Showing posts with label christmas traditions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label christmas traditions. Show all posts

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Ways to Celebrate the Christmas Season

The first year Z and I were married, I wanted to make special traditions that were tailored just for us. Some of those traditions have stayed-like getting a new ornament each year-and some of gone to the wayside-like eating Thai food every Christmas Eve.

Now, that we have Sawyer and he is old enough to finally "get" what Christmas is all about, we really wanted to make this holiday season fun for him. Everyday we try to celebrate in some way, shape or form. Each day isn't a big thing. One day it meant making hot chocolate and listening to a Christmas station as we put away laundry or it could be bigger things like seeing Santa or going to an exhibit. But each day, I want to make it a point that this season is special, magical, and one that involves family and Christ.

I love whenever I see other blogs and websites that give Christmas ideas and activities, so I decided to include my little list as well. Some of the things are silly, but they are little memories that are quickly becoming my favorite. Also, let me know if you do anything fun over the holidays. I always love hearing new ideas, especially if it involves little ones, and maybe I can add them into our list this year or next.

{Day 1} Bought a chocolate advent calendar.

{Day 2} Bought and decorated our Christmas tree. Can't believe this is the first year we are actually doing this! Every Christmas before we just had a little fake tree that we set up, but this is the first year we actually went for the real deal and I'm so glad we did. There isn't anything better than the smell of a real tree.

{Day 3} Took the long way home-meaning I went up and down two streets in our neighborhood before turning into ours- and we pointed out all the Christmas lights and trees. Sawyer gets so excited whenever he spots a Christmas tree before me. It's too funny.

{Day 4} Had hot cocoa and listened to Christmas tunes on pandora.

{Day 5} Read a Christmas book before bed. It was actually a really great book and I recommend it if you are looking for a good and different holiday book. It's called the Littlest Angel  and apparently its a play too.

{Day 6} Bull Run Festival of Lights. We were going to do this next weekend, but it was so rainy and cold that we decided to switch up plans and do the drive-through festival instead. It was a really fun.  You pay $15 and drive through a festival of lights for about 30 minutes. At the end you are greeted by the Holiday Village where there are smores, a bonfire, hot cocoa, and yes, Santa! Sawyer got his picture taken and hated every minute of it. Poor guy. Santa even gave him a reindeer animal and peppermint stick and he still wasn't having it. Next year!

{Day 7} Botanic Gardens Christmas display. One of my favorite things about living in DC is all the free museums and exhibits. Today, we went to check out out the train and Christmas exhibit here and it was great. I loved looking at the DC monuments that were made out of bark or plant materials and Sawyer loved the trains, especially the Thomas. A bonus is that its so warm in there, so its great on a cold and windy day.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

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.

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