Over the years my family has grown and Christmas traditions have been picked up along the way. These are a few of the things we look forward to enjoying together every year.
- The Advent Calendar
- The Elf on the Shelf
- Baked Gingerbread Crafts
- Visits with Santa
- Luke 2:1-20
- Cookies, Milk and a Banana for Santa
The Advent Calendar
Every December morning (for 25 days) my girls wake up and they’re excited to open each door of their advent calendar. I always try to find special treats I know they’re going love and they get one every day until Christmas. I love the actual advent calendar itself. It’s one of my favorite Christmas decorations.
The Christmas Pickle
We’re not German, but after seeing the pickle ornament in stores for so many years and thinking it would be a fun thing for the kids to do, we finally started this Christmas tradition a few years ago. Each year after decorating the tree, the pickle is hidden amongst the decorations. The first child to find it receives a special gift from Santa. If your kids are like mine they’ll be so in to competing to find the pickle, they won’t think about the gift.
Elf on the Shelf
We started this tradition in 2011 and it has been so much fun for the kids. Families all over the world have enjoyed seeing their elf come and go every evening to take their behavior report to Santa. This has helped my kids think more about their actions every year, because they know “Boyfriend” is always watching. Yup…that’s our Elf on the Shelf’s name (given by the kids as toddlers). We recently started popping in the Elf on the Shelf DVD as well to kick off the season. This tradition has grown and we actually have an elf that sits on their shelf in their room all year-long when our traveling elf returns to the North Pole. #genius
Baked Gingerbread Crafts
We can’t let the Christmas season pass without doing gingerbread crafts together. We have so much fun creating houses, trains, sweaters, and anything else that comes with a kit. Every store sells them and they’re easy and fun to do. One of these days we’ll try one from scratch.
Visits with Santa
I don’t know when this tradition will end. Of course my girls are getting older, but now we have a new addition to the family. I’m pretty sure he will continue to see Santa for several more years at least. We’ve made it a fun experience and I have enjoyed choosing themed or coordinating outfits for the kids. My husband and I have also gotten in on the fun. 2015 was my favorite year when Santa Claus helped us with our gender reveal.
The Birth of Jesus Reading
Jesus is the reason for this season and in my family we celebrate the birth of Christ every Christmas Eve with my husband reading Luke 2:1-20. The girls love to gather around to hear this story and I imagine one day having grandchildren to join us. This is one tradition that we will keep forever.
Cookies, Milk, and a Banana for Santa
I don’t know if you have heard, but Santa loves his cookies and milk, but he also likes bananas. At least he does according to my children. So each year before bed on Christmas Eve we set out cookies and milk and they throw in a banana too. We never go to bed without leaving Santa a tasty treat.