Today, my dear friend, Alisa Nicaud from Flourishing Today is joining us to talk about our holiday traditions, celebrating the season and leaving a legacy for our children’s children. Her words are insightful, inspiring and full of goodness! She’s also included two links with printable freebies for you and your family to enjoy!
Thank you for joining us, Alisa!
The countdown is on!
There are 8 days until Thanksgiving and less than 6 weeks until Christmas. The holidays are the busiest season in our household, but also provide the most opportunity to celebrate together as a family. Our holidays consist of a plethora of food and a large gathering of family and friends. Yet there is something else that truly makes our holidays memorable.
As I’ve grown into an adult with my own kids, I seek to recreate the memories I had as a child—to bring what my husband and I grew up with into the lives of our children. We want to have traditions. It’s our heritage. When we are old and grey and our kids are grown, we want to hear them sit around and tell their children about the fun things we did as a family every year. Traditions are more than just fun memories, but can become part of the legacy we are passing on.
Traditions allow a part of one generation to carry forward into the next, leaving a dynamic legacy for our children’s children.
Holiday traditions not only bring a uniquely tailored experience to celebration, but help us to stay focused on why we are celebrating. With all the excitement we can easily be distracted from the One who has given us a reason to celebrate. This year we are starting a few new traditions that are bringing us closer as a family and allowing us to truly enjoy the individual holidays that are approaching.
Holiday Traditions that Leave Legacies
When we think of holiday traditions, many times we only include Christmas. Yet many of us have Thanksgiving traditions that we follow every year. One of our favorite traditions has been sitting around a large food filled table with family, telling what we have to be thankful for from the year. Although we love this tradition, we found that many of the things we shared had little or no thought behind them. This year we wanted to begin cultivating a heart of gratitude before Thanksgiving Day arrived. We decided to do a Thanksgiving Journal. For the 2 weeks leading up to Thanksgiving we are writing down the things we have to be thankful for and share them with each other during family time. Perhaps you would like to start this tradition as well? If so, I’m happy to share the Thanksgiving Journal I created for my family.
I’m realizing something very important along this journey of thanksgiving: Gratitude has the ability to kill the attitude of complaining. And in my house, there has been a lot of grumbling and complaining lately (and not just by the kids!). When we are intentionally focusing on what we do have, we are less concerned with what we don’t have. Gratitude is reminding God of what He’s done for us. When we sit down and think about all that we have to be grateful for, we become filled with the overwhelming goodness of God.
I found a beautiful statement from Abraham Lincoln that expresses this perfectly:
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. Abraham Lincoln, Thanksgiving Proclamation
As a child I remember waiting all year for Christmas to come. The anticipation. The excitement. The Snow. (Obviously I didn’t grow up in Louisiana!) I loved Christmas time. From the parties at school to the family get togethers, there was always a certain joy in the air. My mom would have presents wrapped under the tree ahead of time to usher in the excitement. I remember sneaking over to the tree and peeling back sides of gifts to sneak a peak of the goodies inside. Our house was filled with hot chocolate and The Christmas Story playing in the background. Sharing these memories with my kids has been one of my favorite traditions we’ve started. They keep reminding me each year, “Mom, remember when you used to sneak open your gifts?” I have to kindly remind them, “Don’t even think about it!”
Last year my husband and I decided we didn’t just want to share what we did, but actually incorporate some of the traditions we had growing up. We wrote down our top few and decided to begin doing those with our children.
That’s how traditions get started, making memories on purpose.
The fun ones we keep, the not so fun ones…. well we learn from those.
What do your traditions look like? Are you ready to begin some new ones? Here’s one you may want to try!
The M&M Tree
One of the traditions my husband grew up with sounded really fun, so we will try it again this year. I say again, because we tried it last year and it was an epic fail! Not because it wasn’t a great idea, but because I can get distracted when I’m baking! Every Christmas, my mother in law had a cookie tree. She and the kids would bake m&m cookies, place them in bags and hang them on the tree like ornaments. Each day the kids were allowed to take one cookie off the tree and eat it. I’m a stickler about my pretty ornaments, so another tradition we started last year was the kid tree. I get to have my pretty tree in the main living area and the kid tree goes in the kitchen nook. I even let the kids decorate it themselves. It’s a win-win for everyone.
All this talk about traditions has me excited about the holidays! How about you? Regardless what your traditions are, the simple act of doing them together with family and friends for the holidays will leave a legacy your children will never forget.
Oh and by the way…. if you love the idea of traditions and celebrating the true meaning of Christmas, you can join us for Reason for the Season—a 25 day Challenge to keep Christ the Center of Christmas. You’ll receive daily recipes, scriptures, prayers and practical tips to keep Christ the Reason for the Season.
I hope you’ll enjoy your holiday season this year and share with us some of your favorite family traditions! I’m always up for trying new things!
Alisa Nicaud currently lives just north of New Orleans, LA with her husband Philip Nicaud, their five children and their dog, Roux. She owns a boutique coaching practice and is the founder of the blog, Flourishing Today. Through her own tragedies, Alisa is intimately familiar with the struggles of anxiety, fear, insecurity and depression. Alisa’s willingness to be transparent gives her a unique advantage in relating to women from all walks of life and leadership. She freely shares helpful hints and practical encouragement rooted in Biblical truth in her posts and resources. Her passion is to equip women to overcome any limitations preventing them from leading a flourishing life. You can learn more by visiting her blog at www.flourishingtoday.com. You can also connect with her on social media here: