Christmas Traditions

I'm a big fan of Christmas traditions. After Zach and I got married, we spent our first Thanksgiving and Christmas talking about all the traditions that we wanted to start with our own little family. We kept a list and even though Sawyer is still a bit too young to enjoy or understand all of them, we are going to keep 'em going. Here's our list and we've added some this year thanks to Pinterest and a few creative blogs-looking at you, Colleen-who've given me some new and fun ideas.

Our List Right Now:
1. Visit Santa.
2. Decorate listening to Christmas music.
3. Make and decorate Christmas cookies.
4. Watch a tree lighting ceremony.
5. Build a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.
6. Adopt an Advent Angel.
7. Make a birthday cake for Jesus and sing Happy Birthday to him.
8. Decorate a Gingerbread house(This is actually a pretty serious thing in Z's house. His parents send all of his siblings a gingerbread house kit and they all compete over who can have the best one. It's really fun and connects us all even if we can't be together.)
9. Drive around and see Christmas light.
10. Drink hot cocoa and watch a Christmas movie with the family.
11. Write and send Christmas cards to family and friends.
12. Buy Christmas pajamas for the family.
(This was us last year)
13. Eat Thai food on Christmas Eve for lunch.
(We started this during our first year of marriage. We celebrated our first Christmas in Thailand and always wanted to remember the fun time we had and to tell our kids about it, so Thai food and Christmas it is!)
14. Attend a Christmas Eve service.

Things We Are Going To Start with Sawyer:
15. Make a snowman pizza
(My grandmother made us homemade pizza on Christmas Eve. She had a old family recipe and for years, that's what we had. I want to carry on that tradition, but add a fun twist and make snowman shapes out of the dough.)
16. Leave out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer
17. Put out a Nativity scene. 
(I want Sawyer to know the reason for the season, so I'm on the hunt for a Nativity set. If you know of one, let me know!)
18. Give a Gift on Behalf of Jesus
(So, I really want to start this, but Sawyer is going to be too young for the next couple of years. What you do is you give each of your kids $25 for Christmas. This money has to be given away though to a charity they want to support or a cause they believe in. It teaches them that Christmas is about caring and loving others and not all about how many presents they got.)
19. Check out and read holiday books to Sawyer
20. Write a letter to Santa

And we also decided that we are going to do something a little bit different this year instead of give a lot of presents and gifts. I got this idea from a friend and I thought it was brilliant. I'll have to share it with you all later this week.


Meghan said…
We have the little people nativity set for Noah and he loves it! We have the willow tree set for us and I love the look of that (on a high shelf where Noah can't reach).

It might be hard with just one kid, but a family tradition of mine was to act out the nativity. My parents had this whole "play like script" that included scripture and songs that told the story of Jesus' birth. As kids we would dress up as Mary, and angels (with tinsel halos) and shepherds (wearing bath robes). We LOVED it as kids and we are doing it with Noah and his cousins this year. Just another way to make sure the real reason for Christmas isn't forgotten.
Lauren W said…
I love your Christmas pajamas! That's such a sweet tradition.

And I would love to see a tree lighting ceremony one day. From what I understand, you have to buy tickets?

Hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving :)
Erica Musyt said…
I love your list of traditions! There are so many that I have experienced with my family growing up that I want to continue when I have my own family one day! Happy Holidays *erica*
Jenn said…
I second the Little People nativity! My kids really loved playing with it last year. A friend was telling me about a nice Melissa and Doug nativity, but I haven't laid eyes on that one yet. Your traditions sound so fun! I have zero direction this year on what we'll be doing for Christmas. I guess I should get on that? I'll get on that.
Dee Stephens said…
I heard this from some blog a while back. A tradition of 3 gifts for each other. For the 3 wise men.
I think too much focus is put on gifts instead of the real reason and sometimes it's just overboard.
I like the Birthday Cake for Jesus too for when she gets older.
Heather said…
Great list! I love the idea of a gingerbread house competition!
Allison said…
This is so sweet! Makes me want to make a list of my own! I love your Thai tradition and the meaning behind it. So fun. :)
Scut11 said…
For #9 you need to add "and rate houses" or "and grade houses" because that is the tradition you know :)
We did Zoo lights tonight and it was really cute!
birdie to be said…
Aw! I love these. I need to incorporate some of these in my life too!
Love reading other people's Christmas traditions! Having a little one definitely adds new and exciting ones too!

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