Let me count the ways I love the Swiggart family. One of the things I think of first when I think of them is how they are a family. How being a family and loving one another matters most to them. I think of Paige and this sweet as sugar woman surrounded by all boys (they better, one day far from now, give her lots of girl grandbabies!). This family enjoys life and one another. You would never know by meeting them that Jason is on the head leadership team at our church, no pretension in this family! You will feel so loved by them the minute you meet them, like you've always been a part of the family. I have loved over the years hearing each of them share stories and learning how you can be intentional with your family without being over-intentional. Do you know what I mean? where you miss what you are doing because you are so focused on doing it. Meet the woman of the family, Paige Swiggart.
What has been 1-3 of your favorite Christmas traditions as a family?
1. "S'mores @ the Swiggarts:" We started doing this years ago when we moved to a new house and wanted to reach out to our neighbors on a cul de sac and thought Christmas was the perfect time! We made invitations and the boys (we have 3 sons) delivered them to all the houses on the street. We picked a night and had a fire pit in front of our house and everyone came over and roasted s'mores, had hot chocolate, the kids ran and played and we loved on our neighbors.
2. The Houston's First Christmas store! What an awesome thing to experience as a family and neat to stand back and watch our boys over the years... letting them pick which area to serve in... we are always MOST blessed!
3. Christmas baking day... YES, even boys love to bake! :) And since I love baking much more than cooking dinner that's a really fun thing for this mama. It always involves sugar cookies, lots of icing, lots of sprinkles, and my guys are REALLY creative. doing a gingerbread house as well is always a hit. We have loved taking cookies to our local fire department and blessing those we are so, so gateful for! We make a Christmas Breakfast Ring every year that you put together Christmas Eve right before bedtime and it is ready to bake in the morning. It is so yummy and a fav of the Swiggart men :)
What has been 1-3 of your biggest regrets about the holidays?
Being too busy and not slowing down. Attempting to balance lots of fun really great activities with being intentional in what we choose... unfortunately busyness wins out more than we would like it to. We have learned busyness does not allow for spontaneity!
Do/did you do Santa? Share reasons and what you'd do different. If you didn't, how did you explain it to your kid so they weren't "that kid?" If you did, how did you explain that Santa wasn't real and did it break their trust in you?
As children, Jason and i both grew up in homes that Santa came down the chimney every year. So out of our own experiences, we also "do santa"! Our kids have just naturally found out and it has been a non-issue. It has not caused mistrust and has not affected our relationships at all or in any other areas of their lives. (shhhhhhh our youngest might still possibly 'believe.') While we feel it is a fun, whimsical PART of Christmas, it has never been our focus and we have been very intentional in keeping that balanced.
How do you do gifts for your kids? Others?
With gifts we are intentional as well trying to pass on to our boys the great joy and blessing of being "givers". This is best done again by focusing on the greatest Gift ever given and we pray an overflow of our hearts to find ways to love, serve and give to others and those the Lord impresses on us individually or as a family. We have a large extended family so years ago we went to a family "draw" for gifts and then several years later decided to just do a kid/cousin gift draw- which the kids love (even a white elephant with the whole family one year- what a blast). And then we do gifts for our immediate family and jason and I love doing each others stockings.
The first gift Jason gave me when we were dating was a nativity so when we got married I decided I would love to collect nativities. It has been very special to enjoy them as a family and share with others in our home as some have been gifts from friends and some from other countries. We also get a Christmas ornament when we go on a trip and each year as we decorate the tree it is fun to reminisce on sweet memories... the first one was from our honeymoon.
Being together as a family is the greatest gift in the world and we cherish the time He gives us. As the boys have gotten older it has been neat to ask them what has been most special and memorable for them at Christmas. And we love letting them be involved in deciding on ways to give and share Christ. Sometimes as parents I think we can force our desires, traditions on our children and the biggest joy and blessing is learning from THEM!
Have a very merry Christmas!
Paige and Jason Swiggart live in Houston with their 3 boys: Chambers, Preston and Harrison. They both work at their church, Houston's First. (Paige isn't on Facebook, but if you'd like to contact her just email me and I'll get y'all connected.)