Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Traditions

Over the years we've developed some Christmas traditions. Some of them occur daily all throughout the month of December while others are just one time things. One of our daily traditions during the month of December is that each night, instead of doing our normal scripture study/song time, we follow along with a binder called the 24 days til Christmas. Each day has a scripture(about Christmas), a Christmas song and a Christmas inspirational story. Before we start this routine, we light our candle...I buy a candlestick each year from the dollar store and then number it from 1-24 with a black permanent pen, with a short black horizontal division line beneath each number. So December 1st we light the candle and then start our song/scrip/story and once it burns through the number 1 and gets to the division line, one of the kids(we choose a child who has been reverent) gets to blow out the candle. And another new daily tradition we've started this year is that once all that is done, the children can pick one of the children's Christmas books for us to read to them....I keep all our Christmas books together during the year and the kids don't get to use them, and then once Christmas decorations go up, I put those books underneath the Christmas tree. I was going to wrap them(thanks Linds for the idea!), but I had a late start in pulling them out and didn't have much wrapping paper either, but maybe next year...we'll see :).

Some other Christmas Traditions:
-In the picture above there is also a white box under the tree with a ribbon around it. That is our box that holds our gifts to Jesus. During this month we each write down on an angel(white piece of paper shaped like an angel) what we're going to give to Jesus this year: being extra kind to a sibling, increasing scripture reading goal etc.. We put them on the Christmas tree and then on Christmas morning we open the box, put our new angels inside and we take out our old angels (which are now in envelopes inside the box labeled with the year) and reread those.
-See the lights at Temple Square
-Pajamas on Christmas Eve(we may not do this one much longer because the younger girls all have SO many pj's now because they get all Elisabeth's hand-me-downs...maybe we'll just change it to a small gift to open on Christmas Eve? I don't know)
-Act out Nativity on Christmas Eve
-Caroling on Christmas Eve
-3 gifts for each person, one of those gifts is something spiritual, or something they could do on the Sabbath for instance a puzzle of Christ, a church movie, a new journal etc. I do Scott and he does me(like three gifts to Christ from wisemen...this really helps to keep things from getting too out of hand which I really appreciate)
-when the kids wake up Christmas morning, if parents are still sleeping they may open their stockings, but they can't open their gifts until we're out with them and they can't wake us up until 6am. I remember many a sleepless Christmas Eve nights as a child. The anticipation is killer. But who am I kidding, it's still hard, I still wake up several times, and many times I still wake up earlier than my kids...but now it's because I'm excited to see their faces :).
-Big Christmas breakfast
-Play Grandpa Fred's(great grandpa for the kids) Christmas tape(amazing pianist and fantastic singer too) on Christmas Eve or Day
-Watch Christmas Movies throughout the month- my personal favorite is The Elf
-Watch 'Joy to the World' on Christmas
That's all I can think of right now.


Lindsay said...

yea...we don't do the christmas pj thing, even though I think it would be so fun, but by the time Christmas rolls around, my kids are all outfitted with winter pjs and it just seems wasteful to get them another pair of pjs and emerson and amelia have TONS of pjs from their older siblings. our christmas eve present that each of the kids always opens is a new book. Each of them get a nice new book. It is a huge highlight for them since they are all such big readers and it's fun to curl up on the couch together and read all the new books together. I know Mary said that she wanted to start a new tradition where her family opens a new game each Christmas eve and then they play it together. I think that is a cute idea too, but we already have a lot of games, so I think we will just stick with the books :)

Elisa said...

Lindsay, Oh awesome! Those are both great ideas! I think I'm going to have to try one for next year.

The Horne's said...

How great! I think we are doing a few of those traditions also. And yes, I too remember SLEEPLESS nights in anticipation of Christmas morning. :-D Way to create lasting memories for your family.
I think if memory serves me right...we are due to see another growing belly shot! :-D