Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Creating Christmas Traditions

Growing up I didn't have as many Christmas traditions with my grandparents that raised me. Unfortunately they got the short-end of the stick around the holidays. I was busy going around to all my other family and working with their schedules that Joan and Papa (my grandparents who raised me) really didn't have the opportunity to create much of a tradition. Some years I would barely be home on Christmas day.

When Daniel and I got married I was determined to start some traditions and create some boundaries for our family. Over time our traditions have changed and grown with our little family. I thought I would share some of the traditions we are creating and that are evolving!

1. Get a real Christmas tree. We bought a 4 foot artificial tree the Christmas before we got married (perfect for apartment living). But once Landry once born we knew we wanted a full size tree and we decided to get a real one. I love the smell of a fresh tree in the house! I hope in the future that we will add cutting our own tree to our tradition.

2. Attend our town's Christmas Parade. I love feeling like we are plugged into our community. I jump at every chance to participate in town wide events. Our town's parade is at night and Landry loves seeing the floats with all the lights and the fire trucks.

3. Send out Christmas cards. My favorite Christmas cards to receive are ones with actual pictures of the family sending them. So I love sending out cards with a little snapshot of our family.

4. Buy gifts for a child Landry's age. I want Landry to grow up knowing that the true meaning of Christmas is giving with love. This year we bought presents for a girl Landry's age at the nursery where we volunteer. Landry and I went and picked out all her toys and even though Landry struggled with wanting to keep a few things it was a great experience.

5. Stay home on Christmas Day. Since being married Daniel and I have spent every Christmas at home. We do not go to any family's houses. It was so important for me to start that tradition from the get go. I love that we can have a day at our house every year.

6. Chinese takeout on Christmas night. We usually have some family come visit us on Christmas day and have a tasty Christmas lunch. But come Christmas night I do not want any more holiday-ish food and Chinese is the only thing open. We call it in and take home and have a Chinese food feast while watching movies.

7. Stick to 4 gift rule. The 4 gift rule is Something I Need, Something I Want, Something to Wear, and Something to Read. I am going to be honest, this year Daniel and I haven't done well following this for each other. We did well sticking with it with Landry. I am determined next year to really stick to this rule.

8. Read the Christmas Story. This is something new I am wanting to add to our Christmas. I want us to read it together every Christmas morning before opening gifts.

Next year I hope to make an Advent Calendar for us to count down the day till Christmas. I also would love to make an Advent Wreath to light every Sunday in our home to have a reminder right in our home of the virtues Jesus brings us.

What are some of your Christmas traditions?


  1. For Advent: We just started the Advent wreath this year, and I love it! I also tried to do a Christmas-book-a-day countdown, but that hasn't been working out so well so I think I'll skip it in the future. We do have an Advent calendar that I LOVE, but I didn't put it out this year because we have kittens and I'm afraid of having it ruined.

    For Christmas: We stay home all morning, and when the kids get older I envision this as the time we will open stockings and our gifts to them. Then my family comes over, and we always have pigs in a blanket. Later that evening we go to my in-laws' house for dinner.

    Other traditions: Christmas tree farm with the cousins, shopping with my dad, attending the Messiah with my mom, going on a nighttime walk around the neighborhood in the week leading up to Christmas, making a holiday mini-album, and giving each child a classic book with a note inside. As they get older I'd like to do the J-O-Y method of gifting: J=Jesus (they pick out a gift or donation for a charity), O=Others (they pick a gift for their sibling), and Y=You (we get them something they want).


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