Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas traditions continued...



last week we posted some of our favorite Christmas traditions. this truly is our favorite time of the year and we are thrilled to share a few more activities that get us into the holiday spirit. if you have any other amazing ideas, please share them with us. we'd love to spread great ideas on with others. here are a few more of our favorites.

advent calendars - there are so many cute advent calendars out there. i love the ones you can fill with your own special treats each year. i love the idea of not just filling the little boxes up with candy but also adding personal and meaningful touches for each day. one friend of mine shared the idea of putting little coupons in some of the days. she does a coupon for a hot chocolate night, a Christmas movie night, a cookie baking day and other fun activities for your children to enjoy. as you are doing these in advance, you could also include fun day or night trips that you typically do at Christmas time to coincide with the perfect day for the planned activity. another friend put little nativity ornaments in certain days with the baby Jesus arriving on Christmas eve. as the ornaments are pulled from the calendar, they can be placed on the Christmas tree and then reused the following year. regardless of what you put in the calendar, this activity can build excitement for the holiday the whole month through.

Christmas train - wherever you live, chances are that somewhere, somewhat nearby there is a santa train. for our family, this has been a great opportunity to spend some time together as a family and enjoy a moment with santa as well. we are big "polar express" fans so this brings out the excitement in the youngest and oldest kids alike. search for a santa train in your area and made a new tradition out of it. most tickets can be purchased in advance and you'll love adding another magical outing with your kids at Christmastime.

Christmas cards - this is one activity that i alone take part in but where we all reap the benefits of. taking pictures for a family Christmas card can be exhausting and enough to pull anyone out of the Christmas spirit. still, every year we force ourselves to get some pictures together and make a card. the printing of the cards can be an added Christmas expense and the stamps can about push you over the edge but we have made giving Christmas cards a priority and we haven't been sorry. having lived in many different locations since we've been married, we have friends literally sprinkled across the globe. this is our one chance each year to let all of our friends know that, regardless of where they might be, they are not forgotten. that is worth every penny. when we receive cards in return, the kids love to see all the faces of people they once knew and to hear the stories about how we know our friends, near and far. it's a way to bring everyone a little bit closer during the holiday season and we will forever be thankful for that.


Christmas movies - i grew up watching Christmas movies from november on. i love to sit and watch them still and some of the classics are my all time favorites. my all time favorite movie that tells the Biblical Christmas story is "the very first noel." this sweet little movie with the entire nativity story set to rhyme is perfect for kids from toddlers on. it never ceases to make me tear up. there are so many other great holiday films from "elf" to "miracle on 34th street" that you can literally watch an new movie every night and not run out of options. make december a month of family movie nights and let the festivities begin!

Christmas lights - we are fortunate to live in an area where there is a small (and i do mean very tiny) town nearby that is completely dedicated to decorating with Christmas lights. this place is magical and is definitely worth sitting in traffic for a half of an hour or more to get through. if you have any place nearby that goes "all out" with the Christmas lights, make the trip. there is nothing like seeing the wonder in the eyes of kids as they are exposed to the sparkle of millions of little lights. you can't help but get wrapped up in the beauty of it all.
Christmas lights/Christmas tree lanes

now it's your turn to share. what do you do to celebrate with your family during this festive time of year?