It is the 15th of December and Christmas is just 10 days away! Can you believe it?
I thought a great way to kick off my mini series, My Ten Favorites, was with Christmas Traditions.
I must admit. I love, love traditions. I do have to remind myself not to go overboard and try to do too much. Then they become a chore, not a joy. Here are my personal, favorite Christmas activities. Some of these things we have done for years. While some we have just begun.
1. Watching Miracle on 34th Street on Thanksgiving Eve and having Tom and Jerry’s.
So our first tradition actually starts before Thanksgiving; but it kicks off the holiday season for us. This is my husband’s family tradition that we have carried on. I like both versions of Miracle on 34th Street, so we switch back and forth.
What’s Tom and Jerry’s? A deliciously sweet treat that the Hubs’ dad whips up. It basically tastes like you are drinking cake batter. We actually only do this when we are at my in-law’s house. It’s kinda a Papa thing.
This takes no money and barely any prep. Just whip up the Tom and Jerry’s, sit back and fall asleep while watching a movie!
2. Cutting down our Christmas tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving
Yup, yup, yup. We are die hard, tramp out to a tree farm, pick our tree and cut it down folks. Yes, it’s more expensive; but for us, it’s all about the experience. We’ve been doing this almost our whole married life and now the kids really get excited about it. We do this special day with friends and there are a faithful few who continue to do it with us.
This is a more costly activity and takes more time; but it’s well worth it to us.
3. Doing the Advent calendar with our kids.
I think a lot of us do this. This year is the first year, with Little H being 3, that both kids have really gotten into it.
This activity can be totally free if you choose not to have little “gifts” on each day. The time you spend doing it is totally worthwhile.
4. Christmas PJ’s for the kiddos.
We started this on Little H’s first Christmas. This is actually one of my favorite traditions. I like to give them during the first week of December, so we can enjoy the pj’s all through the Christmas season.
This tradition is definitely one you have to spend some cash on. It doesn’t have to be super expensive, though.
5. Reading one Christmas book a day until Christmas.
This is the second year I’ve done this. This year is even more fun than last.
Ok, so before I explain this I will be honest. This is a time consuming one and can be costly.
I wrap 25 Christmas books in Christmas wrapping, number them and we open up one a day until Christmas to read (starting December 1st).
Yes, I happen to have a lot of Christmas books. Last year I bought 2 new books, I borrowed some from the library and really just had a lot of books from previous years. (Did I mention I was an elementary teacher for 14 years???) This year, I bought no new books and used two from the library. Lulu loved to reread the books (and didn’t even remember all of them). It was all new to Henry and he doesn’t even sit still to listen to all of them. He sure likes to open the presents, though!
If you like this idea; but it seems waaaayyyy too time consuming, here’s a few suggestions:
~ Don’t wrap the books. Put them in a basket and your child/children can pick the book for the day. Or perhaps, you keep the books up on a shelf and take one down each day.
~Don’t do 25 books. Start 12 days before Christmas or 10. This is much easier, especially if you don’t happen to already have a large stash of Christmas books.
~Check books out of the library instead of buying them.
~Buy books from Scholastic. They are often much cheaper.
6. Annual movie night with friends
Easy peasy. Email your friends. Have everyone bring and appetizer to share. Clean your house. Or don’t if they are really good friends. Ask everyone to bring their favorite Christmas movie and vote on the one you’ll watch when everyone arrives. Make your husband come up with a fun Christmas trivia game…… again. Ignore his eye rolling. Play the game with your friends. Sit. Eat. Watch movie. Laugh.
7. Opening one present Christmas Eve
This one needs no explanation.
8. New ornament each year
We did this again this year; but we just do it for the kids. Our tree is getting kind of full. We may have to skip this one next year. I do like getting fun ornaments that reflects my kid’s personalities or something they really like.
If you don’t want to spend any money, you can make an ornament instead.
9. Going to our Church’s Christmas Concert and Christmas Eve service.
This is my favorite tradition. These are on two different nights. Each night is special. Each night gets me focused on my Saviour.
10. Christmas Lights
We are actually doing this tonight with my folks. We have some really great Christmas displays in our town. We bundle up, drive around, listen to Christmas music and enjoy the lights.
Besides the cost of gas, this is fun, easy and free!!!
What about you? What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions? Come back tomorrow when I share my TEN favorite Christmas movies.