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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

12 Days of Christmas - Day 4 - Holiday Traditions


      Holiday Traditions are my favorite part of the holidays. I look forward to doing all the family activities, get together, parties, everything! Traditions have been apart of my life as long as I can remember. Even the little traditions such as going to my granny's on Christmas Eve and opening a special gift Christmas Eve Night. These are things that I have remembered my whole life and I want my children to have these special memories as well. We do several traditions that I have done all my life and we also have made it a point to start some of our own traditions that our kids can also carry on.
      The traditions that my mom did with me were the same traditions that were done for her and I'm sure for my grandma as well. To carry on these traditions means a lot to me. Family is everything to me and I think it's important that these traditions my mom, grandma, great grandma, and so on through the family tree, grew up on and shared with me, should also be carried on in their memory and in the future carried on in my memory to my great grand children. The traditions that are important to me that have been carried on to my children are;

-Putting the Decorations Up- My entire life we have always got all the Christmas stuff out and put every piece of it up the weekend after Thanksgiving. I think that that weekend is National put up your Christmas Decor weekend. Every year though I threaten to put it up before Thanksgiving but I'm sure that will never happen because I try to stick to all the tradition. By the end of the Thanksgiving holiday our home has been transformed into a winter wonderland. 

-Christmas Crafts - I'm crafty, I love crafts, so of course this tradition is carried on. My mom loves crafts too, so I wonder where I get it from! We sometimes plan a day that is full of crafts but over the years I have found it's much easier to plan out one craft a day for several different days. Thanks to Pinterest we have several different crafts planned! 

-Cookie Swap - just like the craft day we use to have a cookie day, then once us kids for older it turned into a talking day and we would end up baking all day, into the night. We decided a few years ago to just do a cookie swap! We would all bake 2 or 3 different cookies and get together and hang out, catch up, and cook! This is a tradition that we always do with my mom, her childhood best friend, her two girls and myself and now we have added 5 little grand babies to our tradition! I'm looking forward to this year we are going to a awesome holiday light display and swapping cookies after we go look at all the lights. 
-Special Christmas Eve Gift- this gift always has PJs in it, and you open the special present right before bed. Well this has now advanced thanks to Pinterest and it's also one of those why didn't I think of that? things. I now do one box that both the kids get to open and it has their Pjs in it, popcorn, hot cocoa, and a Christmas movie for us to enjoy before they go to bed. 
-Riding around Looking at Christmas Lights- I think this is something that everyone has done or does with their family. It is one our favorite things to do and I absolutely love that i have all my favorite Christmas music on my cell phone and we can listen to the kids favorites and our favorites too.  
     These are some of my favorite childhood traditions and memories from Christmas. I have carried these on to my children and we have also made several new ones. 

-Gingerbread Houses - This is something I don't remember doing every year at Christmas time. It is something though we do with the kids every year. We have built full towns, we have done Gingerbread trains, and of course the traditional Gingerbread house. Usually we do this with one of our friends and their kids or with other family, this year I want to try something new. This year I want to do a Gingerbread House Party and invite our family over and everybody decorate gingerbread houses and enjoy some cookies and time together. I think that will be fun for everyone and I know the kids will love it. 

-Elf on the Shelf - Elf on the shelf is a new tradition that has taken the country by storm. Those little elves are everywhere and in everyones home! Now, I agree the elfs are a little creepy looking, and the concept of the elves flying to Santa and sneaking into your house and hiding, causing mischief, that's a little creepy too. However, the look on the kids faces when they find the elves is priceless. Since 2011 we have had our boy elf Fred, this year we decided to have Fred bring his sister with him to help watch over the kids. My daughter at the time was 4 and she really wasn't into the elf she was excited every morning but not like her brother. Now in first grade and growing, she has her own little stand out personality and she was excited about the elf coming back and even more excited when she saw she liked to wear tutus too. The kids named her Charolette.
This should be a tradition to start with your kids and join in on the fun. There are some fun great ideas, make great memories, and have something fun that they love to carry onto their children in the future. 

-Reindeer Food - Every Christmas Eve we must put out food to feed the reindeer. Not just carrots for them to have a little snack but reindeer food to keep them busy while Santa drops off all our presents. The kids love this and so do the birds out here in the woods
What you need for Reindeer Food:
                          -Bird Seed
                           - Glitter
     Mix together in a bag and explain to the kids that need to sprinkle it all around the yard on Christmas Eve night to let the Reindeer know that they are asleep and its time to eat. This           was started when my son was in Pre-K when he brought home a bag of    reindeer food they made at school and we have been doing it ever since. 

     My husband and I have traditions that we do as well and started them our first Christmas living together. 

- We always write each other a letter or buy a card and write about how the year was and what the best part was together and how much we look forward to the future.

- We also do Christmas together with the gifts that we bought for one another on Christmas Eve after the kids have gone to bed and its just us. To us, it is very important that we share special Christmas time together also and then curl up with a movie and wait till morning. 

What is your favorite tradition that you have with your family or in your childhood?  

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