Friday, December 4, 2009

Post One ... Traditions

Back in October I gave a Christmas idea . . . GIVE WATER!
Since then I've promised several of you I'd post on some Christmas ideas and traditions.
In our bible study today we all shared one of our favorite traditions.
Love to hear all the ideas.
I'm going to break this up into TWO posts.

I'm also going do something I've never done . . . . A GIVE AWAY!!!
To be in the drawing for the giveaway all you have to do is post a comment on my blog.
I'd love to hear a tradition or activity you are doing this year or you can just leave your name.
Those of you who get my blog posts by email have to get on the actual blog and post a comment too.
I'll draw a lucky winner TUESDAY morning!
The winner will get the book, (click on it to view it)
"The ADVENTure of Christmas - Helping Children Find Jesus in our Holiday Traditions
I got this book several years ago and love it!
It helps you see how you can point out the real meaning of Christmas in the typical traditions that many of us have. Great resource!!

I love all the Christmas Traditions.
To be honest, I do a lot of extras this time of year - but I keep it simple and it's anything but perfect.
I think the teacher in me just comes out.
It's fun!
To take the stress out of it I make a long list of all the "holiday" things I want to do.  This is like the mom form of a lesson plan! ha!
I make the list before December (remember I told you I was a list freak) of all the things I really want to make sure and do. The rest is just not done!  Why do something b/c someone else does it? There are no obligations here! Maybe your list will only have 4 things on it.  Pick what you love and your kids love and enjoy it!
I was starting my list this year when I read the best idea in "Family Fun" magazine.
They suggested doing one thing each day and using that as your countdown to Christmas from Dec. 1. 
Our advent calendar has pockets so each night I have picked something off of my list and put in in the pocket for the kids to read the next day.   I do it nightly so I haven't locked myself into some big project that I'm just not up for that day.  It varies from time consuming things like decorate a gingerbread house to read a new Christmas story, color a Christmas picture, or secretly do something nice for someone.   You could even just do 12 days till Christmas or 5 days till Christmas.

Here's a list of Holiday Activities & Traditions
 (Some we've done, some we haven't, some we'll be doing, some we won't! All are ideas I've heard of from magazines, blogs or friends!) 

Decorate a Gingerbread House - get a kit - get ones with the EZ tray - you'll be glad you did. 
(Walmart's does not come with an EZ tray.)
Read a Children's book of the Christmas Story on Christmas Eve
Have a family over to play games and drink hot chocolate
Go look at lights in PJS - in UT we had a Holiday Lights place within minutes. We'd drive through with the Polar Express Music blaring.
Sleep around the Christmas Tree
Challenge another family in a snowball fight
Decorate Sugar Cookies (you can buy the dough with precut cookies at Walmart)
Take treats to neighbors
Read a portion of the Christmas story each year
Color a Christmas Picture
Eat dinner around the Christmas Tree with dim lights and the tree lights on
Watch a Christmas movie
Make a birthday cake for Jesus birthday
Go sledding - all three years in UT we built our own sled in the front yard! Best sledding ever!
Fondue with your kids
Read a new Christmas book - I take down all our normal books and put up all our Christmas ones to display
Go caroling
Host a kid birthday party for Jesus
Let them decorate their own tree.
Wrap presents together
Go shopping at the Dollar Store and have siblings shop for each other.
Wear new jammies on Christmas Eve
Give them a new ornament to hang on the tree
Limit yourself to giving three gifts to each child symbolizing the three gifts Jesus received
Attend a Christmas Eve service or Christmas concert
Make Ornaments - even just simple snowflakes
Set up a child's nativity set to play with
Make snowman pizza - you can use a pizza kit and just divide up the dough for each kid
Look for local activities in your area
Participate in a variety of giving opportunities!
I'll end with one of my FAVORITE traditions that we have at our place.
Jason and I take an entire day to shop together!
Usually in the early days of December.
We've done it every year but one since having kids.
Cindy Bartel (from Fairview) offered this day to us back on Ian's first Christmas.
She did it every year for us while living in Oklahoma.
She started this tradition for us!!
Thanks Cindy, we love you!
We eat at yummy places and enjoy a day together
we tackle the shopping!
This year we got 99% done.
All but one gift to buy online.
I love this tradition for so many reasons.
I love the day with Jason.
I love the break from the kids.
I love Jason's help with picking out stuff.
I love to shop!!!
and I love crossing things off my list!
But best of all,
this day allows me to then enjoy all the festivities/activities/ and traditions without constantly thinking about STUFF!! I feel like I focus less on consumerism this way.

Merry Christmas!
Enjoy all the festivities!
Don't forget to leave a comment to enter the drawing for the giveaway!


Sweet Pea said...

Love your post. So many great ideas! Brad and I were just talking last week about wanting to start our very own traditions with Hunter. Growing up my family had a night where we all gathered in the kitchen and made our favorite candy. The kitchen was a mess and we bumped into each other all night long but it was always a great time. Then we would take a little of everyone's candy and make candy tray gifts for our teachers at school.

Hayley said...

The advent calendar was by far my favorite. My brother and I still, to this day, love to turn over the new day. We had to take turns every day. Mom made it years and years ago, and it doesn't have activities or goodies that go with it, just a different character of the Nativity each day and Baby Jesus is on the 25th.

Sara W said...

I always enjoy doing an advent calendar with my boys. We've never done the same one twice - I'm still looking for one I really like. It is so fun to anticipate each day what the activity or lesson will be.

Cindy Bartel said...

In 1986, my mother-in-law gave me a Santa(creamer), Mrs.Santa(sugar bowl) and two elves(salt&pepper shakers). They sit out every Christmas. At some point before Christmas Day, Mrs. Santa is filled with candy. My four boys no longer live at home, but, to this day, they always check Mrs. Santa for candy when they arrive home for Christmas. Last year I was able to give each of our boys their OWN set of Santa, Mrs. Santa and elves. I didn't know how they would react to the gift, but it ended up being the best gift they received. Now they can carry on the tradition with their children!

Heidi said...

We share a lot of the same traditions! Just a few things we do Christmas jammies on Christmas Eve, birthday cake for Jesus, looking at Christmas lights (although we won't do it this year- very few people put up Christmas lights in England), making christmas cookies together and reading our favourite Christmas themed books during December. We miss you guys!!

Lisa said...

Great ideas! Hearing all of them makes me excited for the next few weeks. We're looking forward to starting a new tradition this year with a birthday cake for Jesus. We love driving around to look at lights in our jammies on Christmas eve. We too love taking a day and getting the Christmas shopping done. This year, I had to do it by myself though. Wasn't nearly as much fun.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...