If you are looking for help casting some vision for your family traditions in a way that honors the Lord and some help with practical ideas as well, this is a good time of year to pick up Noel Piper’s book, Treasuring God in Our Traditions. The chapter titles are:
- What is a Tradition?
- What Makes Traditions Important?
- How Do Traditions Teach?
- Everyday and the “Ultimate”
- Everyday Traditions, the Family, and the World
- “Especially” Traditions
- Especially Christmas
- Especially Easter
- What Now?
- Appendix: The Family: Together in God’s Presence
Also, our family has enjoys doing the Jesse tree during the Advent season in order to prepare our family the think about the unfolding of God’s redemptive plan and how the Old and New Testaments come together in the Person of Christ. The Jesse Tree symbol picks up on the prophecy of Isaiah 11:1:
“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.” (Is. 11:1)
There are different way to do this but the way that I have enjoyed the most is when our kids actually draw their own pictures that represented the various events and prophecies in the story line of the Bible leading up to the incarnation of Christ. We would read and discuss the passage and hang one picture per night on the Christmas (Jesse) Tree. As we go along day by day the kids can look back at the ornaments hanging of the tree and recount the way that Christ was proclaimed from Genesis 3:15 forward throughout the Bible. It is truly a joy.
WTSBooks is advertising a new resource along these lines called The Real Christmas Tree that I have not used yet though it looks good. The Jesse Tree plan that our family has used can be found as an appendix in the back of Kent and Barbara Hughes’ book, Disciplines of a Godly Family.