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How To Make Your Family Christmas Magical

How To Make Your Family Christmas Magical

10 Ways to Fill Your Family Christmas With Magical Memories

10 Ways to Fill Your Christmas With Magical Memories

There is something about Christmas that instills in all of us a genuine sense of peace, love, hope, and joy. Christmas mornings are a time where we build memories together that last forever. The whole Christmas season is made more beautiful as it becomes a time when the world remembers kindness and practices giving. To me, Christmas is ultimately about love.

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When we reach out to those in need, when we send cards to friends, neighbors, and the troops overseas, when we give of ourselves and share gifts and time with those we love, we honor God.

And while the world may try to take Christ out of Christmas, it can not be done. He reigns, and His love and power are evident to everyone at this time of year. Christ is Christmas and that is why it is so beautiful, so full of genuine love, of selflessness, of hope, peace, gratitude, and love. It is simply so full of Him.

So that is why I adore it! Below I am sharing the things that make Christmas a magical experience for our family.

What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace. ~ Agnes M. Pharo

The Christmas Tree

I put my Christmas tree up on Thanksgiving night. I can’t start the season early enough. We put in a Christmas movie, we have freshly baked cookies and hot chocolate, and we build a fire in the fireplace. My son and I love opening each box of ornaments. Each one has a story, a memory encased within.

We take our time. And as we lift each ornament to its evergreen branch, we feel so grateful for each other and the times we have had together to love each other fully. The decorating of the Christmas Tree is the beginning of the season and we treasure it.

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~Norman Vincent Peale

Sending Christmas Cards to Our Troops

Christmas is about gratitude so we gather together to write out Christmas cards for the troops. My son actually started this tradition after hearing about some of his friends who would not have their family members home for the holidays.

We owe so much to the men and women who have dedicated their lives and sacrificed for our safety and our freedom. We offer this small gesture in hopes that we may brighten their Christmas morning and remind them that we are so grateful!

This needs to be done early because most mail takes a few weeks to get overseas. We usually write ours out on veterans day so they have plenty of time to arrive.

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas. ~ Peg Bracken

Christmas Games with Family and Friends

There is nothing better than a family gathered together, playing and laughing and making memories. T may not remember what he got for Christmas gifts two years ago but he remembers that he was Eddie from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation when we played the 20 Questions Name Game. He remembers that his Dad had Mrs. Claus taped to his back. He remembers, and that’s what matters.

So we make game playing a big part of our Christmas Party Celebrations. My favorite is Christmas Pictionary. Some of our other favorites are Naughty and Nice which you can find at thecraftyblogstalker.com and Christmas Trivia which you can find at party411.com. Here is my post with more Christmas Games!

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.

~ Burton Hillis

Christmas Music – The Symphony

Every year my sister, my Mom, T, and I head to Milligan College for their Christmas Symphony.  We enter Seeger Chapel which is fully adorned for Christmas and offers such a welcoming warmth that you can’t help but sigh at the beauty of it.

We listen as the choir and the orchestra lifts our spirits together and true Christmas is ours. God is fully present. This concludes with a candlelight singing of Silent Night that is moving beyond words. It is one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season. I encourage you to attend a symphony with your family. It’s a tradition worth keeping.

Silent night, holy night ~ Son of God, love's pure light ~ Radiant beams from Thy holy face ~ With the dawn of redeeming grace ~ Jesus, thy Lord…

Christmas Movies

We love Christmas movies and while we watch them all season long, we have started a tradition where we invite our family to watch The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. We make Grinch popcorn (click here for the recipe), hot cocoa, get the fireplace roaring and hand out pillows and blankets and watch it together.

I am a huge Dr. Suess fan so this is one I can’t get enough of. We also have an evening with my Mom where we gather to watch her favorite, Miracle on 34th Street. Movie Nights are a great way to spend time with family especially when the story touches your heart.

He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more!

Dr. Suess

Seeing the Lights

I love the cheerfulness of twinkling lights! The hunt for the homes with the best decorations is also a great part of our Christmas fun! We have a favorite right here in town. There is a farm that goes all out and as soon as it is up I always take their route home. I can’t get enough of it. The fences are all alight with warm yellow lights, the pathway to their house is decorated to the fullest and just before their doorstep sits a lovely nativity scene, no detail left forgotten. It is absolutely beautiful.

We also are blessed to live near the Bristol Motor Speedway and their Christmas in Lights show is one of the largest in the nation. It is amazing. They also offer a skating rink, hot chocolate, and other goodies. It’s become one of our favorite holiday outings.

For Christmas is tradition time – Traditions that recall – The precious memories down the years, – The sameness of them all.”    

~ Helen Lowrie Marshall

Donate to Those In Need

All year long we feel inspired to give to those in need but this desire feels especially important at Christmas. We love to adopt an Angel from the Angel Tree, to donate food for Christmas dinners through our church, we donate jackets and warm clothing, and we participate in the Toys for Tots programs in our community.

After Christmas, we also do an inventory and donate used toys and games to the Coalition for Kids. I want T to remember that it is more important that we give then we receive. I want him to know in his heart that these moments to reach out are Christ-inspired, and therefore among the most treasured traditions we keep at Christmas.

Hopefully, as a full-grown man, this way of celebrating will be a precious part of his Christmas season his whole life.

Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.

~ Ruth Carter Stapleton

Gifts for Neighbors

We are especially grateful to have been blessed with amazing neighbors. They share in our lives, reaching out with love and kindness on our harder days, and with inspiration and celebration during our brightest days. We love our neighbors. Sometimes as the holidays draw close it is hard to find time for everything but we always make time to bake cupcakes and cookies for our neighbors and deliver them.

Growing up in a small town in Maine, I knew and loved every neighbor and they knew my family very personally. They call my hometown, The Village. And it is that in every sense. A giant family, united, determined to take care of one another no matter what. I still miss my hometown.

When I first moved to Tennessee I didn’t even know the names of my neighbors and I admit that was my fault. I never reached out. It was a huge mistake and one that I regret. When my husband and I moved into this community I knew I didn’t want to let that happen again so we made time to go visit and introduce ourselves.

I can not express how amazing was my reward. Christmas seems the perfect time to let our neighbors know how much we value them and how much they mean to our family. This is a tradition that no matter how long the to-do list has become, I will continue.

Christmas, my child, is love in action.

~ Dale Evans

Gingerbread Houses

T and I made our first Christmas Gingerbread House when he was just two years old and we have made one every year since. We buy a kit and extra candy and put in a Christmas movie and create it. T is an artist and a chef, and his Gingerbread House is always gorgeous and delicious. It adds a sweet touch to our Christmas and there is something about the anticipation of eating it that adds to our excitement.

This is a simple way to spend time together. We both look forward to making one and when at last it’s time to eat it, we do that together too. Sometimes it’s the little things…

I love the excitement, the childlike spirit of innocence, and just about everything that goes along with Christmas.

~ Hillary Scott

Christmas Eve Gifts

Christmas Eve is a busy time for our family. We start with the Christmas Eve service at church, opting for the earlier one because we enjoy two Christmas Celebrations with family on Christmas Eve. When at last we get home, the anticipation of Christmas morning is absolutely electric.

I prepare my Blueberry Lemon Bread Pudding and tuck it in the fridge. We look forward to the early morning arrival of my Mom and grandmother. We choose which gift we will open first the next morning. We make guesses as to what our packages hold and then it is time for our Christmas Eve gifts.

They always contain Pajamas and warm socks. When T was little I also included a Christmas book every year. We also each get a new mug and hot cocoa packets for T and I and an Apple Cider packet for Mr. Wonderful. I usually include something sweet as well.

The best part though is the card enclosed. I make one for each of us which contains Christmas Scripture to remind us of the real reason for the season. We read them aloud, go change into our new pajamas, and settle in for one last Christmas movie.

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

~ Isaiah 9:6
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. - James 1:17[

These are our favorite Christmas traditions and each in its own way helps to create memories so lovely that they feel magical. From my family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year!

~ Charles Dickens, Ebeneezer Scrooge, A Christmas Carol

Do you have a favorite Christmas tradition? Please share in the comments below. We love to hear from you!

Merry Christmas,

Gwen

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