Can you even believe that Christmas is only a little over 3 weeks away? I know I can't!
This Christmas season has already been much different for us than in the past years.
- First of all, we have only purchased one gift so far, and that was from the Internet.
- Peter and I have also decided not to buy gifts for each other this year. Our trip to Florida was a gift in itself, and we really couldn't ask for anything more than that!
- We are only buying the boys 2 gifts each this year (and of those 2, one is a shared gift and the other is a "tradition" gift). Brady just told me again this morning that he doesn't need anything for Christmas this year.....and boy is he right!
- Also, since the temps have been warm and there is no snow on the ground, it just doesn't feel like December yet.
Some things are falling into place, however. Our house is fully decorated for Christmas, our Christmas cards have been ordered, cookie baking will begin this weekend, our small shopping list is being compiled, and there is even some snow in the forecast for next week.
I think it is very important to keep up with our old family traditions as well as make some new ones too! I want to take a few minutes to share some of our family traditions for the Christmas season.
Family traditions are something that I also counted on as a child and thoroughly enjoyed doing each year. I hope that I can pass on that same excitement to my children with our own traditions as well.
Here are some of our family traditions:
- We like to decorate our house during the week of Thanksgiving (we were a little earlier this year). I am trying to let the boys help as much as possible. We also make a point of decorating with our "kid-friendly" decorations as much as possible too, so they can be played with gently.
- Another tradition that we have carried down from my parents is to go out and look at Christmas lights. Since it has to be dark to see the lights properly, we usually head out a little early, so the boys don't fall asleep on the way :). This event has already been planned for Saturday, December 19 this year.
- Christmas cookie baking is also a must! I grew up watching my mom bake for hours on end in the kitchen each December. She would bake literally 100's of dozens of cookies to share with our friends and family. Now, Laura and I have taken on this tradition. We will be meeting bright and early Saturday morning to begin our baking (this marks our 6th consecutive year, I believe), and we even have a new and special helper this year. Brady will be joining in the fun this year. He loves to bake and he's so excited to be a part of cookie baking with us. While we don't come close to baking 100's of dozen of cookies, like my mom, we do bake a lot! This way we are able to share with our jobs, our husband's jobs, and our families and friends.
- Christmas cards. I love receiving Christmas cards in the mail throughout the month of December, and I love displaying them on my cupboard doors as well. It's always a pleasure to read what others have been up to in the past year, to see the family photos, and to enjoy the beautiful cards. It just feels so much more personalized than all of the e-mails, facebooks, and text messages that we send the rest of the year. The front of old Christmas cards also make good "gift to/from tags" for the next year.
- For the boys. One tradition that Peter and I started on Brady's first Christmas was sports cards. Peter has always enjoyed collecting sports cards, and he would someday love to own and operate a sporting card store! So, each year, the boys each receive 2 packs of sports cards from each of the major sports (baseball, basketball, football, and hockey). One pack is opened at Christmas (by Peter), and the other remains sealed. Peter and I are the only ones with access to the cards right now, but someday, we'll turn them over to the boys and let them make their own decisions about when to open the sealed packs.
-Certainly our most important tradition is making sure that CHRIST is the biggest part of Christmas! The boys have a great book that does an excellent job of teaching this. It's called "What is Christmas." The boys can both pretty much recite the entire book!
We also like to make special time to read the Christmas story from the bible, or from another book the boys have that actually tells the "real Christmas story."
It really doesn't matter what the traditions are, but the important thing is that we have special moments with our families and make great memories for our children!
More Christmas posts coming, I'm sure!