Christmas Traditions

by HEAB on December 14, 2011

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The other night, CD and I were discussing our family’s Christmas traditions.  Last Christmas, Summer was only 6 weeks old and slept through most of the festivities.  Now, that’s she’s a little older, I’d really like to make Christmas Eve and Christmas Day really special just like my parents did for me and my brothers.  Here are some of our ideas:

  • Every family member gets a new pair of Christmas PJ’s to wear on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day morning.

Check! I went to Target and bought 3 sets of Christmas PJ’s. :)

  • Christmas Eve = homemade pizza & movie night.  Everyone gets to fill one big pizza with toppings of their choice.  After pizza we can all watch a favorite Christmas movie.  My suggestions: Elf, Christmas Vacation, or A Christmas Story.  CD’s suggestion?  Airplane…now there’s a holiday classic for the whole family.
  • Christmas Day, we wake up, stay in our PJ’s, open presents and drink hot cocoa. Maybe take a family walk in the afternoon.

I know traditions often evolve over time, but it never hurts to come up with a few ideas, right? I’m sure some will stick and others won’t, and we’ll probably add new ones as the years go by.

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?

{ 91 comments }

Jennie (the gf-gf) December 14, 2011 at 2:28 pm

If I’m remembering right, Airplane was shown in theaters around Christmastime last year, so I can get behind that! :-)

Every year when I was growing up, Santa put a toothbrush in my stocking. I thought it was, like, a universal tradition that Santa wants kids to have good dental hygiene. Found out last year that wasn’t so much the case when I put a toothbrush in my boyfriend’s stocking and he thought it was weird!

Chris December 14, 2011 at 8:05 pm

I used to get toothbrushes too, so it must be a tradition somewhere!

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:57 am

Jennie,
What’s so weird about promoting good dental hygiene? ;)

Ami @ parsnipsandpears December 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm

in my family we always went and got hot chocolate and drove around or walked around and looked at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve. I loved it and my husband and I do it now with our son (he was only a few months old last Christmas and slept through it all, but still fun haha).

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:56 am

Ami,
I want to do that with Summer. Christmas lights make me so happy, and our neighbors really get into it. So fun!

katie @KatieDid December 14, 2011 at 2:37 pm

I love the PJ idea, Summer’s little waffle ones are too cute.
It’s funny to think of traditions and how they emerge. I wonder if my parents ever thought up traditions or if they just happened over time… but I dearly miss all the traditions I had growing up- trudging through the snow to find the perfect tree to cut down with my brothers and Dad, my brother’s birthday dinner on Christmas Eve, and spending all day on Christmas at my Grandmother’s with all of our cousins. Oh how times have changed, but its never too late to start making new traditions right!

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:55 am

Katie,
Right, never too late! :)

Lindsey F December 14, 2011 at 2:40 pm

We always had a very special Christmas morning breakfast- hot cocoa and cinnamon rolls. :)

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:55 am

Lindsey,
Ahh, so many of you have mentioned cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. I must take part in this tradition and soon! :)

Kat December 14, 2011 at 3:04 pm

when I was growing up, we did the PJs – usually my mom made them, matching for me and my little sis :)
my mom would make vonitchka, an old family sweet bread recipe, that involved getting up at ungodly hours to knead dough. but it was oh so delicious Christmas morning! and I still (at 28) get underwear in my stocking :)

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:54 am

Kat,
I think the underwear tradition is universal – well, underwear and socks. They filled my stocking most years too. :)
So fun your mom made your PJ’s. I really want to learn how to sew!

Rose December 14, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I think having a consistent time to open presents is good (esp. as your little one gets older and *doesn’t believe* any longer). My family had this cool tradition of opening gifts after midnight mass around 1 a.m. I don’t know why, but it was really fun because it was so late. You’d think we’d be tired, but that was part of the excitement, I guess.

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:53 am

Rose,
My dad was raised Catholic and we went to midnight mass on Christmas Eve as a family a couple of time growing up…and always opened our presents when we got home. Everyone was too excited to go to sleep!

the delicate place December 14, 2011 at 3:15 pm

love your traditions! mine include watching the christmas story tbs marathon and lighting sparklers on christmas eve and running around just before midnight in the yard. it’s cold, invigorating and beautiful. we just save a pack from 4th of july each year so we have them on hand :)

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:51 am

Melissa,
Sparklers – great idea. I gotta remember that one come July. :)

Rachel December 14, 2011 at 3:21 pm

I’m a little OCD about my Christmas traditions… watching all 15 of my favorite Christmas movies by Christmas day, lining up my presents in size order on Christmas morning, having Belinis with my mom while we all play a game Christmas Eve. But my favorite isn’t even my tradition, it’s Eric’s – every year he wear the Pink Nightmare bunny costume from “A Christmas Story” while opening presents. It’s definitely a sight!

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:50 am

Rachel,
Haha, no he does not. I knew Eric loved A Christmas Story (saw all his ornaments), but I didn’t know about the bunny suit. That is awesome.

Health Bee December 14, 2011 at 3:25 pm

I love Christmas traditions. Love your ideas! We watched our favorite cartoons for our Christmas movie. :-)

Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon December 14, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Haha we ALWAYS watch Christmas Vacation on either christmas eve or christmas day–definitely a classic!!
But, I have to say, Airplane is classic. Definitely one of the funniest movies I’m ever seen.

Katheryn December 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm

We have lots of traditions over here. The kids and I do lots of baking the few weeks before Christmas. We always make cinnamon rolls to pass out to our friends, neighbors, and teachers. The kids make lots of different Christmas crafts too. We have a number of Christmas movies I like to watch every year. The kids get to pick out a new ornament for the tree every year. This is especially fun through the years when we’re decorating are reminded what each child was into that year. Christmas Eve is our “program”. Everyone has to participate in some way. Some people sing, play an instrument, read or recite a story, put on a play. Anything. Set out cookies, milk, and carrots for Santa and the reindeer and off to bed. Obviously there’s the Christmas morning hoopla with the presents and fun. We also sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. Corny? Yes, but a fun tradition. A pancake breakfast is usually made (although sometimes that doesn’t happen till lunch). Christmas day activities have ranged depending on whether we’re living near family or not. Before bed that night though we read the Christmas story from the bible.

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:49 am

Katheryn,
Great traditions, and I love the Happy Birthday. Great reminder as to what Christmas is really all about. :)

Sarah @ See Sarah Eat December 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm

I love the PJ’s and agree with your movie selections, ha ha :) Airplane is funny but I don’t think of it as a holiday movie. However, we do consider Die Hard a Christmas movie in our house!

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:48 am

Sarah,
Yeah! Yippie-Kai-Yay… ;)
Love Die Hard.

Jen December 14, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Christmas Eve night has always been the “big” night for my family and our friends — a delicious and simple dinner of chicken du vin, one of the rare occasions we drink wine, and then we open most of the presents. Our immediate family saves our special presents for one another until Christmas morning. My mother still fills a stocking hung at the fireplace for me and my brother.

Caitlin @ Vegetarian in the City December 14, 2011 at 3:54 pm

My family does the new pjs tradition too!

Cynthiasolc December 14, 2011 at 4:18 pm

The PJs idea is too cute, must go to Target soon!

Lou December 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Love a good pair of cozy Pjs!

Xmas traditions for us include champagne cocktails in the morning (adults only, but maybe juice+ lemonade in a fancy glass for the kiddies – as kids we we allowed to drink lemonade out of my Nana’s fancy crystal glasses ONLY on Xmas day! Such a treat!)

The BEACH- after all the present opening/eating there must be a mission to the beach to swim and play cricket (burn off the ridiculous amounts of food that has been consumed)

Then go home and eat MORE.

Then a little siesta.

The National Lampoons Christmas Vacation and hot chocolate spiked with baileys. More treats.

Bed.

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:47 am

Lou,
I love all these traditions. So fun you can go to the beach on Christmas…and then drink hot chocolate with Baileys. YUM!

kathleen @ the daily crumb December 14, 2011 at 4:28 pm

i think family holiday traditions are SO important, especially when you have kids! we always baked cookies for santa allll day christmas eve, lounged around in our new christmas jammies at night, and woke up bright and early for presents. we’d have cinnamon rolls and open presents one by one at a time… and stockings were always last. that’s where the real loot was!

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:46 am

Kathleen,
Several others have mentioned cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning I’m liking the sound of that tradition. :)

Jenny December 14, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Christmas traditions are what make the holidays so special :) a few of my favorites include decorating the christmas tree (we have to wait until Christmas Eve when my whole family is home!), decorating Gingerbread men, getting new PJs and Christmas books, and having my dad read us The Night Before Christmas. I think it’s beautiful that you and CD are planning some new traditions for the little nugget. She’ll love them!

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:45 am

Thanks Jenny, I hope so. :)

Ashton December 14, 2011 at 4:53 pm

My favorite tradition was very unplanned, but every year my younger brother and I would wake up at 4am because we were just too excited. He always had a TV in his room and I did not so I’d go in there with a favorite blanket and we’d watch the 24 hour A Christmas Story marathon until my parents would wake up! I’m 22 now and Christmas has gotten less exciting but I still wake up way earlier on Christmas than I usually do!

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:44 am

Ashton,
My younger brother and I were always up at 4 AM as well, but not even A Christmas Story could keep us quiet. We drove my parents and older brother crazy until they got out of bed. :)

Lara December 14, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Love this, Heabie. Our family also has the tradition of opening presents on Christmas morning. I think it’s so special. I remember as a kid NEEDING everyone to wake up so we could open them! Many of our traditions also revolve around food (no surprise there, really), my favorite being that my dad’s side of the family always has prime rib and lobster for Christmas dinner :)

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:43 am

Lara,
Haha me too. My younger brother and I were usually up by 4 AM going crazy for our parents and older brother to get out of bed! Oh, and prime rib? Count me in! :)

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) December 14, 2011 at 4:58 pm

I love watching A Christmas Story on Christmas day! We always seem to be going from place to place for Christmas, so we really don’t have any hard core traditions. I think I may want you to adopt me now though…I want pizza and pjs!

Mary @ Bites and Bliss December 14, 2011 at 4:59 pm

I love the PJ tradition. :) Michael and I are trying to make new ones like building gingerbread houses and buying a new ornament every year..stuff like that. Maybe they’ll stick. :)

Candy @ Healthy In Candy Land December 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm

With my boys now 8 and 5 years old, they are very “into” our yearly Christmas traditions. During the month of December we build and decorate graham cracker houses, have an annual Polar Express viewing night with hot cocoa and a candy cane, new jammies on Christmas Eve, and since we are so busy visiting family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day we have made the 26th a day when we, just the four of us, stay home in jammies all day and play board games, watch movies, go for a walk, and eat pizza. It is my favorite day! Happy Holidays to you!

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:42 am

Candy,
I love all your traditions, and I bet the boys get so excited for Christmas. I’m adding gingerbread house making to our list. :)

Critty December 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Love the Demetra X-mas tree!!

One of my most favorite Christmas traditions that I’m not even sure how it started is —-> on x-mas day, late afternoon (after eatin and opening gifts) my dad, brother, sis-n-law, uncle sam (skank richard for those that know me well) and john dunkerly go to the park near my parents house and make up random, silly games. We bring all kinds of things to use like tennis rackets, footballs, softballs, frisbees, buckets, etc. It’s hilarious and so much fun! Plus it gets ya movin’ after stuffing yourself from all the delicious food….anyone is welcome to join us but those are the core people that have done it for the past 5 or 6 years. We actually come up with some pretty cool one of a kind games!!

I think you’ve got a good start on the traditions. Definitely take your favorite moments from the next few years and make them something you guys will always enjoy. :)

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:41 am

Thanks Critty,
I didn’t know about your random gaming adventures. That sounds like something CD would LOVE. We’ll have to join you next year. This year will be in AZ on Christmas Day. Can’t wait. Christmas 2012! :)

Christin@purplebirdblog December 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm

I am straight up about to steal your PJ idea. Especially considering (having read another blog about traditions, the exact of which I can’t recall at the moment) that I wanted to steal the idea of driving around and looking at Christmas lights while wearing PJs and drinking hot chocolate. Alex will be getting home from work around 11:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, so I was hoping we could open presents and then go for a drive after that, clad in PJs. :)

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:40 am

Christin,
I love that idea – PJ’s, hot chocolate, and lights. Perfect!!!

dawn December 14, 2011 at 6:31 pm

hello dear heather and adorable summer!!!! miss our chats….and love the pj’s ….but aren’t you supposed to save them for christmas eve?? smiles d

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:39 am

Dawn,
Me too. Hope all is well with you – think about you often. Yes, the PJ’s were meant for Christmas Eve, but we couldn’t help ourselves. CD is being good and saving his. :)

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 14, 2011 at 6:33 pm

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? = come to Aruba for December and do as little as possible. Which some days I succeed, some days I cook and bake and photograph wayyyy more here than I would at home.

And no dishwasher, the house is 90F degrees in the kitchen, things are melting in the photographs, nothing like a little make work as I ‘relax’..haha!

But all in all, I love it and just being here is and always will be our tradition. Watching Skylar grow up and marking her growth by what she was doing last time we were here is the best.

And I love that pic of you two. And the holiday PJs are soooo cute!

Pure2raw twins December 14, 2011 at 6:39 pm

oh how I wish I could get my family to stay in PJs all day…a girl can dream.
I could stay in my PJs all day, oh wait I do, haha
xoxo
M

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:38 am

Michelle,
I love PJ days. No shame! :)

Shelby December 14, 2011 at 7:49 pm

I still get PJ’s every year! I look forward to Christmas Eve for that very reason.

kristen @ verbs and vignettes December 14, 2011 at 7:55 pm

i’ve never thought to come up with the traditions i want in advance! what an amazing idea.

christmas is my favorite time. i’m worried it will feel different this year since i’m in my first apartment… on christmas eve, we go to church to sing carols, and then to my aunt’s house for lasagna. my mom and i wake up ridiculously early on christmas and basically lay around super excited waiting for the sun to come up. we get my dad up a little while later, drink coffee (or juice for my mom), and open presents. then the rest of the family comes over to hang out in the afternoon.

love.

i’m excited that i’m adding someone new to the mix this year. i just hope i have as great of a time without home technically being home. i’m sure it will be awesome, and i’ll just update the traditions.

Alyssa December 14, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Oh my goodness, cutest little PJs!!!!!!
When I was growing up we’d open gifts, have cinnamon rolls & bacon, then have the entire family over for dinner.
These days, being *groovy* Californians, Hubby and I take the kids to the beach, as long as the weather is decent.

Kim December 14, 2011 at 9:05 pm

My boyfriend and make homemade ornaments every year. Always one ceramic ball that we design with paint and a couple of other wooden ones that we buy and paint too, from the craft store. It’s not done on Christmas eve or day, but it has become a “Christmas” tradition. It fun to see the collection grow year by year. Our first year ball is purple with orange swirls and red dots with some other designs too. It’s pretty bizarre. But it was year 1 ball, so it just makes it more special, than it already is. lol.

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:37 am

Kim,
What a fun tradition. I bet it’s so cool to unpack your ornaments every year and remember making them all together. Love it! :)

gail December 14, 2011 at 9:11 pm

oooh Christmas traditions…my Christmas eve has always included a “Twinkle Tour” after the Christmas Eve church service and the kids being allowed to open one small present. Christmas Day the tradition seems to be at least one family disagreement and the women huddling in the kitchen doing dishes for hours on end. : )

liz dean December 14, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Christmas Story is my fave Christmas movie…ever!!! :) I will watch it over and over over Christmas weekend. Can’t get enough of it!

My family has had certain traditions in place since I was a kid, and we still do them…now with all spouses and children (all 8 of them!)…we always have dinner together on Christmas Eve then go to the candlelight service at church; then Christmas morning, we all meet at my parents house for stockings, then breakfast ( the same thing every year…Sara Lee coffee cake and breakfast sausage) then presents. It is always so fun…by noon we all head off to the in-laws! :)

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:36 am

Liz,
I’d totally be up for some Sara Lee coffee cake and breakfast sausage in my new PJ’s while watching A Christmas Story. :)

liz dean December 14, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Oh….and I have always given Gabby new pj’s…I think Christmas morning and new pj’s just go together!

Megn December 14, 2011 at 9:51 pm

When it comes to traditions my family has some pretty awesome ones. On Christmas Eve my family gets together for a huge celebration and every year Santa pays a visit to our celebration. I remember as I kid being so shocked and surprised that Santa would show up and now as an adult I love that it brings back such great memories from years past. We also make hundreds of raviolis a few weeks before Christmas to enjoy with our feast.

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:35 am

Megn,
Homemade raviolis and Santa – I like it. :)

Hannah December 14, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Ours used to be opening the immediate family’s presents first and then having a breakfast of croissants before all the other relatives (well, thr 4-5 other relatives we’d have over…) arrived for Christmas lunch and other presents, but now that Evan and I are older and the company is more important than the presents, the schedule often changes.

My favourite “tradition”, though, is that the pre-present stockings are actually pillowcases for my brother and me :P

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:34 am

Hannah,
Pillowcases – love it! :)

J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) December 14, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Your traditions sounds fun! I bet Summer is going to love it and look forward to it for the rest of her life. :)

I grew up in a traditional Italian (Catholic) family, so Christmas Eve was always the Feast of 7 Fish (Seven Fish feast, etc.) and Midnight mass (that I went to once) and usually lasagna on Christmas Day and lots of laziness after opening gifts. :) This year, we’re going to my mom’s side of the family for Christmas Eve… total opposite, but going to squeeze our fish dinner in there too!

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:33 am

Jenn,
Sounds good to me. Great food and a lazy day. Perfect. :)

charlotte December 14, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Aww – my fam totally had the same PJs tradition when I was growing up! Love it! My husband and I each have traditions we’ve brought from our own families but haven’t really done a great job of coming up with new ones… Love you and sweet little Summer! (And holy cow, she’s a year younger than Jelly Bean and has twice as much hair!)

Kim December 15, 2011 at 12:33 am

Ok, so we are channeling each other again! We have done ALL your traditions since Bella was born, we still do. The only thing we do and Bella still LOVES to do every year is the gingerbread house. She did her first one when she was Summer’s age, it was fun! We have not changed any in 10yrs!

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:25 am

Kim,
I think we need to do the gingerbread houses. I made a few growing up and always had so much fun. Adding it to our list! :)

Karen December 15, 2011 at 12:38 am

I have live so far from family for so long I haven’t thought of traditions really but I have a Santa and a reindeer that belonged to my youngest brother, now deceased. It is not Christmas for me until those are out and up. In years I’ve been ill those have been the only two inside decorations but they are the ones that matter. Outside, I need lights either on a small tree or on something. Just white lights. And it’s not really Christmas unless I’ve baked something to share with others. I make most of my gifts and I love that it brings me as much pleasure as I hope it brings them. I believe you can feel the love in a hand made gift….

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:24 am

Karen,
I agree – handmade gifts are the best as so much thought and love goes into them. I’m the same way with lights – I put up one strand around our front door every year, and they must be white. Simple, but beautiful. They make me happy. :)

Kim December 15, 2011 at 12:40 am

I forgot! I have always bought Bella 3 new ornaments every year since before she was born. It is always so fun to see them year after year. For the past few years, she has picked them out. I love the Hallmark ones. We always try to buy from places we vacation in. Our favorite was finding the one from skiing last year in Reno. Never thought we would be living here a year later!

Marty December 15, 2011 at 2:24 am

Beautiful Christmas tree, and I love the new PJs!

Fav movie? Definitely Bing Crosby in A White Christmas!

Fam tradition was oyster stew for dinner Christmas Eve, and my parents wrapping last minute presents late. The town skating rink was two houses next door and we’d go skating with sparklers after dinner then home for got chocolate or homemade nog, after we’d been to church Christmas Eve (instead of Christmay Day).

Breakfast was my mothers homemade Christmas Stollen, scrambled eggs and broiled tomatoes. Our stockings were hung on the mantle but when filled our bedroom doors so we could get up early and open them without waking my parents (6 kids). We opened all our presents Christmas day. Christmas dinner was always roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Being celiac, how I miss Yorkshire pudding with lots of gravy!

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:23 am

Marty,
what wonderful traditions. Thanks for sharing. I’ve always wanted to try Christmas stollen. Sounds delicious!

Alex @ Spoonful of Sugar Free December 15, 2011 at 7:16 am

Those traditions sound so great! And you all look adorable in your pj’s :P

I don’t know if our family really has traditions per say because we always seem to be somewhere else in the country for Christmas each year!

Betsy @ Gluten Free Betsy December 15, 2011 at 9:47 am

I love it! Those Christmas PJs are adorable!

Last year my family was all over the place, so my brother and I went to my other brother & sister-in-law’s house to watch Christmas movies with their family. We watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and it was so fun being with them and their kids, who were super excited for Santa! We talked about doing it again this year, I would love to make that a tradition. :)

Monica December 15, 2011 at 9:55 am

These are all awesome ideas! With a 5 week old my husband and I have been talking about starting some traditions and I really like yours. Granted Wrigley is way too young to notice this year, but it would be fun to start something now. :)

Happy holidays!

Annie@thisladybakes December 15, 2011 at 11:43 am

My parents always let me and my brothers open one present on Christmas Eve and whatever was in our stockings on Christmas morning (so we’d be happy and busy with that stuff and wouldn’t wake them up super early). I like your tradition ideas! And Summer is super cute in her Christmas pj’s.

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:15 am

Annie,
My parents always let us open one present on Christmas Eve as well, but we were still up at 4 AM ready to open everything else. Hehe. :)

Courtney December 15, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Cute traditions! Summer is just precious :) My family always goes out for Mexican food, then to a Christmas light show a few days before Xmas, and my mom and I always go to the Joffrey Nutcracker! :)

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:14 am

Courtney,
I’d totally be up for the Mexican food tradition as it’s my favorite, but CD is not a fan. So sad for me. At least he likes pizza! :)

Kelly December 15, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Oh man, I love Christmas traditions! Yours sound great. I guess getting new PJs on Christmas Eve must be a pretty widespread thing – we always got them (and still do!).

One of my favorites is having a traditional Christmas morning breakfast. We always opened our stockings first, then had breakfast – grapefruits and cinnamon rolls. Then we were well-fed and prepared for a morning of gift-opening!

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:13 am

Kelly,
Cinnamon rolls for breakfast must be another widespread tradition as several others have mentioned eating them on Christmas morning. I think that’s a tradition we should adopt! :)

Jessy December 15, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Awesome! I LOVE traditions, but we don’t have many in our family. :( I don’t think we have any Christmas traditions per say, New Year was a bigger deal for our family.

tanya December 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm

1.The husband and I buy eachother a christmas ortament and one for the kids, and open them christmas eve…when the childeren move out..they have quite a few of their very own ortaments with lot’s of memories for their tree.

2. Also we drive around looking at the lights just before xmas eve.

3.And we make 2 bags full of food/blankets/hat/gloves and find 2 homeless people to give them to.

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:12 am

Tanya,
Love your traditions. I had to buy myself all new ornaments when I moved out on my own, and so I’m definitely going to let Summer get a new one every year – great idea. Love #3 as well. :)

Denise Billings December 15, 2011 at 6:25 pm

How ’bout adding something about giving back to those in need? It never hurts to teach little ones the importance of that as early as possible.

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:11 am

Denise,
That’s something we hope to do with Summer year-round, not just at Christmas. :)

Jessica@Fruit and Veggie Tales December 16, 2011 at 8:26 am

I love those ideas! The Christmas pj and pizza idea is especially cute! We always go to my MIL’s house for Christmas Eve. We eat dinner, go to church and then watch, “It’s a Wonderful Life!” I’m going to suggest we do pizza! (G-free and vegan for us of course!) Now that we have 2 little ones, I am really trying to find traditions that turn their eyes more on Jesus. We are doing a great toddler advent activity that we can do each year, I made a felt nativity they can play with each year, and we will be making a cake and singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Jesus on Christmas Day and before we do presents we read the Christmas Story either from my children’s book or the Bible. Some of the other things we are thinking of doing as the kids get older…..taking the last 2 weeks of advent and getting a gift for someone in need each day, filling the living room with balloons (it IS a birthday after all!) and each balloon will have a scripture or uplifting message they will have to find. I’m looking for other things to really get them into it, but that’s what we have so far! I can’t wait!

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:09 am

Jessica,
I love all your birthday celebration ideas – will really bring the whole point of Christmas across to the kiddos. I’d love to make a felt nativity for Summer – definitely a project for next Christmas. So fun. Hope you enjoy some pizza on Christmas Eve! :)

Emily December 16, 2011 at 9:29 am

These all sound like such wonderful traditions. Summer is going to have such a great childhood. As someone who grew up in unstable environments with no real christmas or holiday traditions, I usually feel pretty ambivalent about other people’s celebrations, but this one just warmed the icy cockles of my heart. You rule, Heather.

HEAB December 16, 2011 at 9:57 am

Thanks Emily…never too late to start some special traditions of your own. :)

Kim December 16, 2011 at 9:30 am

I am posting pics of finished gingerbread house on Facebook later, we had fun!

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