the Spirit of Christmas Alive: Inspirational Traditions from Seton Families - by Christine Smitha | Following Jesus

© Rawpixel / Dollar Photo Club

Christ-Centered Traditions

  • Christmas is the birthday of Jesus, so it is hardly surprising that many Christmas traditions focus on the baby Jesus.
  • Read a different Gospel account of the Nativity for Christmas Day and the days immediately following.
  • Sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus on Christmas morning.
  • Craft a large birthday cake that says “Happy Birthday, Jesus” to add to your lawn’s Nativity display from Christmas Day through New Year’s.
  • Bake a special birthday cake for dessert after dinner on Christmas Day. . .or serve the cake for breakfast, as some families do.
  • Have your children ‘travel’ the Magi figurines through the house, making their way closer and closer to Jesus in the manger every day until January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany.
Keeping the Spirit of Christmas Alive: Inspirational Traditions from Seton Families - by Christine Smitha | Giving to the Poor

© foto_images / Dollar Photo Club

Caring for the Less Fortunate

  • Giving presents to our family and friends is all very well and good, but we might do more by adding remembrance of the poor and suffering.
  • Give up one gift each from among your own Christmas gifts to pass to a family in need.
  • Bake cookies to give to the homeless.
  • Volunteer groceries and time to provide a festive dinner at a shelter during the Christmas season.
  • Organize caroling trips to nursing homes after Christmas.
  • Participate in a Christmas care package drive for soldiers.
Keeping the Spirit of Christmas Alive: Inspirational Traditions from Seton Families - by Christine Smitha | Gift Giving

© Melpomene / Dollar Photo Club

Gifting Differently

  • Many Catholics like to handle gift-giving just a bit differently from the rest of the world, allowing Christmas Day to be about Jesus and simultaneously expanding the Christmas celebration beyond December 25th.
  • Give a gift a day for the 12 days of Christmas.
  • Save the presents for Epiphany in commemoration of the Three Kings.
  • On New Year’s Day, have each child wrap one possession to give to a sibling who has expressed interest and pleasure in the item over the preceding year.
Keeping the Spirit of Christmas Alive: Inspirational Traditions from Seton Families - by Christine Smitha | Family Time

© irina / Dollar Photo Club

Family Time

  • Ask people their favorite memories of Christmas-time, and you’ll find most recount memories of family togetherness.
  • Starting Christmas night, read a good Christmas story together as a family each night of the Christmas season.
  • Alternatively, watch a good Christmas film together every evening until the Epiphany. Make it an event with popcorn and other treats.
  • Plan a family Christmas show with relatives and friends, complete with skits, Christmas carols, and recitations.
  • Each day that Christmas cards arrive in the mail, say a special Christmas prayer at the dinner table for those whose cards arrived that day.
Keeping the Spirit of Christmas Alive: Inspirational Traditions from Seton Families - by Christine Smitha | Ethnic Foods

© Brent Hofacker / Dollar Photo Club

Ethnic cooking

Many of us have inherited cultural traditions that determine what we serve throughout the Christmas season, whether it be the traditional French goose for Christmas dinner, or the Mexican Rosca de Reyes (Kings’ Ring) pastry on Epiphany.

Ethnic cooking traditions connect us to the past, bringing us closer to our families and to the truth that Christ was born to save all who humble themselves to worship at the stable.

Additional Resources

Check out these wonderful resources including a printable Family Christmas Calendar, the Blessing of a home on Epiphany, and a list of 20 Christmas movies.

About Christine Smitha

Christine Smitha
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Christine Smitha holds a B.A. in English and Literature from Christendom College. She has taught Literature for nine years, and enjoys dabbling in journalism when she gets a chance. She is currently Seton Home Study School’s Accreditation Manager.

Sliced Ham © Brent Hofacker / Family © irina / Gift © Melpomene
Magi © Rawpixel / Open Hands © foto_images | Dollar Photo Club

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