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The Christmas Angel: a Family Holiday Tradition

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I absolutely love Christmas. I love the coziness, the time spent with family, the traditions.  It is, arguably, the most wonderful time of the year!

We, just like so many families, have enjoyed building our own special Christmas traditions.  If you’re involved in any way in things revolving around parenting, teaching, or otherwise raising kids these days – or if you’re reading this blog! – you’ve surely heard of Elf on the Shelf.  This little tradition sounded super fun to me, as did the rascally things the little Elf did (marshmallow snow storm in the kitchen — what could be more fun?!). But I also wanted to focus my energy – and let’s be honest Moms’ energy is spread thin, especially this time of year! – on orienting my family more around giving and the true meaning of Christmas.

So, two years ago we started the most memorable and meaningful tradition our family has come upon yet, The Christmas Angel, who was said to help restore the spirit of Christmas.

In a nutshell, the Christmas Angel (a boy or girl angel doll) comes to your house sometime in December and leaves daily messages for kids about acting out the true meaning of Christmas — giving, serving, spreading joy.  The messages can or cannot be presented with silly elf-like pranks (our always are though!) The Angel is accompanied with a sweet book that describes his/her purpose and impresses upon kids the message:

May every Christmas remind you to have faith and to believe,
And remember the greater blessing is to give than to receive.

There are, I imagine, as many takes on this traditions as there are families who participate in it.  The Christmas Angel website, Facebook and Twitter can supply inspiration, and I have shared what our Christmas angel, Tess, did last year for the season of advent.

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Because December 26th can be a let down, we explained Tess’ departure with the following letter, left out on Christmas morning:

Ava and Scarlett:

It has been such a joy to be with you through this season of advent!  Today, as on every December 25th, the day we celebrate Jesus’ birthday, I will go away for a while.  But, don’t be sad, after all it was not I who has made such a difference this advent; you have everything you need to keep up good work without me!  See what the Bible says:

If you love Jesus, show it by doing what he’s told you. Jesus will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Holy Spirit. You know him because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you! The Friend, the Holy Spirit, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things Jesus has told you.

John 14: 15-17, 26 (MSG paraphrased)

You see, I am just an example of the Holy Spirit who lives in you.  He prompts you to do Jesus’ work. He is the still small voice who guides you down the right path. He is the beeping in your heart that reminds you to show love and kindness, to spread Truth and Grace.

So take my lessons with you,
from now throughout the year.
If you see a friend with sad eyes,
be sure to draw them near.
The power you have within you,
is surely so much bigger than you can conceive.
If you come upon someone in need,
remember it is always so much better to give than to receive.

I love you, and I’ll see you next December!

Tess

PS Do you Daddy and Mommy usually let you eat lollypop before breakfast?

enclosure: lollypop 🙂

As mentioned, there are likely many takes on the Christmas Angel.  This is how our family chose to celebrate last year.  This year, with a newborn added to our family, we will likely scale back a bit and perhaps celebrate twelve days of Christmas with Tess, rather than the entire 24 days of Advent. Our family highly incorporates and celebrates Jesus Christ in the tradition, because we believe He is the reason for the season, but your family may change it to coincide with your beliefs. However you choose to celebrate – wether it be with the Christmas Angel or some other tradition – we hope you  live well with your family the season of giving, joy and hope this year.

Mollie is a wife to a wonderful man and stay at home Mama to two beautiful and energetic little girls. She has lived in South Orange County for most of her life and enjoys crafting, running, clean and natural living, party planning, and being involved in her community and church. She believes that being a Mom was and is her highest calling and attempts to give her girls a wide array of different experiences. From soccer cleats to tutus, running races to finding the perfect hair bow, she wants them to grow up knowing that they can be both girly and strong.
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