I hope all of my readers have had a very Merry Christmas! I know for our family it is one of the busiest times of the year, and when we aren’t busy we are focused on family time as much as possible! So I have had no spare time to blog, but I will be back at it now with the new year 🙂
I have had many requests to show the final product of our family Christmas card from this earlier post, and I must admit when I tried the photo strip I planned on the pictures were much too small. I wanted our friends and family to see the pictures better so I ended up doing a half sheet collage on card stock instead. Here it is…
We also took an old tradition of taking a night as a family to go see lights around town and gave it a bit of a new spin. I printed up “minivan express” golden tickets and placed them on top of old wipes boxes. I then filled the old wipes boxes with popcorn, a few pieces of Christmas candy (mini candy cane, Hershey kisses, etc.) and a fruit snack pouch. Next I picked out some warm pjs for each child and placed it in front of each of their boxes. I put all of this on the front hall bench right after dinner and called the kids in. They were super excited for a fun family night! Riding in the van in their pjs and slippers was a hit (Eric and I did as well, which they got a kick out of also). Right before we left I filled their lidded cups with hot (warm really) chocolate with marshmallows. My husband turned on Christmas music and we sang together while driving around our city. We live in such a great city full of Christmas spirit so there were many neighborhoods full of lights and even 5 houses we saw set to music! There is also a small park with a large drive through light display. My oldest began a game of counting how many nativity scenes we saw and by the end of the night they had counted 24! It was one of my favorite memories with my family this year. I found the template for the tickets and idea for this here.
We had a small but very joy-filled Christmas. I’m thankful that our Christmas’ are small though because our kids are not as focused on getting gifts and more focused on giving them. We actually have a rule in our family, each person gets only three gifts. My husband and I began this rule after hearing about it from a wonderful family who has been using it for many years. They explained it to us that if three gifts was good enough for Jesus it’s good enough for anyone else also. I love this, because it keeps it simple and from getting out of control for kids. They actually cherish their three gifts more instead of becoming overwhelmed with many new gifts. Usually one of the three gifts is homemade by mom or dad, one is something to wear/a need and then the third usually a toy they asked for. I will admit they also get a stocking with small things and candy. One of my homemade gifts will be a post this week as well.
One of the gifts I helped my children make to give to some family, friends and Sunday School teachers was homemade ornaments using the recipe from an earlier post on gift tags found here. My favorite thing was watching the girls give them to everyone, because Katie would hand one to someone and then Bella would immediately pipe up and say, “Do not eat ornament dough, it is a rule in our house!” Since she saw her little brother give it a taste and then spit and sputter in disgust while I made a new rule about not eating ornament dough 🙂 Never a dull moment! Now all of our friends and family have cute little handmade ornaments and they know not to take a bite!
Well, that was a few highlights of our holiday season. To see some of our other family traditions at Christmas time check out this blog post I did on them last year here. Thanks for stopping by 🙂