Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Traditions

 Picture from here

Christmas is quickly approaching and it's one of my favorite times of year!  When we were kids our traditions consisted of Christmas Eve mass and then going to grandma and grandpa's.  We got to come home and usually got a new pair of PJ's.  Then my sister and I would sleep together in the same bed.  She'd wake up early, and I'd ignore her for as long as possible.  Christmas morning we'd open gifts, and my mom would make a nice big breakfast!  We'd get together with my extended family again and play with my cousins most of the day.  I can't remember any other traditions but I'm going to ask my mom when I visit with her over Thanksgiving.

With all that said, I was trying to start some Christmas traditions with Alex.  I realize that he's young this year and won't really remember much/participate this year.  I was trying to come up with some traditions to start.  Here are some ideas that I've seen.
  1. Elf on the Shelf - I've seen this all over the blog world and I think that this is a great idea once Alex is old enough!
  2. Yearly Ornament - My parents didn't do this for us but I really like the idea of buying an ornament each year.  Then when they move away they have ornaments to bring with them for their tree. 
  3. Cookie Baking - I love making Christmas cookies.  The season always seems to pass to quickly, but I really want to at least have an afternoon of baking each year.
  4. Christmas books Advent Calendar - I initially saw this blogged about here.  I think I'll buy books after Christmas this year (get some on sale) to start next year.  Though, maybe I'll only buy 12 books this year for next and then 12 new ones the year after and do an every other day kind of thing.  I'm sure we'll get some books this year.
  5. Christmas Tree - Making a special day out of putting up the Christmas tree and other decorations.
  6. Christmas Movies - I LOVE watching Christmas movies on TV.  Maybe watching a Christmas movie once a week in December.  (i.e. Elf, The Grinch)
  7. Visiting Santa - Actually I'm kind of on the fence about this one.  Maybe this sounds silly but I don't want him to think that Christmas is just about getting gifts and for some reason standing in the mall forever in lines to tell Santa what you want just doesn't appeal to me.  Call me crazy.
  8. Sleigh Ride/Riding around looking at lights - One thing I like about the season is looking at all of the lights and decorations that people put up.  Here in the south not as many people put up as many lights/decorations as they do in the north (at least in my opinion), but it's still fun to drive around.  And I know that there are lots of Lights on the Lake/Park, etc type places that would be cool too.  The sleigh ride is something I used to do in NY, though that doesn't work as well here in the south.
  9. Giving/Volunteering - I really, really want to stress to Alex (and any other kids we have) that Christmas isn't about getting gifts but it's about giving to people too.  Helping those that are less fortunate (though why does this come up the most during Christmas, we should be doing this all year round!) and just helping the community in general.  Kurt and I have found ways to give over the last few years, we purchase gifts for the kids on the trees at the mall or volunteer at the Food Banks.
  10. Meaning of the Season - With all that said, it's not about Santa or any of that for the true meaning of Christmas.  I don't usually blog about religion, but Christmas is really about the birth of Jesus Christ and that's what we're truly celebrating and we need to remember this the whole season long, not just by going to church on Christmas/Christmas Eve.
What traditions do you and your families have?  Any that you would suggest adding/doing, etc?  What are your favorite Christmas books/movies?


  1. I love all of these ideas! I definitely want to do elf on a shelf too! We're going to do the Christmas book advent calendar. I bought some books this year and hope to complete the collection next year.

  2. I love all your ideas! I'm definitely going to do the yearly ornament and I already picked one out for Connor this year. Since I'm Jewish, I also want him to get a dreidel every year that I'll label with the year on it.

  3. This is a good list! I'm not sure what traditions we will implement yet, but I'm excited to start some this year!

  4. You have a really great list! I feel like I haven't really had any Christmas traditions since I moved out of my parents house about a decade ago. Nothing is the same now that my parents moved and I don't have my childhood home to go back to. But next year, once we purchase a house, we will finally be able to go get our first Christmas tree together as a couple, which I'm really looking forward to as our first real tradition.

  5. I love all these traditions. We're still trying to figure out what kinds of things we liked doing as a child to incorporate into our baby's life. Luckily we have another year to think about it. I still can't believe next Christmas I'll have a 7 month old baby!


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