For me, Christmas is a time of reflection, family and traditions. Its what we keep going back to year after year and the memories that we create from those experiences keep us laughing and reminiscing as the years go on. Some of my favorite Christmas memories growing up is looking at Christmas lights with my cousins. We would drive around our hometown and pretend to grade people's decorations based on creativity, abundance, and effort. It was a great way to get all the cousins together for a night of silliness and fun.
Since Z and I have started our own little family, we have tried to create traditions of our own. Here are some traditions that we do and some that we don't do, but I think are fun ideas.
Traditions We Do:
1. Watch Little Women, White Christmas and Have a Little Faith.
(Have A Little Faith was made in 2011, so it's not an old tradition, but a movie I loved and have watched every year since. It's about author, Mitch Albom going back to visit his old Rabbi and at the same time getting involved in a local church. It's a goodie and one I highly recommend.)
2. Send out a Christmas card to friends and family.
3. Pick out a Christmas tree and decorate it.
4. Listen to Christmas music.
5. Set Up a Nativity Scene. (Full disclosure: we somehow lost baby Jesus!! Yikes! We are improvising right now, but need to remedy this soon.)
6. Make a visit to Santa and take a picture.
7. Go to the Botanical Gardens to see the Christmas display.
8. Make and decorate a gingerbread house. (This is actually a competition in Z's family between all the cousins. Everyone submits a video of their creation and his parents are the judge.)
9. Have Thai food on Christmas Eve. (Z and I were on our honeymoon in Thailand during our first Christmas together and we thought it would be a fun tradition that we remember that time together every year by eating some sort of Thai food on Christmas Eve. Usually, we have it for lunch and then a Christmas dinner with family.)
10. Go to a Christmas Eve service.
11. Make a birthday cake for Jesus and sing Happy Birthday. (This is Sawyer's favorite.)
12. Open family Christmas pajamas that you get the night before.
13. Leave cookies out for Santa and leave reindeer food out for his helpers. Our reindeer food consists of oatmeal and glitter that we leave out on the porch or backyard.
14. Have a big breakfast Christmas morning.
15. Open presents.
Traditions that Sound Fun:
1. See the Nutcracker.
2. Decorate Christmas cookies and bring them to a friend or neighbor.
3. Write a letter to Santa.
4. Get together with friends for an ugly Christmas sweater party.
5. Go caroling.
6. Make homemade Christmas cards and hand them out in a nursing home.
7. Make an ornament
8. Read the birth of Jesus from the Bible.
9. Go to a cookie swap.