Last year my husband was deployed for Christmas. And really, Squish was only 6 months old, so establishing family traditions wasn’t super high on our list.
This year my husband will be home for Christmas, and I can’t wait to start our own family holiday traditions. Some of the traditions I hope to create for our family for the Holidays are:
One Christmas Ornament each year
When I was little my parents gave each child an ornament every year. When we moved out to start families of our own, we were able to take those ornaments to decorate our trees. That way we would never have a bare tree. I loved this.
In fact, my hubs and I have been doing it already since we moved out to Las Vegas. The best part is trying to pick the ornament. I like to get something to reflect the previous year’s accomplishments or highlight a special memory. For instance last year we got Squish his first ornament, and the Hubs and I got a ornament to signify our first home which we had bought earlier that year. Eventually Squish can help pick his ornament, and when he grows up, he will have enough to decorate his own tree.
Sponsoring a Child or Family in need
This ties in with my desire to teach my son the power of giving. I want him to remember how blessed we are to be where we are, and to share our blessings with others less fortunate.
Christmas Eve Pajamas
Each Christmas eve I would love for the whole family to open up a present of Holiday Jammys. That way when we get up the next morning and take pictures of the festivities, we all have matching pjs and fun Christmas morning pictures. I am really really hoping my hubs embraces this and just goes with it. It really does mean a lot to me.
One Present on Christmas Eve
(Well, I guess it would technically be two since we will open the jammies up…) I grew up being able to pick ONE present to open before we went to bed. It was so fun to analyze the packages and try open the one I was most excited for. Plus it took a little of the edge off so falling asleep for Santa came a little bit easier.
Cookies and Reindeer Food
Each Christmas Eve before we went to be, we put out cookie and milk for Santa, and carrots for his reindeer. When we woke up there was an empty plate, and a thank you note from Santa. When you still believe in the magic of Santa, it was really exciting.
Advent in our home
During the Christmas season we would spend Sunday night’s lighting the respective Advent Candle and talking about the meaning of it. We would sing a Christmas carol or two, and start to move the appropriate characters into the nativity. Those are some of my favorite Christmas memories. After all, the birth of Jesus is the reason for the season. My mother really made it fun for us. Thanks Mom.
Gingerbread People and Cats
Okay, so maybe we won’t do people and cats in our home, but I will make the gingerbread for my kids and hubs to decorate. My Mom did this every year, and would poke a hole in the heads before they baked. Then we would string ribbon through to make them able to hang on the tree. We would frost them with colored powder sugar frosting, red hots, and sprinkles. I always liked them best when they were fresh and soft, but most of my family liked them after they had been hanging on the tree for a while and had hardened up.
Every year my mother would write a Holiday Letter to our family and friends to include with our Christmas Card. In it she would update our family and friends on the goings on in our lives. Accomplishments, hardships, and anything that seemed worth sharing. I have already started do this, and have done 2 years already. I hope to save all the letters in one spot, and eventually put them in a book. A way to take a look back through the years in one simple letter.
I hope that around this time each year we can take a family picture. One that isn’t your everyday picture. A professional family photo. I love love love pictures. My Hubs indulges me, and smiles for a limited period of time. And the Squish? Well, we all know he is a ham!
I could probably go on and on with more traditions I would love to start, but this seems like a good beginning!
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