I love to read about different family’s Christmas Traditions and how they Celebrate this special season. Since Christmas is so close I thought it would be fun to share a few traditions our little family likes to keep each year. I love family traditions and growing up with a family rich in tradition I know these will be good memories for years to come for my sweet children.
1. Advent, we celebrate the advent on the 4 Sunday nights before Christmas day and then again on Christmas Eve. Growing up my parents did this with me, we light a different candle in the advent wreath each night and read a part of the Christmas story from the Bible then sometimes sing a hymn and pray as a family.
2. Picking out a Christmas tree and then decorating the tree together as a family with Christmas music playing, my girls love helping and then we put up a small tree in their room
3. Setting one night aside to go see Christmas lights in the area, we have some talented church families that do amazing lights each year and there are a few local parks that do a drive through show. Hearing our kids squeal with delight as they see the lights is one of my favorite things.
4. Baking Christmas treats with my kids. This is something I remember doing every year with my mom and now with my own children. I love teaching them how to roll out sugar cookie dough and cut out shapes with cookie cutters, or place Hershey’s kisses on pretzels to melt. They giggle, sneak bites, and enjoy the time together.
5. We do Christmas Eve PJ’s each year. Eric and I started this 8 years ago during our first Christmas as a married couple. We all get to open new PJ’s and wear them on Christmas Eve. We have taken a picture in front of our tree each year with our new PJs on and now have a sweet little album through the years as we’ve changed and added little ones.
6. Growing up a preacher’s daughter I was raised living in parsonage’s. As a way to thank the congregation my Father and Mother always held an open house at Christmas with yummy food. Now that we live in a parsonage (this is our 3rd Christmas in this home) we do an open house each year. We just had our most recent one last weekend and enjoyed having people we love in our home to say thank you, because we truly do love our home and church family.
7. Jesus’ Birthday Party, each Christmas Eve we bake a cake and light candles and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus after our final advent candle. It’s important to us to emphasize the real reason for Christmas is to celebrate God’s gift of his son.
8. My mom made a felt advent tree for my kids two years ago with felt ornaments that can be stuffed with small candies like Hershey’s kisses and each day up till Christmas the kids get to eat the candy from another ornament.
9. This year we started a new tradition by “adopting” an Elf on the Shelf. The kids are at a perfect age to really enjoy it and Thanksgiving night we read the story together and the next morning he started popping up all over the house. Each morning the kids look for where he is hiding giggling and laughing.
10. This one used to be an Eric and I only thing and now includes our kids too, we like to take one night to make homemade pizza and then dance together to Christmas songs. It began as slow dancing in the living room with my sweetheart to taking turns dancing to fun Christmas songs with each family member in the living room.
11. Three years ago before my Grandma Boyle (my best friend in all the world) passed away she bought my sweet 1 year old Katie and brand new Bella a Little People Manger Playset for Christmas. This was through my mom of course as she was in a nursing home, and then she left us in October. But we wrapped it and let my babies open it that Christmas and they have enjoyed the tradition of playing out the Christmas story through it every year since. I always feel her there with us when we use it together.
12. Every Christmas Eve we open “tree gifts” we hide one small wrapped gift in the tree for each person in the house and open that one gift. It’s usually a CD, small toy, trinket or little piece of jewelry. My parents did this for us growing up to “tide us over” until Christmas morning.
13. Each year on the first big snow of the year, the whole family goes outside to sled, play and gather up a bowl of fresh clean snow for… snow cream! It’s easy to make and oh so yummy, last year we even added chocolate chips.
14. To emphasize the importance of giving we do a couple of things. We fill a box for Operation Christmas Child, and let our kids be very involved in picking out the gifts that will fill the box and praying for the child who will receive it. Also we make about 50% of the gifts that we give. It saves money but more importantly helps us remember that we are giving not only something that costs money but also our time, thought, effort and love. I do a lot of sewing, painting, cooking, and making crafty things. The kids make ornaments, handprint gifts, etc for family and friends.
15. A few years ago I made a string of 25 activities to do as a family to draw us closer together as a family in December leading up to Christmas day. Several of the things I listed already are on the cards, along with: “make a new ornament”, “write letters to Jesus thanking him for the past year together”, “make a gingerbread house”, “reminisce past Christmas’ with old pictures”, “go caroling at the local nursing home”
Thanks for stopping by and reading about our family traditions. I’d love to hear your family traditions and how you celebrate Christmas in your own special way! Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart does good, like medicine…”