Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and cultivate faithfulness. Psalm 37:3
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Monday, December 5, 2011

New Christmas Traditions

This year I have begun two new (to us) Christmas traditions... so far.

First, I'll share a few of my favorite traditions that we have from years past.
On Christmas Eve, after the candle light service at church, the kids get to open two presents. This NEVER happened in my house growing up!  All gifts must be saved for after breakfast on Christmas Day.  It made the anticipation almost unbearable but I loved it!  One of the kids gifts is always an ornament that is a memory from the year.  (this is one Brian had as a child)  The other is pajamas to wear that night.  (I just love new jammies!)
On Christmas Day we must have Cinnamon Rolls (for me) and Oreo Cookie Pie "OCP" (for Brian.  Yes, for breakfast)  The kids choice of breakfast changes from year to year but I think they are growing to love the OCP more every time we have it.  Sorry Daddy! -less for you.    Sticking to my childhood tradition we build excitement by waiting till after breakfast to open stockings first then we move to the tree for the rest of the gifts.  My favorite tradition from my childhood was being blindfolded to come out of the bedroom to the breakfast table. (so we couldn't see the tree and gifts.  Just more anticipation.  Can you even handle it?  I loved it!)  My Sweet Brian even blindfolded me the first year we were married!  Love him!  And we have done it with the kids if the are old enough and willing.  I'm not sure it will stick for us but it's fun for now!

On to the new traditions...

1. The Elf on the Shelf!  
Brian grew up with this tradition before there was a book and everything in the stores.  Last year his mom, Nana, gave each of the kids one of the elves that she has had for these 20-or-so years.  How special!  So each night they find a new place to hide around the house and the kids get to find their own in the morning.  They love this!

2. Countdown Calendar and Surprises!
We have had a countdown calendar for a couple of years but I've never found a good way to use it.  It has little boxes but I didn't know what to put in it.  I didn't like the idea of candy but couldn't think of anything else.  This year I came across a post suggesting a surprise for each day.  Something like, make a Christmas craft, cut out paper snowflakes, borrow Christmas books from the library or go look at Christmas lights.  Love it!  (thought it takes some planning on my part.)  I found some great ideas here and mixed them in with ideas of my own.  Another thing for the kids to look forward to each morning!
Hooray for Christmas FUN!!

By the way...  I just got this nifty little tool from Michaels...  I'm loving it for Christmas projects!  (like to write the surprise for each day on)

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