Family traditions are very important to me. They are a special time each year where the whole family comes together for a special event. Since the birth of my children, I have added many new holiday traditions into our family. For example, we expect our annual visit from Thompson, our Elf on the Shelf after American Thanksgiving, we participate in the European tradition of St. Nicholas Day in early December, we light a our Advent wreath four Sundays before Christmas, we write annual letters to Santa Claus and on Christmas eve, we leave out cookies, milk and decorate our front lawn with reindeer food. These traditions are simple, but provide my family with joy and memories that they will always cherish.
This year we will be adding a new tradition to our holiday line up, The Sparkle Box. This tradition was inspired the first time my children and I read The Sparkle Box by Jill Hardie.
For so many, the meaning of the holiday season has been wrapped up in the commercialize of it all. For Sam, a 9 year old, the season began with his Christmas list and ended with the presents under the tree. One year, Sam sees a beautiful, sparkly box on the mantle. Hoping its for him, he questions his mother. The box remains a secret until Christmas morning, where Sam learns the true meaning of Christmas. Inside the box were reminders of times we have helped another without getting anything in return. This is the true meaning of the seasons, it is the most precious gifts we could give to Jesus.
Author Jill Hardie and Her family began placing a gift for Jesus under their Christmas tree as a way of bringing more meaning to the holiday. The first time they opened His gift, the commercialism of the season melted away and they felt a profound joy and peace. Jill hopes that The Sparkle Box will spark a new Christmas tradition, bringing light into thousands of lives.
Not only were we captivated by the beautiful pictures and heartwarming story, but we were inspired to create our own Sparkle Box tradition. We put together the sparkle box included with the book and added some of our own finishing touches. Then we began our first gift to Jesus. The children selected gently used toys and created a pile to donate to the local children’s home. This was not an easy task. The children had troubles letting go of the toys they cherished so much, but they were excited at the prospect their toys would make someone happy this Christmas. I have many other ‘gifts for Jesus’ planned this holiday season and I can’t wait to hear some suggestions that my children come up with. It will be a special moment on Christmas morning where we share our good deeds and reminisce in how we have helped someone this holiday season.
What is your favourite family holiday tradition?
One lucky 1Heart1Family reader is going to have the opportunity to #Win a copy of the Sparkle box to own!
Open to CAN/US
Ends November 18, 2013