Thursday, December 10, 2015

Family Christmas Traditions

I am  big on Christmas family
 traditions.  I think it really has to do with being an only child.  Not that I didn't have great memories when I was growing up.  I did!  I just wanted to make sure I extended these to my kids, too, and  make some more along the way.  So, I wanted to share some of the traditions we share  and some new ones I think we are going to be starting!

Ornaments - Each year, I have gotten each child an ornament.  As they got older, I let them pick their own ornament. They needed to pick something that really represented that year to them. They have a blast going through them and finding theirs, putting them in order, and getting them on the tree.  This year, my daughter will have 21 , my oldest son will have 15 and my youngest son 8. Here are a few of ours. 
My daughter's the year she was into baking.

My daughter's the year she took photography classes at college.

My oldest son picked this one because he loved Frosty and couldn't find one of  THE Frosty.

My oldest son picked this one....can you guess why?  LOL

My youngest son was into Go, Diego, Go.

This  year, my youngest son loved, LOVED the movie "Home". 

 Christmas All Month Long - I put together a December calendar that has us doing some kind of Christmas activity each day.  Some days are watching a favorite Christmas movie or cartoon, we have a list of them.  One day is caroling with our church.  One day is making cookies (our favorite thing to do).  Another day is making out our Christmas cards.  One day doing a great Christmas craft to give to our friends and neighbors. You get the drift!  It is my way of keeping the Christmas spirit alive all  month long. We use this advent calendar and I put slips of paper in the day's slots.  The kids take turns getting the slips of paper out and putting the Gingerbread Man in it's place.

Oh my silly boy!!! 

A Different Kind of Advent  -  Each day give something away! Have a box for saving canned and boxed goods to give away at the end of the month to a food bank.   Or a box for clothing to give away to a Salvation Army or GoodWill.  Great lessons of giving taught in this advent. 

Caroling - If there are nursing homes in your area, gather your kids and maybe some friends and go caroling. BUT go when no one is sick!  Also go during the week and not on the weekends.  Most visitors come during the weekends IF they get visitors. :(  If you go during the week, it will be such a treat for them!  You can also ask your local hospital if you can go the the Pediatric Ward to sing, and maybe bring little gifts for the kids.  How horrible is it to be sick before Christmas and stuck in the hospital?  Some caroling might make it a little better!

Volunteer At A Soup Kitchen - Nothing gives you more perspective than volunteering time at a soup kitchen.  Not only are you warming and filling up THEIR bellies, but your hearts, too. 

Visit Nursing Homes - Again, make sure everyone is healthy before going and do it during the week.   Many people are lonely and forgotten.  They always love children.  You could spend time helping them wrap presents, write out their Christmas cards, paint the ladies nails, play chess with the gentlemen, etc.   

I hope these family tradition ideas encouraged you to try out some NEW traditions of your own this year. 

Please share with me YOUR family traditions.