Christmas Family Traditions

Christmas Is About…

Got a huge reality check when my 8-year old went home with a school project about how we celebrate Christmas, its symbols, meanings and traditions.


First question, “What are the symbols of the Holiday you celebrate and what do they mean?” I told my son, “Umm, there’s the star on top of the Christmas tree. That’s a symbol. I think it means light and the light that comes on Christmas Day is Jesus.” I had to Google the rest of my answers just to make sure. A few gave satisfactory answers but the best Christmas inspiration was from a blogger friend, Anne.


Then came more symbols like the angels, Christmas tree, the wreath, candles, gifts and many more. Then there’s Santa, the Snowman, Mr. Rudolph and the elves. Dizzy and frustrated, I told me wife, “I need help. Looks like this is more complicated than I originally thought.” She laughed at me and said,”You need to think like a second grader.” All I can say was, “But, but, but…,” then I added, “I think it’s late. Let me sleep, rest my brain and tomorrow I bet the answers will come flowing like a river.” So I slept.


Christmas and all forms of Holidays bring people together as one family and community, sharing a similar dream for a better, kinder world.

Behold, like a Christmas miracle, the answers did arrive the next day. With my wife’s help, my son was able to narrow our answers. And yes, it did look and sounded like an eight year old. Simple, innocent, bright and positive. After reading it, I gave a happy smile and said, “Love his version. Way better than mine.”


Making Our Very Own Christmas Family Traditions

Christmas is about celebrating our families, showering them with love and creating our very own unique Christmas family traditions that are more valuable than any expensive presents combined. Traditions blessed by the heritage of the past and sprinkled with exciting hopes of today.

Regardless of our beliefs and religion, the holiday season is a time to thank God for our blessings. It is a time to reflect on the source of our light, joy and inner happiness.


Just like most, Christmas to my family is about gift giving. In my son’s case, it’s about having lots of toys and yummy goodies. Of warming up Winter’s cold with a sip of sweet, delicious hot chocolate drink and munching on Gingerbread cookies. Of singing Christmas songs no matter how out of tune and creating our own lyrics when we don’t know the words.


One day, my wife and I were giggling as our son was singing, “Frosty the Snowman, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…” He wasn’t aware we were listening. We tried to fill in the missing words and realized we forgot them too. So, we all ended up listening to the complete song via Pandora and got to sing it as a family. It reminded me so much of the many Christmases I used to share with my siblings and parents when I was about his age. It was simple too yet full of happiness no words can even fully describe.


One of the main gems of every home during the holiday season is the Christmas tree. Ours this year are decorated with stars, several Santa, Snowmen, birds, berries and pine cones. The tree is a symbol of all the beautiful blessings we received and hoped to have in the years to come. When the Christmas lights twinkle and shine brightly at night, somehow we know in our hearts that those hopes will come true one day.


“Dear Santa, I know you’re busy but I wish for a Star Wars Droid Carrier ship with 20 droids.”

Christmas and the Holidays

Every year, my son makes a letter for Santa. This year I could sense he’s already starting to question if he does exist. Initially, he asked Santa at his school’s “Dear Santa” letter for an Xbox. We explained to him that Santa makes toys for other children too and that $499.00 for one toy is both expensive and excessive when other children don’t even have food to eat. He looked like he understood but then asked with a naughty smile, “So, you’re Santa because you can not afford an Xbox?” It was a challenge keeping a serious face. I wanted to laugh but then that will ruin Santa’s credibility. Another priceless “oops” moment.


I wish for my son to hang on to the magical side of Christmas with all the joy and excitement it brings for as long as he can. Until today, when bits and pieces of Christmas childhood memories resurface, indescribable feelings of anticipation and happiness come rushing in like everything happened yesterday.  The magic of Christmas is always there within each one of us but somehow adulthood made us forget and caused us to stop believing. I stopped believing at some point in my life but now I have my son to remind me that I can experience the magic of Christmas once more. All I have to do is open my heart and believe in its magic and miracles.

Christmas and the Holidays

 Finding Little Elf?

This year, joining the Elf On The Shelf craze, my family started our own version of this fun holiday family activity. We simply called it “Finding little Elf,” inspired from a storybook and Elf gift set called Where Is Little Elf.

elf on the shelf

Instead of following the usual rules, we added a few twist and surprises. Seven days before Christmas Day, Little Elf visits our home and does different kinds of new activities everyday. My 8-year old then needs to find him first thing in the morning. He must not touch little Elf or else he will not move the next day. My son also needs to try to be nice and be good, bringing holiday cheer to everyone around him. Mom and dad topping his list. Oh, the night before little Elf’s visit, my son has to leave a cookie under the Christmas tree as a sweet treat to little Elf. Guess who gets to bite the cookie for Little Elf when my son goes to sleep?

On the seventh day which is Christmas Day, Little Elf brings a special surprise bonus present aside from the Christmas wish list gift from Santa. Ain’t that a great reason to behave and be nice during the holidays?

elf on the shelf

Day 1

” Little Elf, Little Elf where are you? Oh, there you are drinking a hot cocoa milk with lots of marshmallows. Thanks for making one cup for me too. “

elf on the shelf

Day 2

” Little Elf, Little Elf where are you? Great to know you like  playing Lego Star Wars too. Hey, did you check my Republic Gunship and Clone Troopers? Awesome right? “


Day 3

” Little Elf, Little Elf where are you? Hmm, looks like you’re busy fishing and catching my pet goldfish. That fishing rod looks familiar. Is that my yellow marker Little Elf? “


Day 4

” Little Elf, Little Elf where are you? There you are, reading my favorite DRAGONBREATH: Attack of the Ninja Frogs. Looks like you found new friends too. Morning Mr. T-Rex, morning Pumpkin Fly Guy. “

little elf

” Tomorrow I wonder where will Little Elf will be. I got the feeling he will be in the kitchen, making pancakes and cheese omelette for him and me. “

Little Elf’s Christmas adventure to be continued…

Christmas and the Holidays

Christmas and the Holidays brings magic in the air but it’s up for us to capture them and turn them into something real. May we never forget to bring everything good and beautiful in our lives and those around us. To glisten, bring joy and peace on Earth.


Last night, before my son went to bed, he hugged his mom and told her, ” Mom, can’t wait for Christmas Day. I am so excited.” His words sums up why Christmas is the most wonderful, joyful, magical time of the year.


Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and the best of blessings of the Holidays.

About Island Traveler

Just A Dad With A Dream. Check out our new family adventures at beachandtrips instagram .
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33 Responses to Christmas Family Traditions

  1. blogbyflogs says:

    A very merry and blessed Christmas to you and your family Island Traveler!


  2. Very sweet. Your son does know the true meaning of Christmas and enjoys the traditions that go with it. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family Island Traveler.


  3. Thank you Island Traveler for your pingback your very kind and thank you for your encouragement too and for sharing the highlights of your Christmas.

    We are always encouraged and blessed as we remember together the real meaning of Christmas and that it isn’t just for one day a year but it’s Love and Truth is for everyday.

    I was thinking about the Joy we have at Christmas and it reminded me of a Scripture that tells us how to have God’s Joy.

    Philippians 4:6-8 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

    Many Blessings for the very best Christmas – Christian Love from both of us – Anne


    • A blessed Christmas full of love, joy and peace to you and your family.
      Christmas gives us all hope that we can all changed and be saved. That we can turn around our lives to follow God and his plans for us. We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus at the Nativity scene. Just me and my son. It was beautiful.


      • That’s wonderful Island Traveler, Christian songs teach us God’s Truth when confirmed in Scripture and the Harmony and Melody comes from God when not distorted by man.

        Thank you for sharing this special time with your son, I know you will both be greatly blessed.

        Blessings – Anne


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  5. IT, this was both beautiful and magical! I love hearing about your family traditions and life. What an awesome dad/husband you are. Merry Christmas.
    Oh, we started our own “elf” tradition this year. And since that elf creeps me out, I have a rather long bendy snowman named Slim. Its just my husband and I but we are having fun hiding it for each other.


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  7. As usual you have created a set of images for your family to cherish. I wish for you a joyous and peaceful year ahead.


  8. You are creating so many beautiful traditions for your family. Have a happy holiday – everyone. 🙂


    • I hope to fill his heart and memories with everything joyful so that one day, just like me, I could look back and remember the priceless, great times with family. The magic of the holidays is how we make it. Best of holidays to you and your family.


  9. Thanks for sharing your Christmas traditions. Your photos are beautiful.
    A blessed Christmas to your and your family!


  10. ChgoJohn says:

    A wonderful, warm post — and it even contains a cliff hanger. Where will that Little Elf go next? 🙂
    Many blessing and peace to you and your loving family this Christmas.


  11. Oh, your little elf is cute! My kids requested their own elf on the shelf this year and they’ve had a lot of fun looking for him every morning.
    By the way, don’t feel bad about your son asking Santa for a Xbox. My kids asked him for “the force”. Yep, tough one to explain…


    • Thank you. Love your family’s fun, exciting Elf on the shelf version. Christmas gives us the chance to make the happiest memories & traditions with our family. Yours truly bring a merriment and inspiration. Merry Christmas to you and your family.


  12. Tammy says:

    Children really are the spirit of Christmas. Blessings indeed! Have a merry Christmas!


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  14. rommel says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, IT!


  15. kelihasablog says:

    Lovely post! Thanks for sharing! 😀


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  17. bluebrightly says:

    I love the Elf game – how smart of you! You always seem to value your son and the time you spend with him so highly. May you have many more fun days together this next year!


    • Eve of Christmas, he wanted to sleep in the living room and wait for Santa and the surprise Elf present. He’s been telling his mom,” can’t wait for Christmas Day. I’m so excited.” It gives me joy that he has that magical excitement in his heart, kind of what I felt too when I was his age. We also go to to church and greet Jesus a Happy Birthday. I couldn’t have asked for more. The best of the Holidays to you and your family. Thanks.


  18. I don’t know which one picture to like particularly because each picture is a little story in itself. The world’s such a beautiful place!Hope your boy loved his presents 🙂 And that elf is the cutest little thing ever!!


  19. naomimgruer says:

    What nice traditions your family has! I love the Little Elf and his adventures leading up to Christmas! So cute.


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