With Christmas right around the corner, I have been thinking back on all the Christmases that have passed since I became a mom. Some years I could afford to do more for my kids. Sometimes things were tight and I shopped at the dollar store or Goodwill. Either way, I always tried to keep the spirit of the holiday intact by not focusing on gifts but spending time as a family and enjoying time off from school or work.
Now that our family has grown this year with the addition of our granddaughter I feel as if keeping old traditions alive along with making some new ones with her are so important.
Some of our older traditions are:
- Putting up the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving Day (or at least that weekend).
- We all take turns opening gifts on Christmas Day and we take time to realize and be thankful for each item we receive.
- I like to put all of the gifts out on Christmas Eve, that way the kids aren’t “counting” gifts to see if they got the same amount. (what is up with kids and things being perfectly equal? Is it just my kids?)
- The kids always wait for us to get up. (The past couple of years we have been awake before them.
- We also have just stayed home on Christmas Day, no schedules, no traveling, just family time spent just being together in the same place.
Some of the newer traditions are:
- Elf on the shelf. (We did this a couple of years ago even though our kids are older, they still enjoyed it, they are 14 and 11 right now and actually have asked where their elf “Sophie” is.)
- This year we will start a new tradition, tagless gifts!! (each person is assigned *by the wrapper aka ME* a particular wrapping paper. A square of this wrapping paper will be put in the toe of their stockings. Stockings will be opened and explored and when you find your wrapping paper design you will know what gifts are yours.)
I think the new wrapping paper tradition will be fun, and I am for anything that lengthens the opening process.
When the kids were little they would just rip through their gifts and it looked like a tornado hit our living room. So, to slow things down and give everyone a chance to see what each person received I think it places more emphasis on being thankful for each gift they get.
Do you have Christmas traditions that have lasted through the years?