I know, I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. . .and seeing the word “Christmas” may trigger a mix of excitement and terror.

My goal in this episode is to help prepare you. To empower you in sharing with your kids the good news of God taking on flesh and dwelling among us. To help you create meaningful family traditions that your kids can  pass on to the next generation.

Today’s guest is my good friend, Jacki Rucksdashel, author of the Jesse Tree Project. She is a mom to two amazing kids, a former classical education teacher and a darling, godly woman.

Jacki and I chat about the value of creating Biblically-based Christmas traditions. Fortunately, there are lots of options these days for families to celebrate Advent.  We’re gonna help you sort through them so you can stay sane in the holiday cray-cray.


Jacki & I encourage you to pick one (maybe two) of the options. And to consider your family’s interests, ages, and values when choosing. We also share personal stories of our “less-than-perfect” attempts at memory making. And how to be realistic when celebrating the holidays with little ones.

Loved this from Jacki, sharing the heart behind this conversation:

Am I teaching my children that Christmas is about busyness?  Or am I teaching my children that Christmas is about sitting at Jesus’s feet, and resting, and enjoying his birth and the fulfilling of the promise? It can get so easy so forget that, even in doing all the good things.

Connect with Jacki:


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What we chat about:

  • Choosing a few, enjoyable traditions for your family, instead of ALL of them
  • Why are Christmas traditions such a big deal, anyway?
  • You can be your family’s first tradition-starter
  • The Jesse Tree Project, and how it’s made especially for families with young children
  • Using children’s anticipation for Christmas to mirror the Bible’s anticipation for a Savior
  • Our own funny stories of how “perfectly planned” traditions turned out…um…less than perfect (i.e.: being realistic)
  • Why it’s a good thing Jesus is NOT like Santa or the Elf on the Shelf
  • Other great tradition starters for young children: Shepard on a Search, Star from Afar, The Giving Manger, Light ‘Em Up
  • How to “mix and match” to find the right fit for your family
  • Setting priorities by reverse-engineering from Dec 26 and what you would consider a (realistic) successful holiday.

Links Mentioned:


**Amazon affiliate link

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