Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Traditions

Christmas has always been my most favorite time of the year.  This year I am even more excited, if that is possible.  ;)  I have been planning lots of fun Christmas traditions to start with our little family.

To start the Christmas season off, we decorated the tree together as a family while enjoying Christmas music.  Most years we do this after Thanksgiving, but I just couldn't wit this year.  Our family room was just begging for a Christmas tree.  ;)

A tradition that my mom started was to purchase new Christmas ornaments every year that are dated. This is Nolin's third Christmas, so I added to her collection.  It is Harris' first Christmas, so he got his very first ornament.

Since the Christmas season is about giving, we are starting teaching the kids at a young age the importance of giving to others.  So every year after Thanksgiving, we plan to go through our toys, clothes, & more to donate to charity.  We had a carload to donate this year!  When the kids are a little older, we hope to spend some time volunteering for Thanksgiving - possibly a soup kitchen.  Each year we also plan to have Nolin & Harris shop for a child in need, so we can make someone else's Christmas a little bit brighter.

When I was growing up, my mom always gave us one present on Christmas Eve & somehow it always turned out to be pajamas!  So I am continuing this tradition also, but with a few changes.  The kids received a Christmas season gift on December 1st.  This gift was their Christmas pajamas & a candy cane.  This allows them to enjoy their pajamas the entire season.  It was also a fun way for me to get some cute Christmas pictures.

During Christmas Eve we will enjoy driving around & looking at Christmas lights & we will also open a family gift.  The family gift will be something we can all do together as a family.  This year the family gift is a fort building kit, or as Nolin would call it, a circus tent. :)  I am so excited to build it together!

On Christmas morning the kids will get to see their stockings first.  My favorite part of Christmas morning has always been the stockings.  Our presents were always under the tree for a while, but the stockings were always left for the morning.  Nothing was wrapped, so you could immediately see all of the goodies.  As a child (& even now) my stocking stuffers were things like chapstick, gift cards, candy, socks, etc.  To me, those were the best gifts!  I'm looking forward to Nolin & Harris checking out their stockings first thing on Christmas morning.

When it comes to presents under the tree, we have decided to stick to four gifts for each child every year -- something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read.  We are fortunate enough to be able to get what we need & often what we really want all year round, so there is no need in going overboard with gifts at Christmas.

Our Christmas Day will end with a family movie, hot cocoa, cookies, & cuddles.


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