Christmas is the time of year that brings together distanced families, reminds us to be thankful for the past year, and honors the birth and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It’s also the time of year when traditions are celebrated throughout the world.
As we embark on the Christmas holiday with family and friends, we ask: What traditions do you partake of every year? Whether you celebrate a tradition you’ve had for years or you’re looking for a new tradition to begin this year, we’re sharing a few of our favorite traditions from the Colorado Christian University community.
Here are a few Christmas traditions from the staff at CCU.
“In my family, every Christmas we bake a birthday cake for Jesus complete with birthday candles. My dad will read the Christmas story from the Bible for us, and then we all sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Jesus and enjoy the cake. It has always been a great way for us all to take some time and remember why we are celebrating.” – Carrie
“When my four daughters were small, we would set up the nativity set without Mary, Joseph, or baby Jesus. Starting with Advent, I’d put Mary and Joseph at the far end of the house, and every few days move them a little closer to the nativity set. My children would see Mary and Joseph get progressively closer to “Bethlehem” until finally on Christmas Eve, they’d arrive and join the shepherds, animals, angels, etc., in the stable. We’d also put baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas Eve night. It was a great way for my girls to visualize the nativity and anticipate the birth of Jesus.” – Linda
“One Christmas tradition that we have is going out to look at the Christmas lights but in a different way. We take some small bowls and fill them with snacks like crackers, cheese, lunch meats, trail mix, fruit, veggies, and dip, and have a mobile snack bar while we drive around. Our kids love it (and so do us grown-ups).” – Jason
“Christmas is a busy time of year for my family, and it’s hard to spend a lot of time together since we now have in-laws. To slow things down every year, my family and I have the tradition of doing something fun in downtown Denver one night. We get dressed up, go out to dinner, catch up on each other’s lives, and love on each other. Last year we went to see a performance at the DCPA, and this year we went to Denver Zoo Lights. These fun activities remind me of my childhood, and it’s just fun to be festive and go out on the town together!” – Lindsay
“Every Christmas, my family and I would wait to open presents until after breakfast on Christmas morning. As a child who was anxious to open presents first thing, at the time this seemed like torture. However, I can now see the importance of waiting, and that breakfast meant a lot because we spent time together as a family, and my Grandma would always make stollen. Stollen is a German sweet bread that is wrapped to look like an infant Jesus in swaddling clothes. I loved how my family incorporated Jesus’ birth into our breakfast before Christmas. As a newlywed this year, I’m excited to share this tradition with my husband.” – Mary
“One of my favorite Christmas traditions with my family is making lefse with my grandma, mom, siblings, and cousins. Lefse is a Norwegian flatbread mostly made of potatoes and flour. When you cook lefse, you have to roll it out in a thin circle. You use a wooden stick to flip it, so it takes a bit of practice to get the technique. The cousins all get a little competitive with it, and whoever rolls and cooks the “most perfect lefse” gets to be the first to sample a piece. Uff da!” – Julia