Family Traditions
Community,  Family,  Friends,  Neighbors

Family Traditions: Making This Holiday Season A Special One

He was from Germany.

His English was limited, but he needed assistance, so he made his way to the church where my father led a congregation.

After a short visit with the man, my father learned that he was alone in our country, his family still in Germany.

After making arrangements for temporary financial assistance, my father invited the man into our home for dinner.

It was Thanksgiving Day, after all.


“Be hospitable to one another without complaint.” (1 Pet 4:9)



Growing up in a small town, we knew all our neighbors.

It seemed foreign to have a stranger at our table, especially a stranger from another land.

Yet there was a sense of excitement as my siblings and I gathered around the table and met this man who would be sharing with us our traditional Thanksgiving feast.

Roasted turkey. Creamy mashed potatoes. Thick, peppery gravy. Warm baked beans. Homemade rolls dripping in butter. A variety of fresh fruit pies.

The food must have been as foreign to him as his accent was to us, yet he only exuded gratitude.

I don’t remember the conversation from that day, but I’ll never forget the feeling I had—a feeling created from a beautiful mix of hospitality and community, diversity and love.

As time went on, that feeling never fully left me.


“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:2)



Years later, when I started my own family, I thought back to that Thanksgiving dinner so many years ago—the dinner where my father opened our home to a stranger and the rest of my family welcomed him with open arms.

I longed to have similar experiences around our dinner table.

So we turned it into a family tradition.

Each year during the holiday season, we invite others to join us at our dinner table.

Sometimes it’s something extra special, like Christmas Eve dinner; other times is something more casual, like game night and dessert.

The menu is different from what my mom served on that Thanksgiving Day long ago.

But the feeling is the same.


What holiday traditions run deep in your family? What traditions would you like to start this year?


Looking for some Christmas tradition ideas? Check these out!

Matching Pajamas

Elf on the Shelf

Christmas at Highclere: Recipes and Traditions from The Real Downton Abbey

Create Custom Holiday Cards


The Christmas Pickle Tradition Hardcover Box Set


Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas: Seven Traditions to Lead Us Closer to the Savior


White Mountain Puzzles Christmas Traditions – 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle





Start planning your memorable holiday season today by downloading these FREE printables:

** 50 Simple Holiday Traditions**

**Our Favorite Holiday Traditions Checklist (Fall/Winter)**

The traditions ideas will inspire you, the checklist will help keep your plans organized.

Click here to download your FREE Holiday Planner!



If you found this post encouraging, please share it on social media for others to enjoy!


Currently linking up with other bloggers here.



Subscribe to our FREE newsletter!

* indicates required



Holiday Traditions



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: