Before the holidays I went to a gathering put on by the wiser, more mature ladies of our church, the Austin Stone.  The gathering was a platform for these ladies to share the traditions that their families had observed.  They encouraged us to create traditions for our own families that pointed to our family values.  One of the women said, “Our husbands are the head of the home, but I would suggest that we are the heart.”

The first thing I gleaned from the gathering is that every tradition my family holds should be linked to a value Jerod and  I embrace.  Here are the values we discussed:

1.  We value Jesus Christ and believe He was sent by God to pay the price for our sins so that we could intimately enjoy God and His relationship with us forever.

2.  We value quality time spent together as a family.  We value the roles God gave us as husband and wife and the roles our children play in our family.

3.  We value missions and the spread of God’s Holy Name and His plan for all people.

4.  We value obeying God in all things because we know obedience leads us to deeper intimacy with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

5.  We value being wholistically healthy- body, mind, and spirit.  We’re still working on the “body” part. 🙂

6.  We value all people.  We believe all people were made in God’s image, therefore the orphan, slave and prisoner need care in light of Jesus’ sacrifice.

7.  We value expressing our creativity and talents in a God-honoring way.

After we hashed out our family values, we brain-stormed a few ways to reveal our values through our family traditions.  We linked each tradition back to our values.  Some of the ideas below came from the wise ladies at my church.  I hope you take from this list or create some of your own.


We have a “thankful” box that comes out the beginning of November.

During the month, each family member (who can contribute) writes down things they are thankful for from the current year.  We read the cards on Thanksgiving morning over breakfast.  This allows us to reflect on God’s faithfulness to our family.

The cards are then displayed throughout December as a reminder of our good God.

The cards go into a holiday scrapbook with our family Christmas picture.  We want to store our family memories and reflect on God’s faithfulness so that we will remember in the future.

We volunteered by serving Thanksgiving dinner in St. John’s (a poorer neighborhood in Austin- not the Caribbean- though I wouldn’t be opposed to serving there 🙂  ).  We want to serve others during the holiday season.  It is so easy to get “caught up” selfishly in your own family.  This activity will change each year as our kids grow older.

We ate favorite foods for Thanksgiving: pecan pie, turkey, broccoli casserole, cream cheese + olives stuffed in celery, sweet potato casserole, and stuffing.

We make ornaments each year.  We make a family ornament and one for each kid (so far we only have one kid).

We’ve just started this so I’ll let you know as we add more traditions.  One we’ve started with Elijah almost everyday is to read him a story, pray and then put him in his bed for the night.

A great resource is Noel Piper’s book, “Treasuring God in our Traditions”.  Each family is so unique and its exciting to create your own family’s culture.

May God richly add to your family, friends, and relationships.  If you have a tradition that you observe, please share it with us.  Leave a comment or link us to your blog.   🙂


7 Responses to “Traditions”

  1. Great Blog and great traditions!

  2. Hey you guys! Loved this post! It really encouraged me to think about traditions. 🙂 We have a tradition that Tyler always plays his guitar and sings to Griffin after his bath every night (except on sermon-prep nights) love you guys!

  3. 4 instride

    thanks for leaving a comment, Haley- we love you Hicks!

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  1. 1 Christmas Eve Tradition |

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