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Ep 68: Christmas Traditions That We Do and Don’t Do

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Ep 68: Christmas Traditions That We Do and Don’t Do

Can you believe Christmas is ONE week away? (insert digital Christmas party). Christmas is a season full of traditions - some that are favorable and others that are controversial. Last week on Instagram, Jeremy + Audrey asked you guys to share your Christmas traditions (both the ones you do and the ones you don’t do) and they are excited to dive into those and share their perspectives on them. Let’s get straight into it! 

Here are all the things we mentioned in this episode: 

Follow us on Instagram: 

Super popular, kind-of controversial Christmas traditions

  • Elf on the shelf - Neither Jer nor Auj knew what this was until last year! They think it's creepy and don't like it. 
Kids shouldn't do good things just because someone is watching, they should just because. 
  • Santa - Santa itself is fine but Jer and Auj won't recognize Santa as an actual reality. Ember knows Santa is a thing, but it's kind of hard to tell a 2-year-old Santa isn't actually real. But, they don’t want their kids to actually think Santa is real. Auj thinks it will be a tricky transition. Jer thinks it won't be if it is approached right. Jer never believed in Santa because his family didn't really feed into that growing up. Auj grew up believing in Santa, but it just wasn't really for her. When she found out Santa wasn’t real, she thought it was just a childish fun thing... It wasn't life-altering to find out he wasn’t. Santa was fun and innocent, it didn't have any ramifications. But, Jer thinks there are already too many ways to distract ourselves from what Christmas is actually about, being the birth of Jesus. Jer is sensitive to things that point away from Christ, and they can see how Santa can kind of turn people away from the real reason for the season.
Jer wants his kids to obey because he is their dad, not because they're going to get a gift from someone who doesn't exist if they are good. Their kids should behave because they're developing good character. Santa isn't bad in itself, but the totality of it can point people away from Jesus.
  • Mall pictures with Santa - Not for them. Jer and Auj just want to be aware of what they're promoting.
  • Eating fruit cake - Neither Jer or Auj have done this. 
  • Caroling - Jer and Auj appreciate it but probably wouldn't do it. They'd rather jump on the rig and get stuck in the mud! Ember would probably love singing to their neighbors though.
  • Eggnog - They love Eggnog, but don't like it with alcohol.
  • Opening gifts in front of people - Jer isn't the biggest fan of opening gifts in front of people. For Jer's family, gifts aren’t a huge love language, but Audrey's family are huge gift-givers. 
  • Mistletoe - Ember's nanny painted Ember's feet and made "mistle-toes", so they've got that hanging up, but outside of that they don’t have one in the house.
  • Running Holiday 5-K's - They like this idea! Right now, Auj just wants to just chill in her PJs, but Jer likes the thought of this. 
  • Visiting in-laws - For lots of people they said NO, but for Jer and Auj they say YES! They both have good relationships with each others family. They've decided to do their own thing and if they want to hang out with family, they plan it out. But it doesn't have to be on Christmas. In the morning they have their own traditions and stuff they do.
  • Christmas cards - YES! They do it. They love sending them and receiving them. It's a good practice to send out cards. And it is super fun!  Every year Auj punches a hole at the top corner of the Christmas cards they receive and puts a binder ring in them to keep them all together. Then she puts them in their box for that specific year. 
  • Ugly sweaters - They don't mind Ugly sweaters! 
  • Matching PJ photos - They do it - but Jer does it begrudgingly! Auj thinks it’s cute and fun.
  • Hanging lights - Yes! They love lights. They appreciate all of the people who put them up, although this year they haven't hung any themselves (yet).

Some less controversial traditions

  • Opening a present on Christmas Eve - Sometimes they do this one! 
  • Wearing PJs all day - They mostly do this one - unless they go to dinner with their family.
  • Homemade pizza on Christmas Eve - They haven't done that, but they think it's a cute idea.
  • Birthday cake for Jesus - They LOVE this idea. It brings the purpose of the season back to the forefront of people's minds. 
  • Advent Calendar -This is so awesome!
  • Read a chapter of Luke every day - they love this idea. 
  • Go to see the lights - they love doing this.
  • Giving ornaments every year - They like the idea of one intentional ornament a year. But Jer thinks a whole box of random things isn't cool - it would have to be super intentional and meaningful. 
  • Entire day decorating as a family - They decorate together, but never for the whole day. 
  • Giving cookies to all the neighbors - YES! Any chance or reason to interact with those you live by is awesome. Do it.
  • Making gingerbread houses - They used to do this when they were dating, but haven't since. They'll probably do it as their kids get older.
  • White Elephant - It's fun! They like the white elephants that actually have something of worth or value. Not just things that are gonna go back into their garage. It can be a waste if the gifts aren't intentional.
  • Sleeping under the Christmas tree - Jer slept by the fire, but not intentionally under the tree. 
  • Secret Santa with siblings - YES! 
  • Hallmark movies - They tried, but they didn't like them. 
  • Cookie decorating - Super fun!
  • Operation Christmas Child - This is a great one... they've done this, and love it. 

Audrey’s favorite Christmas traditions growing up

  • Audrey’s family had a nativity scene set up in their house and on the first day of December, her mom would hide the 3 Wise Men. Then every day, she would put them closer to baby Jesus. So every day they would wake up, open the Advent calendar, and run around the house trying to find the Wise Men. Everyday it reminded them that Jesus is the reason for the season.
  • Audrey's family would always go get their tree at a friends Christmas tree farm. They would spend the day making wreaths and still try to do this if they can.
  • They would write a letter to Santa on this giant notebook. Then, either her mom or dad would write back as Santa recapping what they did or accomplished that year. Her parents still do this to this day! It's a way to affirm each other. 

Jeremy’s favorite Christmas traditions growing up

  • They always opened one gift on Christmas Eve.
  • Every Christmas Day started with a fire made with his dad. 
  • They'd always go on a mule ride around the farm (They'd always get outside, no matter what). 
  • As they got older, Jer's siblings would pull sticks and whoever's name they got, they'd get gifts for them. 

Current Family Traditions:

  • They cut down their own Christmas tree. 
  • Open Christmas Pajamas on Christmas Eve that they get for each other (Jer doesn't love this one. Auj likes one new cozy thing). 
  • They take 2 polaroid pictures every year and glue them back to back to make a Christmas ornament. They write where they were and the date. They love this one!
  • They make Christmas Kringel: It's like a giant cinnamon roll. 
  • It's just them Christmas morning.
  • They put the Lego movie on every Christmas while Jer makes the fire. This was an accidental tradition because they watched that movie their first Christmas, so they just continue because they love that movie!
  • They watch certain movies throughout the Christmas Season.
  •  Auj makes Christmas Soup - It's basically chili with chocolate and beer. 
  • They go for a prayer walk and get some fresh air.
  • Auj writes what they did in their yearly Christmas journal.
  • They go to Christmas Eve Church.
  • They get Ember a gift - but they don't show each other - so it's a surprise for all of them! 
  • Jer reads the Christmas story out loud.
  • This year they will read from Every Moment Holy.
  • They put Ember's handprint on the tree skirt - they hope to fill the tree skirt with all their handprints kids every year.

There are a ton of traditions for you and we hope you got some good ideas! Next time you guys hear from Jer and Auj, they'll most likely be parents of 2! They're taking some time off from until the New Year! 

Remember the episode Jeremy + Audrey did a couple weeks ago with their friend Kiwi from Compassion? What a better season to get involved with Compassion than Christmas time? It is the perfect time to get back! 

It is just $38 a month to sponsor a child - and you have the potential to change someone's life and lineage. It's a super powerful thing to do! If you sponsor a child through their link, compassion.com/roloff, we will send you a free signed copy of our book A Love Letter Life as a small token of their appreciation. Compassion is such a great way to give back in this season, so they hope you take advantage of this!

Well, there's all of your traditions, as well as Jeremy and Audrey’s. Remember that Jesus is King and He is who we are celebrating. Try to point your heart and soul back towards Jesus. Merry Christmas everyone!