Christmas Traditions

I love Christmas.  No, really I do.  I love the lights.  I love the little details.  I love the Christmas cards.  I love the smell.  I love the shopping, duh.  I love the nativity.  I love the decor.  I love the recipes.  I love the music.  I love the clothes.  I love the elves.  I love the FEEL.  I love the wrapping.  I love the meaning.  I love spending time with family.  I love Santa.  I love the made for TV movies.  I love the kids excitement.  I love the thoughtfulness.  I love baby Jesus.  I love the tradition.

Christmas is rooted in so much tradition.  The story of Saint Nicholas reaches far back and is more than just spoiling children.  St. Nick was a good, holy, generous man who lived his life a Jesus taught us.  If you are not familiar with the story of St. Nick, read about him here.  We are all familiar with the story of Jesus' birth but I try to take time leading up to Christmas day to really reflect on the miracle of Christmas.

As a family of two small children we are in the process of creating our own traditions.  As a child I always loved having an advent calendar.  It was never anything fancy, just a basic little card that we opened each night, but it was something I looked forward to.  In that spirit, I wanted to create an advent tradition that would teach our kids about the advent season while also giving them something to look forward to.  There are so many advent ideas on Pinterest, but I loved the idea of a book advent calendar.  I began collecting Christmas books in early November.  Vivi and Cade both enjoyed having a new bedtime story every night.  A few of our favorites are God Gave Us Christmas, That's Not My Santa, and Jingle Bugs.

Of course, we also started the The Elf on the Shelf tradition this year.  Vivi really loves our elf, Elfie but I think next year it will be more age appropriate.  I also hope that I can be a little bit more creative about where Elfie shows up each morning!  Jen McKen Photography and The Party Dress both have some super creative and easy ideas!

I love decorating for Christmas.  Each year I have to mentally remind myself that there is a season for Christmas and not become premature with the decor.  That being said my Christmas is put up on the day after Thanksgiving.  My husband usually spends that weekend at the ranch deer hunting, so it is a great way to spend the weekend with the kids.  Inside baking, listening to Christmas music, and putting up the Christmas cheer.  This year we also gave the kids a tree in their playroom.  You can catch a glimpse of our Christmas Decor here and here.

Our Christmas Eve traditions are in the making.  Growing up we would always have a grand Christmas breakfast complete with dutch babies, sausage, bacon, fruit, orange juice and coffee.  It has always been my favorite breakfast.  As such, I have altered that tradition to fit our family and now we enjoy the bounty on Christmas Eve.  A perfect way to begin the family filled day, baking cookies for Santa and listening to our favorite Christmas tunes.  Later that day we attend Christmas Mass, followed by dinner and gifts with my husbands paternal family.  We have started drawing names, which I prefer.  It simplifies the Christmas shopping and allows us to put real thought into the gifts.

Christmas morning will be extra special this year.  It is the first year that we will have Christmas in our house with a tree and a toddler that is over the moon excited about everything Christmas.  I cannot wait to see her face when she discovers that Santa ate the cookies she made him.  Or spots what he left her under the tree.  Or uncovers what little goodies are in her stocking.  Or when she opens her gifts from family.  I cannot wait to see her little face when she helps Cade open his presents.  Or sees her cousins at Trey's parents house for Christmas Breakfast.  Or savors Christmas lunch with Trey's maternal family.  Or snuggles on the couch for Christmas movie night.  I am looking forward to spending the whole weekend as a family.  Although we have a lot of places to go, people to see, sports to watch, and food to eat, we will be doing it all together.

How will you be spending your Christmas weekend?  What Christmas traditions do you look forward to?

1 comment:

  1. great post!!

    my traditions include lots of champagne in front of the fireplace and frank sinatra on the stereo!



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