“ I am a TRADITION JUNKIE!”
I realized it 6 years ago when My #3 child Savannah, who was then 10 years old, approached me one November morning by Saying “Mom we need to plan our day to go shopping for our Christmas dresses; she ended with “MOM, it’s a tradition”. I had to stop and think for a minute “a tradition….HMMM”. I can only recall actually taking her dress shopping just the previous year since in years past I arrived home and presented my girls with the dresses I had picked out for them. What I realized was Savannah had such a fun time picking out her dress and shopping that she wanted to do it again and she figured that if she threw in the word TRADITION, knowing I love traditions , then I would be sure to repeat the event again. It worked.
I often hear my kids say to me BUT mom it’s a tradition whether it be to stay up late and watch a movie with DAD on Friday NIGHT or to choose what they ate for their birthday meal. They have learned in our family that traditions are important to each of us. They have given them a sense of security and a sense of identity; they feel loved and encouraged by them.
During Christmas one of the main traditions we do through out the month is called the “25 Days of Christmas”.
We count down the days by doing daily holiday activities. Many of these are things you already do during this time of year but this makes it memorable.
First I begin by going through my list I have saved from year to year of over 40 various activity ideas.
Next, I then choose 25 ideas I want to do that particular year. A few examples are: decorate a tree, make cookies, visit Santa Clause, read the Christmas story, movie night, serve sparkling Cider for dinner etc. Like I said, many of these are activities you already do with your families. We are just creating a little more Christmas excitement.
Then I look at my calendar and see which days I can do each of my chosen activities and I write them on my calendar.
Next, I go to my computer and type up little notes to go with each activity such a “ Artists are you ready? It’s time to make a masterpiece in our bonus room” This is for the day I allow my kids to paint the windows with a Christmas scene. Another example is “Get your hammers and nails out it’s time to build and decorate” did you guess this one? Time for my kids to create a ginger bread house.
* place each note in a separate numbered envelope. Each day your children can open an envelope and read what that days activity is. I do not recommend you seal the envelope until you hand it to your kids because if life goes crazy and you were planning to see santa but Suzy got sick, you can quickly change it around. Which is also why it is important to keep a list of which days you are doing what.
* Place each note in little numbered boxes or Chinese take out boxes hung on a small tree.
*Hang 25 small stockings on a clothes line and place a number on each stocking .
*Purchase an Advent Calender with pockets to place the notes in( see examples below)
*Purchase an Advent curio cabinet with little drawers to place each note in. ( see examples below)
Keep it simple choose carefully what activities you will do so that you do not become overwhelmed. Make this season a time to make memories with your kids and make it special.
This is the time of year we Celebrate the birth of Jesus, not living each day in complete stress and on overload. Make it Simple. Make it Fun!
1. Present advent calendars to your children
2. Sing Christmas carols together then eat yummy cookies
3. Visit Santa Clause and have their picture taken
4. Go shopping and allow each child to pick out a new ornament
5. Attend a Holiday event
6. Host a family game night and invite another family
7. Take kids to pick out your Christmas tree
8. String pop corn
9. Build a Ginger bread house
10. Serve Sparkling cider with dinner
11. Bake cookies together
12. Paint holiday scenes on your windows
13. Coloring night…each year color in the same book and date it
14. Have a happy Birthday Jesus party, invite the neighbor kids
15. Make Christmas cards
16. Movie night….popcorn and yummy treats
17. PJ Night…everyone gets a new pair
18. Go for a ride and look at all the decorated houses
19. Have dinner by the Christmas tree picnic style
20. December 6th St Nick Night. Have kids place their shoes out with carrots and apples in them and while they are sleeping replace with a small gift
21. Make homemade fudge
22. Decorate your Tree
23. Make Christmas gifts
24. Host a Christmas craft club for your children and their friends
25. Help a family in need …choose ways to teach your children to give.
26. Make or purchase Thank you gifts for community service workers then take your children around town to drop them off.
27. Red or Green night….Serve food in these colors, decorate the table in these colors
28. Tell the Christmas story and place a light in your window inviting Jesus into your home
29. Make paper chain garlands
30. Snowman night—decorate table with snowmen be creative
31. Ice Cream night ..make sundaes or go out
32. Take kids shopping for Daddy or Siblings or Grand Parents
33. Wrap gifts…. kids love to help
34. Bake a pie
35. Make a sugar cube castle
36. Elf hunt
37. Let your kids decorate their bedrooms
38. Bake a gingerbread man and tell the story
39. Play bingo with dollar store prizes…invite your neighbors over
40. Advent wreath
41. Learn about another Countries traditions
42. Celebrate Hanukkah
43. Tell the Christmas story and wear costumes
44. Dec 22nd first day of winter..take a day trip to the snow
45. Have a slumber party by the tree
Add your own family traditions.
Share your Christmas family traditions with us at 24/7 MOMS by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org