Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Traditions

My friend, Ashley, did a post on her family's Christmas traditions, which got me thinking about our traditions. We have several that have been in place for generations and a few that we have started on our own. 

  •  Cookie Decorating- I'm a huge baker. The boys and I always bake some sort of cookies and decorate them. This year we've been loving peanut butter cookies with Hershey kiss centers, reindeer sugar cookies, and drop sugar cookies. Some doughs I make from scratch, some we start off with a mix. I don't really think it matters as long as you're getting quality time with the kiddos! 

Caleb 2010

Caleb 2009

Bray 2010

Me 2009

  • Trimming the Tree- This is always done as a family. Gone are the days when I was obsessed with having just the right mix of ornaments on the tree- this red glittery ball can't be too close to another red glittery ball- and now I unpack the ornaments and let the boys do as they please. I may or may not still  "fix" a few after they've gone on to other things. :) Oh, and shatterproof ornaments are of utmost importance. 
  • Christmas Movies- We love movies anyway, so Christmas movies are extra special! We start watching them around Thanksgiving and until the New Year. It's a great way to spend some relaxed time as a family. Some of our favorites include The Polar Express, Charlie Brown's Christmas, Prancer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street (both versions), It's a Wonderful Life. 
  • Christmas Books- My boys love to read as much as I do! We have a stack of Christmas books that only come out with the Christmas decorations. We curl up together on the couch and they listen for as long as I will read! 

  • Christmas Parade- Our town has an annual Christmas parade, usually the first Saturday of the month. We love to bundle up wear our short sleeved Christmas shirts, go see all the floats, and catch candy! This year Jeffry helped direct the whole parade route.
  • Gifts with Jeffry- Jeffry and I always pick a special night, usually a night or two before Christmas Eve, to open our gifts to each other. We started this a few years ago, and it's one of my favorite traditions. It gives us a chance to take our time and enjoy each others reaction without the craziness of extended family and the kids around! 
  • Deanash Party- Our church hosts a party for the local children's home each year. We buy the gifts on the children's lists, and then we bring food and our families to celebrate with them. Half of the fun is having our children play with them! This is always a special night. 
  • Christmas Eve Communion- This is an important tradition to Jeffry's family. We usually spend Christmas Eve with his parents, grandparents, brother, sister in law, aunt, uncle and cousins opening presents and stuffing ourselves. Then at 6 or so, we drive over to their church and partake in Communion as a family. I always get teary! 
  • Table Gifts- My grandmother started this with my mom and my aunt. Either Christmas breakfast or lunch, the table is set and each person has a small "table gift" at their place setting. They are usually just a small $5 or less gift that's something fun or useful. My grandmother still buys them all for us, so I always buy hers! This year she's getting 2 crossword puzzle books. Sometimes she will buy the boys character bandaids or playing cards. Just a little happy. 
  • Christmas PJ's- Every year I buy the boys Christmas pajamas, which they get to open on Christmas Eve. I got this idea from my childhood best friend's mom. I don't buy matching sets; I usually pick something individual to the child. I also buy them for Jeffry, me, and my brother. We're kids at heart! (And I like having something new to be photographed in Christmas morning, haha).

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