Our final category in the Christmas Books for your Bride series is for the “Memory Maker.”
Tell-tale signs that your wife might fit into this category: At some time during the year, the dining room table resembles a scrapbooking store, with photos and pretty papers decorating every flat surface. She sometimes forgets to pack diapers in the diaper bag, but always remembers the camera. She remembers all the dates and details of your courtship, and knows off the top of her head how many years you’ve been married. Without having to do the math.
All joking aside, there is a memory maker in each one of your wives. Whether she records memories in a scrapbook or in her heart, your wife treasures the days and years of your family. As children of God, we realize that our days here on earth are numbered, and the holidays are a meaningful time for God to teach us to “number our days,” that we might consider His work and “glorious power” in our families (Ps 90).
So we have just one book recommendation to close out our series. Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noël Piper includes helpful ideas for Christmas traditions, yes. But it also drives the heart of every tradition to the Cross.
I think the foreword, by John Piper, is a beautiful picture of God at work in shaping a family’s traditions:
“Treasuring God in our Traditions is exactly the right title for this book. God is the treasure of our lives. We see him in everything. We believe with all our hearts that ‘from him and through him and to him are all things.’ He gets the glory; we get the joy. My job has been to articulate the vision in writing. Noël has shaped a family around it. Now she turns that work into words.”
In God’s abundant grace, He has equipped Dr. Piper to teach and lead his family, and He has encouraged Noël to help teach their children how to treasure the truth that their dad was teaching. As she describes in the book,
“Now although we cannot bequeath God to our children, we can help them know him and understand him in ways that prepare them to believe in his name. ‘Everyday’ and ‘especially’ traditions in a family are an important part of that teaching, of picturing who God is and what he’s done in our home and in the world. Traditions are a vital way of displaying our greatest treasure, of showing what – Who – is most important to us.”
Noël shows how her family has done this in both the everyday and the holiday. A few ideas for Christmas include:
- Helpful thoughts and practical ideas on looking forward to Christmas at advent.
- Teaching the biblical story in a hands-on way with manger scenes, “Jesus Trees,” and other symbols.
- Giving to others in the name of Jesus (Matthew 25:40).
Because Noël’s book is not new, chances are your wife may already own a copy. But maybe your home is a little like ours, where we have read the book and admired the ideas, but primarily just floated through December without being too purposeful in our family traditions.
So this year, instead of walking into the kitchen announcing his own Christmas gift, Tony delivered a meaningful Christmas gift to me and our children by simply asking the question, “What ways can we teach our children to treasure Christ during this season?” Standing in the kitchen over coffee, we were able to talk through the traditions that we feel would help our children to see God in the midst of wrapping paper and bows. Tony’s leadership in this area was a precious gift to me.
We count it a joy to pray for you, that God will give you wisdom in caring for your wife and leading your family this Christmas. Thank you for joining us for this series, and may God be glorified in your homes all year!
Find the rest of the series here: