One of my favorite Christmas traditions is to bake a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas Eve and decorate it with the kids. I usually try to make a multi-layer round cake, and when the kids were young I would dye the layers red and green. The taller the better! The kids would decorate it with all kinds of Christmas candy and it was usually a delicious and glorious mess.

The kids have gotten older and now we make fancier, more grown up cakes. They are not as messy, still delicious, but somehow a little less glorious. There is just something about little fingerprints in the frosting that makes it better.

This cake is usually the centerpiece of our family Christmas desserts. It’s a great reminder that the whole reason we are together is to celebrate HIS birthday.

Another tradition we have is to read the Christmas story from the Bible (Luke 2). When the kids were little we would use their preschool Bibles. Now that my parents live close by, it’s usually my dad who reads it. Last year, we added candles. Again, it causes us to stop and remember the day our Savior was born—together.

We have favorite ornaments that we put on the tree every year. And I love to get the little “preschool” nativity out every year. So many things remind us of the birth of our Savior.

As a young mom I was so busy during the Christmas holidays. With four kids there were unending Christmas programs, classroom parties, teacher gifts to make, and Christmas pictures to be taken. The schedule was overwhelming and there were many years that I wanted to skip over the more “meaningful” aspects of Christmas.

Now that my kids are older and they love the traditions, I’m so glad that I didn’t. Even the things that would normally be corny to my teenagers somehow seem okay when it’s Christmas. Some of the memories are hilarious and some are emotional. But they are things that are unique to our family. These traditions communicate that we belong together. They allow us to focus on the important things in the midst of the chaos.

As the kids get older, they are the things that matter most.

So, don’t let the crazy of the Christmas season smother out the traditions that allow you to celebrate our Savior. Don’t miss this opportunity to create your most treasured memories.