stolen ideas…a good thing.

As the holidays approach, I am faced once again with challenge of making them meaningful–more than just a chance to see family and get stuff. Not that I can “make” them meaningful. They are meaningful because of the realities they represent. My hope is that I can help the meaning to be realized in myself and my family.

So here are some ideas that I’ve taken from others to help us do just that:
1) before eating thanksgiving dinner around the table, remember the things you’re thankful for from the past year. (stolen from my dad)
2) limit gift-giving to three gifts, representing the three gifts of the wise men to Jesus. (stolen from my mother-in-law)
3) reenact the Christmas story in theatrical form with costumes on Christmas morning. (stolen from our dear friends, the Millers)
4) bake a play-dough tomb, with stone to roll away, Jesus, and a wood cross. Place Jesus in the tomb on Good Friday and remove him Sunday morning before kids get up, so they can discover Jesus risen from the dead. (stolen from Noelle Piper’s Treasuring Christ in our Traditions*)

I have given myself permission to unabashedly take traditions and ideas from others in order to enhance our family’s own traditions, with the desire that we will be drawn to what’s really important: Christ coming to earth as a man, crucified for sins and risen to defeat death.

What great ideas have you taken from others and made your own? (original ideas also welcome, with the understanding that we might steal them 🙂

*a book worth owning with a plethora of great ideas to steal.
**stealing ideas while patent pending…a bad thing.