Christmas Eve Tradition: Recapturing The Spirit of Love in Your Home

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So, take a deep breath. It's a few days before Christmas and the wonderful chaos that is this great holiday has come into fullness in your home. Your children are excited, you're tired and you still have cookies to bake, right?

Do you wonder sometimes how to help bring back a feeling of love in your home?  Refocus on what is really important?

Today I'm going to share one of my family traditions, that has made a HUGE impact on the spirit in our home. 

Let me share a small piece of the back story: 
A few years ago I realized that my children were teenagers and pre-teenagers and that in a few short years would be gone.  I also realized that they have very few handwritten letters from me and from their dad. 

So many of us have lost a parent and finding a letter from them written just for you is more precious than any other possession!  Especially if they hand wrote it. To see that familiar handwriting (no matter how "bad") is like holding a piece of them again, it brings them back to life for a moment!

How many letters do your loved ones have from you? From their other parent, grandparent?

So, with all that in my heart, the first year I quietly wrote every person in our family a love letter. I didn't tell them ahead of time, I just quietly handed them their letters  on Christmas eve,  after we shared the story of the birth of our Savior, and before they open one present each (along with their dad's famous egg nog milkshakes!) I told them to open their letters and just take a moment to read them to themselves. The room got quiet, and the spirit of love and peace I'd been yearning for could be physically felt all around us. I will embarrass them a bit and tell you tears were shed. Hugs were shared. I love you's were exchanged.  It was such a sweet and spiritual ending to our evening.
photo credit: 02varvara.wordpress.com

The next year, a few days before Christmas Eve, I asked my husband and my children to write a letter (even a short one) to each member of the family for Christmas Eve. I'd love to tell you my husband was super excited to do it. He didn't object to it, loved the idea but isn't a regular letter writer, and felt he wouldn't know what to say. I told him it didn't need to be long, but share a few things you'd like them to feel if it was the last and only letter they ever got from you. He wrote letters. The kids all wrote letters (even the boys!)

Christmas Eve #2 came and this year we all handed each other letters, and sat together just quietly reading all our letters from each other.  Tears were shed, laughing  was heard, hugs were shared. Those letters were all tucked into each child's treasure box (they keep a box under their beds for treasures they never want to lose, yes even the teenagers still have their treasure box).

Now it is an annual tradition. I feel the year approaching soon when it will just be my husband and myself, and yet, this sweet tradition is one you never outgrow. I anticipate those sweet love letters between us will be cherished not just by us, but by our children after we pass on.

Sorry for the long, rambling post. I do hope it will  inspire you to take just a moment and put in writing how you feel about your family, even if you live alone. Write a letter and mail it to someone who means the world to you. It will be the best gift you could give them.

I'd love to hear how you share your love during the holidays with your family.


  1. Aw, I teared up just from reading your post. About 2 months ago I wrote my 16 yo son a letter, some of it sweet love and some of it tough love. This letter wasn't written by choice but by the circumstances we were dealing with at the time. As I read the letter aloud to him I could see a change in him. I tell him I love him everyday, tens times a day, but I've never really taken the time to tell him what I love about him. The parts and pieces that make me laugh and smile, and even get angry and cry. This happened on Oct. 16th and the written words changed my son's life for the better.

    I'm so grateful I wrote that letter to him. Thank you for your post, you have inspired me to do this to each of my 3 children.

    I have one child that moved 2 towns over back in August, since then I've had a little hole in my heart. I see her 3 to 4 times a week, but still miss having her in the home. Writing her a letter may be just what I need.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story! I've been in that same place before too, and writing them a letter can be so powerful. My two oldest live 2000 miles away, so I know what you mean about a little hole in your heart!
      Thanks again for sharing, it's nice to know I'm not alone!

  2. I love this idea! I think I’m gonna steal it. :-)

    1. Kasey, I'm humbled and honored. I am sure it will be powerful in your home as it is in mine.

  3. Oh I love this! Thank you for the wonderful idea. (PS - love all of your recipes as well) Merry Christmas.

    1. Thank you so much Stephanie, for all your sweet words! They made my day today! :)

  4. Wonderful! Have thought many times about doing something similar, as I feel we sometimes take life for granted. Merry Christmas!


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