Monday, December 1, 2008

New Christmas Traditions

I thought it'd be neat to write about some Christmas Traditions... both old and new. Last year I wrote a post with some ideas (and asking for yours) about ways to make Christmas magical for our kids. We are trying to keep many of those traditions going, such as:
  • Listening to Christmas music all the time (especially Alvin and the Chipmunks!).
  • Getting a new ornament every year (usually for Christmas), and when decorating the tree, looking at all our ornaments from years past.
  • Baking cookies and giving them to our neighbors
  • Going to church on Christmas Eve for the candlelight service (although last year the weather was terrible and I wasn't able to go)
  • Following the "4 gift rule" to this rhyme: "Something you want, something you need, something to play with and something to read." Santa brings one large gift, the stocking full of goodies and a few other presents.... all wrapped in special "Santa" paper.
  • Putting out milk and cookies for Santa
  • 25 days til Christmas socks in place of the advent calendar. In each sock there will be a tiny gift/treat. Something relating to Jesus, Christmas, winter etc…
  • New pajamas on Christmas Eve
  • A book basket in the living room with Christmas books to read throughout the month
We are also introducing some new traditions as well....
  • Elf on a Shelf- I purchased a little elf guy from eBay and pretty soon he'll be arriving at our house to "spy" on Porter and report back to Santa. Not sure he'll understand fully yet (as in... I think he'll understand but not care that Santa will know if he's "naughty" LOL!), but I think it'll be fun to begin the tradition now while he's young. Christmas Eve he'll hitch a ride with Santa back to the North Pole.
  • 25 Days of Christmas Books- this year I wrapped 24 of our Christmas books (yes, we have that many.... and more, actually) with newspaper (To be "green" LOL! I used the comics for some, and the rest I let Porter paint or color with red and green markers). Each night before bed, he gets to choose a wrapped book to read for his bedtime story. Two books are reserved, though: The Night Before the Night Before Christmas and of course, the Night Before Christmas (for the respective evenings... the 23rd and 24th)
  • Mini Tree in the bedroom: Last year I bought a little 30" tree and ornaments on clearance at Target around New Years. Porter and I set up the tree and decorated it in his room. This year I will look for a tree for Hudson. (however... the tree and ornaments have since been removed from P's room... he kept taking down the ornaments to play with them and this morning I found the tree knocked over. Maybe we'll try again next year?)
  • I think this year, instead of my intricate, matching wrapping paper I'm going to be a bit more earth friendly and use newspaper to wrap gifts and then put on some pretty ribbon to decorate.
So... what neat Christmas traditions does your family have?

Here are some other Christmas posts from last year. I might revisit some of the questions in posts this year to see if anyone else has anything new to share!


  1. I love your Christmas book is amazing you have that many!

  2. I have nothing to add (FAIL!) but I LOVE your ideas and I want to bookmark this post for next year when Grant is old enough to know what is going on a little bit.

    Funny thing: we always had one of those elf on a shelf guys on our tree growing up but I just thought it was a weird looking ornament! I never knew it had a purpose. Obviously, we didn't use it for it's proper purpose.

  3. I here by delare you THE BEST MOM EVER!!!!!

  4. So funny that you mentioned the Elf on the Shelf! As I was reading this post I was thinking, "I've got to tell her about the Elf on the Shelf!" We just got that book yesterday!
    Fun traditions :)

  5. These are all great ideas. I really want to get Dylan his own small tree, and get an ornament each year that symbolizes the year. This year would definitely be a train! He loves trains so much. We always go see the huge train display at the Science Center sometime in December. Also, there is a place with deer that we will go to, that has baby deer you can feed.

  6. Thanks for the ideas...I'm trying to figure out ONE tradition that I"ll follow through on and this gave me some good ideas. You are one ambitious girl!

  7. GREAT POST! I love the Christmas book idea too and that Night before the Night before Christmas book looks so Cute.

    I think I need to get it for all of my sisters this year.

  8. My Aunt Gail bought the elf. Louie loves it.

    I can't believe you have that many Christmas books.

    I have nothing to add except you have way more motivation than I do. I am still trying to get some motivation to put up our tree.

  9. I love the wrapped book idea! I have nothing to add because I am just here to steal your ideas :) We do the four gift thing after reading it on your blog last year. I am trying to figure out an advent calender tradition. Maybe I will get some "Nicole-like ambition" and make one?

  10. I get so excited for December! I love traditions!!! We also do the books, pj's, and ornaments every year!

    I saw some really cute little trees at Walmart... They have a purple and pink tree... Eden and Lily went nutty! Maybe next year!

    I will share another tradition we do... Every Christmas eve we open Nativity Ornaments and read the Nativity story from the Bible... the kids each place an ornament on the tree while we read the story. We also have a child friendly book of the real story that has pictures. The kids love it!

  11. I LOVE THIS!!! I am definetly going to steal your ideas!!!! What kinds of things do you put in the 24 socks though....I'm not creative enough I guess bc I can't think of much...
    I'll start that one next year! I better work on my collection of xmas books now:)
    THe only one I would have trouble with is the 4 gift rule....:( hahah Thanks for the ideas!!!

  12. I LOVE the "4 Gift" idea!! Very cool!! ;)

  13. Seriously I copied this e-mail and sent it to myself on time delay so I'll get it next year - Lexi will really apprecaite all these fun things. I love the book idea.