Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Traditions

Although I put up my Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving, today- December 1st, marks the true start of the Christmas season for me. Christmas has always been a special season filled with traditions and great memories. Now that I have my own kiddos it has been really fun to develop those traditions and make the memories with them. In honor of the official start of the season I thought I would share some of the things we do in the lead up to Christmas.

1. The "Real" Tree.
Growing up in Illinois we not only had a live tree every year, but we went to an awesome tree farm and spent hours picking it out. If you have ever seen Christmas Vacation you get the gist of what this experience was like. My mom would station us by potential trees while she walked around for what seemed like hours looking for the perfect one. I guess we were supposed to fend off tree snatchers and look tough so no one else would claim that tree in the rows of hundreds. It was always freezing cold and often snowing. But- hey, I remember it vividly so it is definitely a tradition. We still have a real tree at my house, it just is not Christmas with a fake one. However, we do our tree shopping at Lowe's... much quicker and warmer than the tree farm!

2. Decking the Halls.
Friday after Thanksgiving my mom and I decorate my house, get the tree, and festify this place. We wrap up the day by watching Christmas Vacation after we put the kids to bed. That movie is a gift that keeps on giving the whole year. Lance and I quote it so endlessly that if you have never seen it and spend much time around us there may be a whole lot you do not understand when we are talking. I have looked for years for the song from Christmas Vacation and finally found it on Itunes this year. Made my whole day.

3. Advent Calendars.
As a kid my grandma always sent my brother and I each an advent calendar with the little cardboard windows that you open up and get a piece of chocolate out of. They were the best thing ever. I am pretty sure she ordered them in bulk from the Methodist Church. I love doing advent calendars with my kids too. I have done it different ways different years. My favorite was when I made envelopes and each day the kids opened one and it was a fun thing to do together from simple to elaborate activities. It was a fun way to focus on being together.

4. The Nutcracker.
Each year Lance's dad takes us all (women and kids) to see the Nutcracker ballet. It is fun to get dressed up and be together. I love the beautiful music from the live orchestra and always think it is magical when they make it snow on the stage.

5. The Elf on the Shelf
I started this tradition with my kids in 2008. If you have never seen the Elf on the Shelf you should get one! Our elf is named Bunker. He shows up December 1st and hides in a new spot every day. At night he goes to the North Pole to tell Santa if you have been good or bad! My kids are always extra polite when Bunker shows up!

6. Church.
We are faithful church attendees year round, but this time of year it is so wonderful to be in church with the music, message, and fellowship with friends. Zella and I sat admiring our nativity scene the other day and talking on and on about the REAL joy and meaning of Christmas. It is so important for me that my kids link Christmas and Church together.

There are definitely lots more things we love to do as a family during the Christmas season, and I am sure I will bore you with more posts as the month goes on. What are your favorite things to do during the season?

No comments:

Post a Comment