I thought it would be fun to share ideas on Christmas Traditions that can be done with family! So I’ll share mine, and you share yours as a comment! PLEASE! I’m always looking for new ideas to mix it up a bit! Five years ago we moved away from our extended family and so we were feeling a little bored without the BIG family parties. We had to get creative to make it feel just as special. We have no family that lives closer than a 4 hour drive, so we have made our neighbors and friends our family! 🙂
A few weeks before Christmas, the kids find extra jobs to do around the house to earn extra money. That money will go to buying their siblings a gift and a toy to donate to “Toys for Tots”. It is such a fun time to go shopping with them when they are shopping for ” Toys for Tots”. I love their giving nature 🙂
After all the gifts are purchased, we call the kids in to our room one by one and they wrap all the gifts they are giving away to their siblings. The other kids stay out in the living room and watch a movie, the movie this year was Mary Poppins 🙂 They love to come out of the room with their arms full of gifts and say “I’m not telling!” to everyones pleads! It’s a blast! Our kids only get one gift from each sibling and ONE gift from Santa. Yes you heard me right, ONE! When my kids started asking me why other kids got more than one gift from Santa, I said “We are not going to make Santa carry more than he needs to just so we can have more presents! He already has a FULL sleigh!” I love that tradition. I hope it makes my kids think about something other than themselves.
A few days before Christmas we go to a live Nativity at Tuachan out in the red mountains of southern Utah. It is so beautiful and there is just something about being outside with the live animals that really brings the spirit of Christmas. I would recommend finding a live nativity close to you and attending it, or even better, volunteer to be a part of it.
I know a lot of you do this on Christmas Eve, but I thought I’d share it anyway. On Christmas Eve, we open P.J’s, put them on and drive around the city looking at Christmas Light Displays. There is always that crazy person that has their house visible from outer space and crazy lights set to music, so get out there and find them! Also, we look for Rudolph’s red nose while we are out, and guess what!? We always find it! 😉 One of my friends go out and look at lights first and while they are gone, the Pajama Elf leaves them their new Christmas Pajamas. I thought that was cute too!
On Christmas Eve we have a picnic in the living room by the tree. We only eat finger foods. Crackers, special cheeses, smoked sausage, meatballs, cheese spread, veggies and dip, chocolate covered cherries, raspberry and orange sticks, etc. We eat until we are sick! We read my favorite Christmas book called “When Jesus Was Born in Bethlehem”. It has the most beautiful paintings of the story of Jesus and the scripture script. Each family member takes their turn reading the scriptures that tell the story of Jesus in the pages in the book. Then we watch “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”, set out homemade cookies and CHOCOLATE milk for Santa, and go to bed.
On Christmas morning, we wait for the sound of the kids, then drag ourselves out of bed. The oldest child takes on the responsibility of handing everyone a gift at a time and opening it! When we are all done, of course we have to pose for a picture with all our gifts for mom’s scrapbooks and blog! 🙂
Let me know some of your favorite Christmas time traditions!