Everyone love traditions, right? And Christmas time seems to be the one holiday full of them. Feel free to comment some awesome traditions your family does each year. Here are some of ours:
1. Every year my mom makes a Christmas ornament that symbolizes what the most important event was that year (baby's birth, moving, a family vacation...). She's done this since I was 3. She made ten to a dozen of the ornaments so that when each child got married they took 2 of each set with them (it was her bridal shower gift to me, and I loved it! She even typed up a description of each ornament and what meaning was behind it). She still makes ornaments every year, so I chose to make ornaments for my family to hand down to my kids of really big events in our lives. I made one set the first year we were married, when each of our kids were born, and when we bought our first house. This way your kiddos won't have a bare tree their first Christmas on their own.
2. Advent Calendar or Leighs. Wish I had a picture. Each day my kiddos (and my husband and I) get a piece of candy and a piece of paper with a Christmas activity listed on it to accomplish that day(wear jingle bells on your shoelaces, call your Grandma and sing a Christmas song, Ding dong ditch a plate of goodies...).
3. We give one gift to each of us Christmas Eve. It's usually the classic pajamas. But I've added a new children's book for each of our kiddos to go with the PJs. We read each one before they go to bed Christmas Eve.
4. Read stories of Jesus each night of December. We try to stay focused on the reason for the season. Especially now that our kids are getting older.
5. Build a snowman and/or go sledding if there's snow. The first day it snows for the winter season we buy powdered donuts and have them for dessert that night. Then the next day we try to go play in the snow as a family.
6. We give eachother only 3 gifts Christmas day. The wisemen brought Jesus 3 gifts and as a reminder each of us only get 3 gifts.
7. Christmas Eve we drive around to look at the lights with hot cocoa while we listen to Christmas music. (We give the kiddos sturdy sippy cups while in the car)
8. We make treats and take them to our friends and neighbors. Sometimes we ding dong ditch them with a note like: From your neighbors or From members of your church. This way they know it's safe to eat.
9. We set a rule the first Christmas we had a child that we would just spend the time as our little family. This is a hard one, but it allows us to really spend time with our kids and enjoy the day without having to drive lots. We make sure we celebrate Christmas with our extended family on the day after or the weekend before Christmas though.
10. One of my favorite traditions is a romantic candle light dinner with my husband after the kids go to bed Christmas Eve. We feed the kids a Christmas tree pizza (homemade of course, cuz where would you find Christmas tree shaped pizza dough) and we save our appetite for after they go to bed. We listen to some Bing Crosby Christmas music, light some candles, and have crablegs and lobster (our one night of the year we really splurge on a dinner for just us). We crack open a bottle of Sparkling Cider and toast to a wonderful year and to eachother and to our beautiful children who are dreaming about tomorrow.
We have more traditions, but these are our unique ones or my favorites. I would love to hear what your family does each year!!! Merry Christmas!