Wednesday, December 9, 2015

12 Christmas Traditions Your Kids Won't Forget

Christmas is a special time of year. People have a different spirit about them. They're happy, cheerful, even loving. The majority of my childhood memories come from Christmastime. It's special, but it's also BUSY! I love the hustle and bustle of the season. With the world's materialistic view on the holiday, it's easy to get caught up in the gifts and the stress of needing to be a million places at once.

My parents always made sure we knew the true meaning of this season: Christ. Even though we celebrate Him all year long, this season is special, set aside to celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Now that I have a family of my own, I look forward to the starting Christmas traditions with my family that they will remember forever.

12 Christmas Traditions for the Kids

Decorating the tree- Ever since I can remember, we've decorated our Christmas tree on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I carried on the tradition my parents started when Justin and I got married. It's one of my favorite days of the year.

Christmas Lights- I absolutely love to see a house that's all decorated with lights. Brooks loves to look at lights so this is a favorite for me as well. Last year we went to the Lights of the South light display. It was the most beautiful light display I've ever seen. They even has a castle completely made of lights. Brooks was so little. I can't wait to go bath this year to see how he reacts.

Pre-Christmas Purge- This is a new one for me this year. I don't think I ever realized how much "stuff" comes with having a child. I'm sure someone told me but holy cow! A friend told me a while back that their elf came with a letter telling the kids to pack up all of the toys they have outgrown or never use anymore to give to a child who's less fortunate. This is the same for us adults. I have a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear. Know the feeling? My plan for my first day of the Christmas break is to purge. I'm excited to start the holiday season and the new year with a little less clutter.

Elf on the Shelf/Kindness Elf- This is my first year using the Elf in my classroom. I haven't used it at home yet. Brooks is too young to make it fun. We're undecided on if we'll use Elf on the Shelf or the Kindness Elf concept at home.

24 Books of Christmas (or however many you choose)- I started collecting Christmas books last year. Every night we read a Christmas book. I don't have 24 books yet. Books can be expensive. If you buy them early and throughout the year, it doesn't seem that bad. Hopefully I'll have a complete 24 book collection by next year.

Cookies and Hot Chocolate- I love to bake, but I really love it during the Christmas season. I don't want to wish Brooks' little years away, but I'm excited to have him "help" me make Christmas cookies.

Polar Express- This is another one on my bucket list of traditions. We watch the Polar Express movie every year anyway (while we enjoy our cookies and hot chocolate:), but I'd love to make a yearly trip to ride the Polar Express Train.

You've Been Elfed!- I'm not sure if this is an original idea or if I saw it somewhere. It's a spin off of the You've Been Boo'd at Halloween. I'm trying it this year.. we'll see how it goes. I can see it being a blast when Brooks is older.

Christmas Eve Gift- As kids, my sisters and I would BEG my parents to open just one gift on Christmas Eve. They would let the excitement build until the last minute when they finally gave in. The catch was- they got to choose the present we opened. This year we're starting a Christmas Eve gift with some Christmas pajamas, a new movie or book, and a sweet treat.

Christmas Sleepover- The parents can't have all the fun, right? Brooks' Grandparents can hardly wait to start this sleepover tradition.

Picture with Santa- Need I say more?

The Christmas Story- LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST! I love Christmas and I have a lot of favorite traditions that I share with my family, but nothing warms my heart more than hearing or reading the story of the first Christmas. Before the gifts are touched, we all sit around and someone reads from the book of Luke (or Matthew- your choice). The story of the Greatest Gift ever given or received. Don't let the true meaning of CHRISTmas slip away.

Do you have special traditions you share with your family? Leave a comment! 

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