We recently had two families over for a Christmas dinner and cookie making session. Though Christmas is such a busy time of year, I so want to be deliberate about inviting people into our home for fellowship as a way of maintaining traditions, and maybe establishing new ones. DSC_0984

When I was young, my parents invited families over for special meals during the holiday season, and those were some of my favorite memories growing up. But, as we got older, the dinners with other families became fewer and fewer.

Kids grow up, people get busy, traditions disappear, if we let them.

As a parent now myself, I want to continue traditions, and not let busyness — or perfectionism — get in the way.

Inviting others into our home is one of those traditions I want to keep alive.

But, why is that so hard sometimes?

I think because it takes so much work to clean the house and get my kids to help clean the house and make my house presentable and cook a meal. I can barely get dinner on for my family, yet alone invite others over. Then, I started to think about it.

DSC_0823Here, it is Christmas season, when we decorate our homes and put up an amazing Christmas tree and decorate that amazing tree and adorn our windows and roofs with cozy lights; and we light candles inside our homes and we get out our Christmas china and we place our wooden nativity scenes out and we make our tables all pretty with an advent wreath.

But then we are too tired or too busy or too worried about our houses being perfect or too concerned about not having everything done yet for the holiday.

I am trying to overcome that.

So, for dinner I served these two families pulled pork from Costco on pub buns — nothing fancy–but a hit nonetheless.

And after the meal, we had a family craft, offering an opportunity for the kids to make rollout Christmas cookies, a ritual that we used to do every Christmas. I’d have moms over in December to make cookies, but I’ve gotten away from that and am lucky to make any cookies in December.

Why not revive the tradition. DSC_0989

Interestingly, my youngest child, my son who is 11, was not into making cookies as I thought he would be. He stood to the side at first, letting the younger kids from the other families roll out the dough and press out Christmas cookies.

DSC_0987I encouraged all the kids to participate and my son did finally get into it. And, when it camDSC_0980e time to frost the cookies, all the kids got into the action. Oh, the sweetness of the kids concentrating on rolling out the dough and after the cookies were baked, frosting them and covering them with sprinkles.

It was a mess in the end, but oh so worth it.

My friend Jenni said afterwards, “Your house is so cozy, it feels so warm.

“Let’s make this a tradition,” she said.  DSC_0993

I couldn’t agree more.

(This post was written for the Women of Influence blog: Women of Influence)



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