It’s the most wonderful time of the year full of family, gifts, pine trees, and special traditions. Some of my fondest memories are ones of cranking up the volume of our boom box with Christmas tunes while helping Mom decorate the living room with homemade ornaments (you know, the ones you make a school with laced pretzels?), faux snow, winter villages, and the most beautiful manger scene I’d ever seen. Christmas was pure magic to my childhood mind, and I couldn’t stop daydreaming of what Santa Claus had in store for one of his most behaved children!

Now that I’m adult and have kids of my own, I start to question every tradition. I wonder what the root of it is, or why it was started in the first place? Now all of these traditions were very much a part of my childhood and while I am grateful for each memory, I still like to make changes for the better for myself and my own children. I want my kids to immediately think of ways they can serve when they think of Christmas. I want them to think about becoming more like the Savior rather than always being on their toes because “Santa is watching”. I want them to reflect upon the life of Christ and how He was born in such humble circumstances.

In high school, my school was all about tradition. Many of the sports teams didn’t get better equipment and so forth because it was “tradition”. I found this very conflicting with my personal belief that there is always room for improvement. My point is to say that traditions are meant to be challenged and molded. Not all people are the same so why do traditions have to remain the same over time? For me, I want our family traditions to reflect what we are going through at that time, and I want to grow and change with them. When we think about what we want to learn and remember this holiday season, we will be able to determine which traditions will best fit our families…and ultimately remember the reason for the season!

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