Recently I’ve noticed that people have been sharing their Christmas traditions on blogs. Well, naturally, I thought I’d do the same! 😉
As I thought of our traditions, I separated them into three categories. We have ones that are almost always done (traditions!), sometimes done, and new ones.
Almost Always Traditions
–Christmas cards: It all started in 2009 when I decided that it would be fun to send out a Christmas newsletter to friends and family. I continued it again in 2010 and that was that. I stopped sending a Christmas newsletter since then, and instead opt to send photo cards. And of course, being the family “historian”, I save it all in an album.
–Lord of the Rings: I’m not quite sure how this tradition started, but Brian and I watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy as we set up for Christmas. I think it was because I gave him an arbitrary “deadline” to finish decorating our Christmas tree by the time the last movie finished (approximately 12 hours). Since having kids, we reserve watching it in the evening when they’re sleeping. Because nothing says holiday season than a quest to destroy the one ring!
–Advent Book: I saw this on Pinterest forever ago and incorporated it into our household. We wrap all the Christmas books we have and then the children open a book each night to count down. This is the first year where we finally have enough books to make a calendar. (I used to wait until the day after Christmas sales and stop in the bookstores to pick up more books to add to the collection. Also another tip would be to wrap the books as you clean up this year so that next year it’ll be all set up!)
–Lottery tickets: When we celebrated Christmas with my family, we pick up lottery tickets. Instead of stocking stuffer type of presents, we had so much fun scratching the tickets together in hopes of winning big! Usually we came out even on what we spent, and gave all the winnings to my mom!
–Christmas light tour: Back in Richmond, there were so many amazing tacky light tours. We would load up the car with holiday drinks from Starbucks and a GPS mapped out route to check out the amazing lights. Now, we load up the kids in the stroller and walk around the neighborhood. I miss this tradition the most and the one I associate with Virginia.
–Decorating food: I’m not a big stickler about this. I only do this if my children ask for it. The year before last we decorated a gingerbread train. Last year we didn’t do any food decorating. This year Bunny requested that we decorate cookies for Santa!
–Pictures with Santa: If it happens, it happens. I don’t feel like it has to be done, but the times we’ve met Santa have been wonderful.
We just started these this year, so I have no idea if they will fade away into the background or be incorporated into our holiday season from here on out. I’m considering adding them to our routine, but of course, remain flexible.
–Lego advent calendar: This year we went with the Lego City and while my kids don’t quite have all of the motor skills to build it, they love the results and look forward to it each day. I think Bunny will be ready next year to do it on her own while Nagini will still need some help.
–The Nutcracker: This was so special. Last week I took Bunny to see The Nutcracker. She was enthralled and only started to “melt down” the last 10 minutes of the show. And by melt down, I mean she was asking to go home. No sobbing or tears. (Tip: Make sure they take a nap sometime during the day for an evening performance!) After the show she got to take photos with some of the performers and it was so cool. I let her pick out a Nutcracker ornament, and when we got home, I wrote in Sharpie on the bottom of it the year and her first show. I think it would be cool to go every year and buy one to create a collection. I told Brian that he could get away with not going for another year, but in 2017, it’s going to be a family date as Nagini will be old enough to attend as well!
–Yearly Ornaments: I went back and forth on this, but I’m not that far “behind” in that it’s impossible to catch up to do. I want to buy our kids one ornament to represent something about their year. So, for example, this year Nagini was all about Cinderella, so we got her a Cinderella ornament. I’d like to get them a special container to keep all their things so that once they are older they will have a set of ornaments to take with them. I have all the previous years mapped out, I just need to buy some of them!
NEVER EVER Traditions
–Elf on a Shelf: Just…no. 🙂
Whew! I think that’s about all our holiday traditions for the year. Nothing is set in stone, but it definitely helps guide me on what I want to celebrate during the season.
What traditions do you incorporate into your holiday?