When you have young children, it's kind of hard as parents to come together on what types of Christmas Tradition ton instill upon your kids. Jake and I grew up very similar, but very different all at the same time. We grew up with different traditions, so its nice now that they are kind of old enough to be able to start our own as a family. So, here are some traditions I would like to start:
I did footprint and handprint ornaments last year. This year, I attempted to do this fabulous ornament from asortoffairytale, but it was a complete disaster. Next on my list in the snowman one. I am going to attempt to do an ornament with the kids every year. Next year they will have their "own tree", so this is where we will put on all their special ornaments.
The Read-Aloud Advent Calendar
I did it this year, and LOVED it. I loved that they got to open up a Christmas book each day leading up to Christmas. Plus, they learned about it, and we read that boy that day. It has been wonderful!
Other Advent Calendar
My friend Maggie also did another advent calendar this year where each day held a craft, charitable act, or Christmas related activity to do. Loved it!!
This will be a yearly tradition as well for us. I went while pregnant. I then went last year when the babies were almost one, and we went again this year. I can totally see this being a yearly thing. Plus, next year they will be old enough to see the ICE exhibit, and do some other"older" kid things.
We will always sen these out every year, of course, but I read about another neat thing to do. Each year, their parents send a Christmas Card to the children. I love this because I hardly ever keep all of mine. This way they have their own Christmas Card with a special note from their parents. They as they grow up, they will have each year's card to keep forever. May start this one next year!
I see myself really getting into baking. I would love to do gingerbread houses and decorate cookies with the kids. My mom always made fudge and chex mix growing up.
Riding the Polar Express
I am going to do this next year. We have a train that runs from Nashville to Lebanon and back. The kids will love this story, and Santa is on the train and the read the book, and it's a very magical experience!
Okay, so we haven't done it this year, but I remember always receiving a new pair of Christmas PJs from my grandmother every year. I think its neat to get a new pair every year for Christmas :)
My kids will learn to love Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and of course, The Sound of Music (because it always come son at Christmastime!)
We usually do a couple of Angel Tree children every year. One thing I will absolutely instill upon my children is the gift of charitable giving. My kids are, what I assume, spoiled. I can only say that because they have more now that I ever did my entire childhood. Are they really spoiled? No. But, they have and never will go without. I think its very important for them to know how very blessed and lucky they are. And how so many families aren't as fortunate. We will always do Angel Tree. I would even like to take it a step further and go through another organization to "adopt" a family, so they know the kids and know how much they are helping that family have a wonderful Christmas. There are many charitable organization out there during this time of year. Every little bit helps, and its humbling to know that I could always do more. Other things include going to local nursing homes and delivering cookies or cards, and/or doing the same for the Children's Hospital.
I would like to start going to Christmas Eve service at church. We went when I was pregnant, only because we were here and I wasn't allowed to travel. There is a possibility of us going this year, but it's still up in the air. Jake's family always went growing up. And there is something so magical and spiritual about Christmas Music on Christmas Eve
We are absolutely doing Santa. I think that is the magic of the season, the ability to believe in magic. I love the tradition, and love Santa. I am kind of sad that I don't believe in Santa anymore :(
Some friends of mine do three gifts from Mom and Dad to the kids. No more. They tie it into the Nativity Story because the wise men only brought three presents to the birth of Jesus. I really like that, and it's a good way to separate the birth of Jesus from Santa and for them to learn about both, and see the importance of Christmas. We may even open these "special" presents on Christmas Eve. Nothing big, of course, just small, meaningful things.
Elf on a Shelf.
Love this little guy. He will be coming back for sure :)
What traditions are you doing/or want to start? Would love anymore ideas you have!!