Saturday, November 8, 2014

Holiday Plans? Share and Win

So, I am not exactly a Grinch, but Christmas is definitely not my favorite holiday, so as I have gotten older, I make deliberate efforts to increase my holiday participation and joy and make meaningful memories for my daughter. I search for good ideas and implement some of those, but I would love to know more personal ideas. What are your favorite traditions and what makes you joyful and happy during the holidays?? Maybe you can inspire me to become more like you and less-grinchy...hehe

One of my favorite holidays was spent with my best friend's family. They were Dutch and we left carrots and  hay for Santa's horses in the shoes on the hearth, along with chocolate toast for breakfast...yumm. hehe I got two Christmases that year as they celebrated at the beginning of December and our family celebrated on December 25---my dad's birthday!! LOL

I hope that my daughter's favorite memories will be at our house and since we just moved away from family this year, I need to make it extra special, so lay on the good ideas. :) Inspire me and win 3 clear stamps. :)

Yup..you read right. I  am going to select a commenter to receive 3 clear stamp sets of their choice to add to the pile of Christmas presents under the tree. :) 

Inspire us all!!

And for everyone, I am offering 40% off for the next 72 hours. Enter code: THANKS when you are checking out...Have fun and thanks for the inspiration!




70 comments:

terriavidreader (IN-USA) said...

Our tradition is to gather on Christmas eve, have a great dinner and then open gifts. Very simple with whole family together. Christmas day can then be crazy!

Eulanda said...

Every year I buy a gingerbread house and no matter how old my step kids are we still do it when we get together. I met them when they were 4 and 6 and now they are 17 and 19. We still do it just for kicks! Of course the boy is getting a little morbid but it's funny! Now I'm off to take advantage of your sale!! Hugs and good luck getting in the spirit!! LOL!

Cathie Borowski said...

With a 6 year old and 3 year old, I wanted to try and instill a couple of traditions. At this stage I put the tree up and decorate it(they can put one thing on it) I also have two advent calendars for the lead up to Christmas, one has a book to read every day, another one has draws and I like to mix it up, one day it might be a biscuit, one day it might be a lollie or chocolate, one day it might be a lego piece or barbie shoes. We are always at home on Christmas morning, so we can have that family time and i make french toast for breakfast and I have champagne and orange juice, so it makes the morning a little bit special for me to.

ccroll said...

The simple traditions are the best--like food and advent calendars.

Unfortunately, we have to get a fake tree this year since she has horrible allergies to live trees.

But I love the gingerbread house one...we always did that too. :)

Sandy said...

My family celebrates Hanukkah. It's so very hard to find any stamps/images that are cute and modern to make my holiday cards. We love to light the menorah every night and play games together and of course open gifts. Would love to have some images other than a menorah!! =0)

Anna said...

i love to spend time with my grandchildren, they are happy to tag along as i volunteer at local food banks,pack up goodies for those in need, also we spend lots of time baking for family, friends and strangers, just to put a smile on someones face. We get as much gratitude as we give. And let not forget the greeting cards we make to share with all. This is our holiday blessing to all.
Thanks for letting us share.
Wishing you happiness this holiday season.
Anna

Patria Flowers said...

We always made handmade gifts for the family and close friends. I always tried to involve the children even if it was making a second batch of Zucchini Bread so them could have the first batch out of the oven. I also started getting special ornaments for each of the children which they were allowed to open Christmas Eve. These ornaments belong to the children and were being saved for their Christmas trees when them moved away from home. I didn't want them to have Charlie Brown Christmas trees for their first Christmas trees. I really enjoyed finding or making an ornament specifically for that child.

Miria said...

I'm from italy and the most typical Christmas tradition in our country is to put up a crib. I have got a clay one with many different characters and a plenty of Sacred families from all over the world.

Lisa Lucchese said...

I have a Christmas Jar. I filled it with little things to do: make hot chocolate, popcorn and a Christmas movie, make an ornament, visit a seniors' home and bring a treat, make a donation, buy a gift for someone, make a gift, watch a Christmas special, watch Christmas Vacation, make sugar cookies, make a gingerbread house, etc. You basically customize it to your family. Then when we have some time in December, we pick one and do it. The only criteria is that you have to be able to do it the day you pick it. The kids loved it when they were little and still do. Then the papers go back and the jar comes out the next year. I made mine decorative so it looks nice too.

jan farnworth said...

we always do the cookies and milk and letter to santa so he can leave us one after he has his snack.

Shelley said...

We always put out a small plate with a couple of cookies and glass of milk for Santa and a carrot or two for the reindeer. I don't know how old your daughter is, but we also sprinkled magic reindeer food on the front lawn. There were always new pajamas to be worn on Christmas Eve. Simple but fun tradition. Also... there was always a present under the tree that was signed from Santa. Christmas morning after gifts were unwrapped and special breakfast eaten (usually homemade ham and cheese scones or Christmas Breakfast Casserole-Wife Saver lol), we'd call the special family members we could not be with to wish a Merry Christmas and to sometimes open presents to each other "together" while on the phone :-). Nothing too fancy or too hard to remember/a chore to do... just easy stress-free stuff to bring smiles.

Rae Ann said...

When the kids were little, they had to wait until the tree was lit on Christmas morning to come out to the living room. They would all gather in the bedroom that was closest to the living room and whisper and giggle in excitement. Sometimes we would drag it out and make them wait until coffee was brewed and poured. =P Now that they are all grown, they still insist on the tree being lit before coming to the living room. They still gather in the closest bedroom and giggle and whisper in excitement. It was intended to keep them from ripping open the presents before everyone was up, but it turned into an unexpected and sweet tradition.

Mad Moose said...

Oooh we have so many traditions! Some old and some newer....hmmm, ok, the second weekend of December my whole family descends on my parents house and we put on various Christmas movies (always including A Muppets Christmas Carol) and write Christmas cards and wrapping presents - always a bit crazy but always really fun and lots of laughs had. My brothers have an annual mince pie eating contest - which I wouldn't recommend to anyone who doesn't do a regular amount of exercise; last year's record was 289 mince pies consumed between the two of them!!! Anyway, newer traditions include singing carols on hospital wards and in nursing/assisted living homes which always goes down well and is a personal reminder that Christmas is about giving back not receiving - besides, you meet the most interesting people! I guess we have loads of family traditions when I think about it but I guess the over riding theme of all of them is that I feel happy and blessed whilst we doing them and when I remember them. Whatever th decide to do, have fun!

Gail said...

I guess ours is i have a christmas story(a true one) i tell every christmas. Our tree is real cut on our property.
I use my grandma's dishes and platter.
And special salt and pepper shakers and candleholders..
Ornaments on my tree are hand-made..some from when my girls were young so about 40yrs. old..and then the ones of my gramma's and moms some as old as 80yrs.
Perogies and cabbage rolls and perishki.
A new home-made ornament every year..All these old loved traditions will stay with us..our children and my grands..huggzz

eva said...

every year, each of my 3 kids makes an ornament. we have made felt mitten ornaments, felt gingerbread ornaments, decorated clear glass ornaments, and once we did seashells. on a small piece of paper we can tuck into the ornament, each of my kids writes their name, year and what they want from santa. we also make cookies with their great grandma for all the cousins, aunts and uncles.

rovianne said...

I'm not into the whole massive celebrations myself. I'm no Christian. But I love to spend time with the people who are important to me, either on Christmas or the days surounding. I review Christmastime as a time to reflect the past year and look forward to a new year, a new beginning.
Hope to give you some inspiration and thanks for the chance to win

papermorsels said...

A silly tradition I have - the first time I hear "I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" on the radio (that plays all Christmas music in December), I call my "little brother" (we are both grown ups now) and leave part of the song on his voicemail! I know that it always makes him smile and lets him know I am thinking of him, since we live far away from each other.

Silvermist Lark said...

Chtistmas for me and my 6yr old starts after rememberance sunday the tree goes up because originally i only had her every other weekend so to make sure she got the most time with it i brought decorating tree forward... between is we make as many memories we can from making a gingerbread hpuse from scratch to snuggling on the sofa with hot choc in candle n tree light. ... we do things that make us smile and relax... we make baked goodies and cards together for friends an family. We spend every xmas with my folks so we can relish in the wonder of love and cherishing our family time together. Usually my neice comes down for a few days to see in the new yr with us so we get bonus family time b4 school starts up again. Xmas isnt about receiving stuff its about spending time together and appreciating each other and love :)

aileen (mum) said...

I am a bit like you. Not a keen advocate of Christmas and all the commercial side BUT I have a daughter who has down syndrome and is deaf and though she is 22 developmentally she is still a little girl. Because of this we continue to celebrate christmas with the tree decorating. We put the tree up and Elysha decorates it, I wait till she goes to bed and then just re arrange as she is short and nothing gets higher than half way up the tree. But the best part of Christmas is Christmas Eve when my mother in law and brother in law and my kids and their kids come over for quick takeaway meal and we sit and play a game that Elysha and my brother in law (also developmentally delayed) can play with us. Uno is very popular as it can go on for ages and gets everyone really involved. Long answer, dont know if it helps but i always think games that everyone can play make the day better.

Heidi Gonzales said...

I bought or make a special ornament for each of our 4 kids to put on the tree each year on Christmas Eve. We would make a simple meal of stew and bread each Christmas Eve and listen to carols as we are. They would open their ornament after eating, place it on the tree and then we would watch "A Christmas Story" movie and eat popcorn. The ornament was the one gift they got to open on Christmas Eve.

We have continued this tradition, as they have gotten older, married and started their own families. The ornaments went with them to begin their tree and now each of my grandchildren get an ornament that I make for them.

We also did an advent calendar each year. Every morning one of my kids would get to choose a door and inside it would have a letter of the alphabet. They would go to the sleigh under the tree and choose the gift with the corresponding letter and open it it. Inside were 4 small gifts (one for each of them). I collected items I would find throughout the year to save on costs so close to Christmas. This is also a tradition my kids have continued on with their families!

Have fun finding something special to celebrate with each year on this wonderful holiday celebration!

Yvonne C. said...

I haven't done much of a tradition in the past although I finally did the elf on the shelf last year. This year I have a 3 yr old and will have a 7 month old so I want to get them Christmas Pj's, decorate the tree together with Christmas music of course and I want to make all sorts of Christmas cookies!! One tradition I will stick with will be 1 gift on Christmas eve only. I'm inspired to hear what everyone elso does to celebrate.

christi said...

ok well we have one silly tradition. when the boys were younger we got "a goofy Christmas" music cd. we get all of the trimmings ready and we play this extremely silly cd as we decorate the tree. when we finish we have tea with a candy cane melted in it and we sit back and look at the tree. the boys are old now 42 and 33 but we still play the cd as we decorate the tree. one year I gave the boys the cd as a Christmas present, so they could carry it on with their kids. or just play it and reminisce. sometimes it's the silly things that are the most memorable. good luck finding your memories!

Marg said...

Oh Christy,
You are so lucky to be having 2 Christmas' celebrations and your dad's birthday too!!
Years ago, when my eldest daughter was the only child I had with my then husband, and for a few years after we left him, I used to buy a jar of Quality Street chocolates and every day she was allowed 2 of them as a treat. We called them "Santa's toffee's" for so many years and Stephanie's little face for so many years when I brought this big jar of sweeties out on the early evening of December 1st (as I had to be at work by 7am on a weekday in a factory in them days). Nowdays, well for the past 14 years we have spent every other Christmas dinner together as she spends the other year at her husbands mum's house for Christmas lunch & tea. This year I will see my eldest daughter Steph, Martin and my 2 lovely grandsons Jamie (14) and Ben (10 on New Years Eve) on Christmas morning for approx 3 hours max so then Martin can drive home, park the car up & walk down to his mums for the rest of the day & evening. I remember one early Christmas morning when I was about 4 or 5 years old and I heard my mum & dad walking about while I was still in bed, so I got up, saw my Christmas stocking at the bottom of my bed, picked it up & went in to their bedroom saying "Santas been, its Christmas morning" to find they were just going to bed!!! lol they were not happy with me & I was so disappointed. Oh, one other tradition that I still did until this last year, as I can not walk upstairs anymore, that both of my daughters would get a present from Santa himself (wrapped in completely different paper & handwriting) would be placed on their bed. My youngest daughter, Tia, kept believing Santa himself had left the present just for her!!! It was always a fun present too!! ;0
I hope your young daughter has a lot of fun this Christmas in your new home
{{{hugs}}}
Marg ;0 xx

Fay Salkus said...

When I was young my family was large and there wasn't much money but my parents we take us to a small depar5ment store and we would buy gifts for each other. Ther would skipping ropes and the traditional red, white and blue rubber ball and old spice for my dad. Now that we are all grown and parents are no longer alive my sisters and I still exchange gifts. It has become a tradition to see who can think of something that will make the other one shed tears of happiness. Usually it is a framed photo from our past or something homemade. This year my gift will be something I knit and a hand crafted card reminding them of our grandmother who taught us how to knit. It is definitely the memories that we have and the new ones we make that are most important.

Jody Rolo said...

My Dad used to read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to me as a child. And I loved when Santa came down the chimbley.

When my daughter was born, he bought me a copy so I could continue the tradition. Weirdest thing? My Santa came down a chimney, not a chimBley!

Now that he has passed, I have his original copy, and sure enough, it too is chimNey, but his rendering of the story has remained my favourite... even if my teachers thought I couldn't spell chimney right! ;)

Karen Paynter said...

Christmas is always a special time for family & friend as well. My family is better than huge massive in fact. We take turns to gather at the family hosts,we all take along a pre arranged dish of food. I love that we often have a family cricket match or sometimes go to the beach after we have eaten. The holiday break is time for spending as much time as I can with the family children. I like to cratf with them all either gender, go to see a movie & frequent the pool or beach. We have bounce here in Adelaide now as well so I feel this will be a huge point of interest for my 12 grandchildren. xxx

DanTaNi Designs said...

We have a couple of traditions. Each year I get the kids an ornament. We decorate the Christmas tree with only the kids'ornaments and those they make. The tree is all about the kids. When they grow up, they will get all their ornaments so they will be able to decorate their own tree.

The other tradition is that my daughter (8) and I spend about 3 days making cookies for family get togethers.... cookies that my great grandmother used to make... my mom and I used to make them together, but now she is unable to do it, so my daughter and I will carry on the tradition making these special cookies.

Gayle said...

I am a little like you also. I am not a real fan of Christmas. I used to be when the kids were young but now not so, so I totally understand where you are coming from.
But over the years a few traditions were made in our family.
One that was started later (as an effort to get back some christmassy feelings) is I asked my kids (30+ adults now) to go and buy an ornament that meant something to them, something that represented their past year.
We have been doing this for over 10 years now and not only do we have a lovely collection of ornaments we also have a true insight into what our kids have gone through that year. They still insist on decorating the tree as a family so when it comes time to put on their special ornament, they explain why it was chosen and what it means to them.
It also means that once their children start arriving they will have a collection of ornaments to pass down through the years.
I am also in the process of scrapping photos of each ornament with the story so that it can be shared for generations to come.

arlsmom aka Lynda said...

We go the day after Thanksgiving each year to select our tree. Even went last year as planned with my broken elbow and all.. The girls each select a new ornament for the tree and we talk about all their past year's ornaments as we put them on the tree.
We make my grandmother's fudge for all our neighbors and both girls look forward to making and delivering "Nanny fudge" each year now.
I hope your holidays are wonderful in your new home!

ShellSeward said...

We go out every year in the wilderness and hunt down a Christmas tree! They are never perfect like on a tree farm but they are perfect for us. We bring thermoses of cocoa and the sleds and have a blast!

Embley Veronica said...

We buy an ornament on each vacation so when we decorate we recall all those great times we've spent together in neat places. We also make one of my mom's cookie recipes that was my absolute favorite as a kid. It's one of those recipes that is so much better tasting than the sum of its parts could possibly be. :) The other thing we've always done in my family is to each open one special gift each on xmas eve, usually something we can all enjoy together, like a game or dvd. It's fun and makes good memories on a day that's too often something we all want to rush through to get to the big day!

Kimberly Smith said...

My dad and I always put on our favorite Christmas music and decorated the Christmas tree while having hot chocolate. My mom always let me open one present on Christmas Eve. In 1984 my mom started giving me the Christmas bears from Walmart that have the year embroidered on their paw...I am still collecting them. Whatever you do as long as you are spending time together she will have great memories!

Good Kardma by Jules said...

My mother wrote rhyming clues for a scavenger hunt. She sent us all around the house to find the clues and at the end of the clues was a present. It's a wonderful tradition in our house and one we still do to this day. Since you're an artist, if you didn't want to write the clues you could always do a drawing of the next spot. The clues are fun, though, because they rhyme but some of them are pretty bad rhymes! I hope you find a good tradition to start this year. I really have such good memories of all our family traditions. Thanks for the chance at the prize!

Christy Beans said...

When I was growing up, Christmas always meant doing projects at Mom's side. Making Christmas cookies, crafting handmade ornaments, making homemade granola, and baking her famous Christmas wreaths that are kind of cross between a tea ring and cinnamon buns. Yum! Always with lots of Christmas music in the background. Now as an adult, I keep a steady of stream of holiday music going all through December. Last year was a little rough, but this year I will be back to handcrafting gifts and ornaments and cards while singing and dancing along. =)

Renee Butchart said...

When my kids were little they loved the tradition of making Christmas cookies with Grandma...the more sprinkles & little silver balls per cookie, the better. Those kids are now adults & it is my turn to be Grandma & make cookies with my 2 granddaughters. It's a special day that we look forward to every year! (& just like their Mom...they love lots of sprinkles!)
Hugs, Renee

Rita H said...

My favorite tradition started as a result of a fussy youngster over anxious for Christmas Day to arrive. We began an annual Christmas Eve holiday lights car tour. Everyone has their lights a glowing! My daughter had a daughter of her own and we are still doing them today with another passenger added to our light tour travelers.

Tammy V said...

I only have fur babies, but my family tries their best to get together during the Christmas holiday. Watching my niece and nephews opening presents is so precious.

NanB said...

I have a pretty traditional one which was when the kids were small my parents would take them for a drive on Christmas Eve (that's when we open presents) and my husband would take the bell and hide behind the house and I would take powdered suga..UGH, the next day!..and make Santa's footprints on the carpet. When they came back, the kids would come in and hear the bell ringing and see the footprints and run to the front door to try to catch Santa cause they just knew they had barely missed him! The other is kinda weird but we love it to this day! We watch "Christmas Vacation" and "Home Alone" and laugh ourselves silly! And decorating the house and the yard with those wonderful twinkle lights gets me into the mood every year...almost. But that's pretty good odds:)

jane ayres said...

I do a hand made advent calendar for my little lad, each day has a little clue to were I have hidden the advent surprise , he loves hunting around the house for his little gift :) I also let him dress up his bedroom in lots of Christmas decorations , its like a little santas grotto , oh I wish I was a child again at Christmas , I remember getting excited to the build up. now im older its all the stress .. lol ... thankyou for the discount , sending Christmas hugs x jane x

Sue Lutz said...

Christie,
10 or so days before Christmas, my HUSBAND baked trays of sugar cookies and while he baked, we decorated them, ALWAYS with 1 to 3 friends helping and carols playing. Company loved it because besides fun, they took a dozen cookies home.
another tradition was opening one gift on Christmas Eve.
Christmas dinner Always includes family recipe for Tomato Aspic (made the evening before) and music all day long.
dinner was INSTANT potatoes with oven baked turkey, frozen peas, and lots of gravy. Why? Because after years of the old fashioned way, I was too tired to enjoy. No one tasted the difference and Mom is a lot more festive!

Mayumi Adler said...

I love the Christmas preparations. The advent calendar makes me have so great times... I love the countdown until Christmas night and the calendar helps a lot to know how qick is coming and give everybody Christmas mood.
And now that I am an obseesed crafter, I want to make my own advent calendar so I am looking for tiny treats that fits in it.
I also love baking Christmas cute cookies. Mini cookie trees and ornaments are so aweet to give away and make everybody smile!

Baroque duJour said...

We don't have Thanksgiving here in Ireland and Christmas is a big time - especially as it is my birthday on the day. I have kept the tradition my mum started, which meant that Santa left each of us a personal note (reply to our letter to Santa) and it was so magical getting that note, it was like a friendly hug from God. I kept it up with my son who is now 29. I saw how much it meant when I came down one Christmas morning to find a fabulous faux fur coat and the whole area covered in streamers and made so pretty and guess what - there was a note! Thanking me for all the wonderful Christmases he had and filled with love. Bawled my eyes out then and there. Traditions really do mean something and we make the magic - leaving out the mince pies and bottle of stout, the long preparation and little jobs all ending in one huge celebration of all that is good in life. Christine

Tasha Freeman said...

Not really a Christmas tradition, but kind of...My husband and I don't give our kids any gifts for Christmas. They all come from Santa or other family members...Our gift/s to the kids come on New Year's Eve. When they were really little we did sticky note hunts with arrows on them leading to the gifts/s. Now that they are big kids (16/18) we do riddle clues that lead them around the house, even outside. The final destination is always back under the Christmas tree were they get their special gifts from us. I love this tradition for many reasons...1. It keeps the magic of Christmas going just a little bit longer. 2. If Santa didn't bring the most important/wanted gift we have time to get it and we the parents are heroes, not Santa (plus stuff is on sale). 3. It is a way for us to spend New Year's Eve as a family :) . No wild parties for us and no dealing with drunk holiday drivers out and about. We are all snug together at home having fun together :)

Pippa said...

I love the build up and anticipation of Christmas (but not the commercial side!). We always waited until at most a week before Christmas to decorate the tree and when our girls were small we carried on the tradition with them helping. Even though they are now grown up and flown the nest, if they can they like to visit just to decorate the tree. As the well loved baubles come out they bring back memories of past Christmases and places visited. Each year we try to add one more special bauble for the year while 'retiring' older ones. I love coming home from the Midnight service and seeing the tree ready for the family gathering in the morning.

Sandie Gough said...

Hi there Christy,
We have a large family, 8 children, and Christmas for us is all about family. Me and the younger 4 start making things for Christmas on the 1st of December, we have new table decorations, tree decorations and bits for the walls to make. They plan them through the year saving pictures in a smash book. The every weekend and some evenings we start to make them and put the in a box ready for the big day or add them to the tree and walls. The look on their faces and that of visitors who remark on their work is so warming and they get a sense of achievement, family and belonging. Its so humbling to be a part of :D we then all gather for an open house on Christmas Eve. Me and my husband have an open house that all the family, extended family, friends and the children's friends can just drop in too. We have music, singing, games and good food for all and the children even put on little sketches and musical numbers for the guests. Its our way of giving back to all that have touched our family in a positive way all year and reflect on the year gone by xx Then with 8 children Christmas Day can be full of boxes, paper and squeals followed by cuddles and family time xxx Thank you for letting me share our little traditions with you <3 its been great to read everyone elses too xx
Sandie
http://fairytaledaydream.blogspot.co.uk/

beru said...

We remember to christmas and the 4 weeks before (called Advent) to the birth of Jesus. I love the Adventstime, the ligth and the cold weather with snow... It looks so beautiful... Our family lives in two countries in Europe (Germany and Switzerland) and so we celbrate here or there christmas. We spend time with family and for the kids it gives presents, partly selfmade... On December 6th the Samichlaus is comming in Switzerland and if the kids can sing a song or made a poem so they will be a little sweetness or fruits. In Germany you clean up your shoes and Niklaus will come and fill it with sweeties or other little gifts. I love both. In the adventstime your kids can go with a special tram in Zurich, callend "Märlitram" (means myth story tram) and my kids loved that. The Tramdriver is Santa Chlaus and there are three angles inside to tell the story during the city tour :) The gifts are coming on December 24th. After the Christmas Dinner, when the kids are playing we look, that all presents are under the tree and after then the kids come and open it and have fun :) If we celebrate in Switzerland, so my daugther is old enough to go after christmas (mostly December 26th) with friends from our church to a Ski vacation to the mountains :) Then we will have a silence sylvester :) I hope you can understand it and sorry for the grammar or other fails ... Hugs beru

Sheila said...

My favorite part of Christmas was just before we opened presents my father would open his Bible and read the story of Jesus's birth to remind us that God gave the ultimate gift of love.

Heather G said...

We've also moved away from family--to a warmer climate. Our tradition was to have a Christmas morning brunch and watch the kids/grandkids open presents. Last year it felt lonely with just hubby and me. So this year we're inviting 10 couples over for brunch and a small gift exchange. The other people don't have family nearby either and we're all looking forward to starting a new tradition with our friends.

CraftyPaws said...

When I was growing up in the US, my grandparents were still living in Korea so we made tapes (remember those?) to send to them for them to hear us on Christmas. Starting in the beginning of December each of the kids would do a "performance." I was the youngest so mine might be just reading a fairy tale or singing a song. Then on Christmas morning we would call them all together for a special long distance telephone call (remember when those were crazy expensive?). Today, I imagine with communication being so much easier with Skype or chat, I think this could be converted to a day-of performance for family living far away. It is fun for those preparing and a hoot for those receiving such a thoughtful and memorable gift of connecting with family. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas in your new home. Hugs, Kristina

Tracy Welham said...

Every year my mum, sister and I all read a different Christmas book and then pass it on to each other, then when we meet up or chat over the phone we discuss all the things we liked or disliked about it.

The last week of November my husband and I make two Christmas puddings one for us and one as a gift for family or friends - every year it's someone different.

I absolutely love Christmas, the beautiful Winter season, all the crafty things to make, the cooking, dressing the tree and Christmas dinner table and buying beautiful gifts and trying to stick to my budget!

Crafty Blessings
Tracy x

Cynthia Cole said...

I also moved about six years ago and miss my family back home so much. My son Joe has been in the Navy for the past seven years and has been stationed in Japan for the last five. So seeing him is very rare indeed. I make Pysanky eggs and at Christmas time I make them into hanging ornaments. I sent Joe 12 eggs the Christmas before last. My Grandson Kaleb gets one every year for his tree with his name and the year on it. I hope to continue this tradition for as long as possible. I make these fragile gems for other family members and special friends each year too. I also make them a homemade card. Wish I could post a pic for you to see.

Jessi Fogan said...

Although our kids are in their teens, they both have autism & so we still have Santa-related traditions at our house. We put stockings out for our pets as well as people (treats, and toys for the dog). The kids do all the tree decorating, and since they both love Star Wars we made a Darth Vader tree topper (with a red lightbulb, even, lol). We have Chinese food on Christmas Eve, and the boys get to open one present (always pajamas) which is a tradition my mom started when I was a kid. My husband was always a grinch until the kids arrived, and now he's a bigger fan than I am :)

Arlene said...

I'm a grandmother now and Santa still brings me something to unwrap under the tree. We open presents Xmas day at my son's and Santa always seems to know I'm going to be there too because Santa leaves me a present and my granddaughter one too. LOL

One tradition that we have is to get apple pies from Apple Hill, here in Northern California. It's the only pie my sons will eat, honest. AND once I tried to change from Crescent Rolls to some kind of old fashioned roll and it was as though the Grinch had stolen Xmas. Now our tradition is a baked turkey, mashed potatoes, crescent rolls, gravy and for desert, hot High Hill Ranch apple pie. My boys are a basics kind of bunch. Don't clutter it up with too much salad, fruit or veggie.

Sometimes it is the simple things.

Pauline Elliott said...

Just joined up with you and purchased the polar bear - am a member of Kit and Clowder which is how I heard about you - unfortunately I forgot the code word Thankyou ��. Anyway I do thank you x

Kim B said...

Open one present on Christmas Eve. Simple yet meaningful. :)

nancyparker55 said...

Every year, during the last week of November, one of the churches in our city put on an outside event called "Bethlehem Live". It is a re-enactment, {where the audience participates}, of the first Christmas. We encounter Roman soldiers, get rob by bandits, pay our taxes to Caesar, get turned away at the Inn and arrive at the manger. They finish the evening serving hot chocolate and cookies. Our family has been going for years now...it's a joyful, peaceful way to get into the Holiday Spirit.

Clever Girl said...

Every year my family would come together for Christmas Eve dinner around 5 pm. After dinner dad and I would go to church for come and go communion. Once we returnd home we would gather together and read the Christmas Story. Once that was read we would pass out gifts and then we would each take a turn opening a gift. The catch was you could not open another one until it was your turn which made the anticipation lots of fun. lol...Lots of funny pictures and memoires.

Linda Lawrence said...

My husband & I live on a farm by the small town where I grew up. Every year our church hosts an interdenominational candle light carol service. There is something about standing in that old church, lit only by candlelight singing carols that always has meant so much to me. I always took my children as they were growing up. The first year my daughter couldin't make it home for Christmas I thought I'd totally break down when we sang I'll be home for Christmas, I missed her so much. Our community also hosts a family skating and sleigh ride. Kids skate for free and they have free sleigh rides around town to see all the light displays and then everyone visits and enjoys hot chocolate & popcorn. There's something about sharing those with family, friends and community residents that makes it the season it is meant to be.

Nancy said...

We all get together the Saturday before Christmas and have "Cookie Day" It is all the women in the family cooking the recipes we have passed down thru the years. The kids decorate and the men sneak into them.
One year we all made a Scrapbooked family Christmas recipe book for all the Christmas cookies we had been making thru the years.

Veckans Skiss said...

Since my husbands youngest nephew has brain cancer and this is probably his last christmas, we vill go visit and spend christmas with them. We will try and spend the time wisely, make it the christmas of his life (he's 5 yo). Doing the things he want's to do, reading him the stories he wants to hear over and over again, make his favourite foods, play his favourite games, etc.
It's gonna be a very special christmas for us this year.

Lorraine Purcell said...

This is not a family tradition but it has become a tradition with my family of close girlfriends. Every year, I plan a pre-holiday brunch at my home. I either make or buy something small to give the girls like a Christmas ornament placed on their plate - a momentous of the day. I plan it at the beginning of December before everyone gets caught up with the holiday rush. We eat, drink, laugh and just enjoy a few hours together. It's become a day that everyone looks forward to.

Jennifer Hay said...

This is something new I am going to try with the kids this year over the holidays…and hopefully it will become a new tradition for us. I'm going to wrap up several new books (and recycle some from our own collection to save $$) for each day of December. As a countdown to Christmas, the kids will be able to open one "present" to read before bedtime. Sounds like fun to me! xx Jen

Ashley Pederson said...

The tradition we have at our house is that starting December 1st we read a Christmas story about love, hope, and all the things that Christmas is about (I have a book that my mom gave me years ago that has stories for 24 days of Christmas). I find that family traditions are what I remember most about my childhood and hope that my children will remember this tradition and feel the same way I do. I recently read a book titled, "Little Things Long Remembered: Making Your Children Feel Special Every Day" by Susan Newman, Ph.D http://www.susannewmanphd.com/. This book has opened my mind about family traditions... it has helped me see that we don't necessarily need to save the family traditions for Holiday's, traditions can be something to be cherished year-round. The book literally offers hundreds of suggestions broken in convenient timeframes!

Laurie B. said...

We use an advent candle wreath and light the candles on Sundays for the 4 weeks prior to Christmas, and the center candle on Christmas day. When the kids were small I would read the Christmas story to them by the fire on Christmas eve.

Deborah Anton said...

Since my birthday is also on Christmas, we tend to celebrate quite a bit. :) Christmas Eve everyone gets new pajamas ready for Christmas morning. Christmas music playing, friends over for dessert, and of course the gingerbread house decorating. It is definitely one of my favorite time of the year!

Holly Hughes said...

My kids and I always made cookies, or some kind of treat, for Santa on Christmas Eve, then we opened gifts. We also left "reindeer food" for Rudolph and the gang. I got the recipe off the internet. Then we got up early and got stocking gifts. They could be like jelly, or a favorite candy, hair barrettes, or other small goodies. Then we had all day Christmas to enjoy each other and just play.

Kimberly Monaghan said...

I buy an ornament for every member of the family each year. They are boxed by person and that person gets to take out their ornaments and hang them on the tree. We take turns, with each person adding an ornament until they are all on the tree. When my kids have families and trees of their own, they will already have a collection of ornaments that remind them of home and then they can add ornaments for their children. My Mom started this when I was a teenager but it meant a lot to me to hang familiar ornaments when I had my own tree.

Kristen V said...

My kids love advent calendars and I enjoy making them. I use the Silhouette frame and I have one for each kid. They look forward to seeing what tiny treat is next plus seeing how many days are left till Christmas. The kids are excellent with letting me know how many shopping days I have left. I miss it when it use to be Santa.

M DelValle said...

Mmm... let me see... We had a bit of a different tradition than most here in the states... One of my fondest memories was leaving grass for the camels while the Three Wise Men came and left us gifts under our beds... :) You could see all the children outside collecting grass in their empty shoe boxes to leave under their beds for the camels to eat. I guess this would keep them quiet while the Three Wise Men were busy leaving gifts under the beds. This was so much fun!! I have very fond memories of this time. This was a remembrance of the Three Wise Men who came to Bethlehem to leave presents for baby Jesus in the stable. I moved to US long ago and I haven't followed this tradition with my girls. But I still remember them. Such fun and warm times! BTW: I am from Puerto Rico. That's where we did this long time ago. :)

sweet art designs said...

I just received the newsletter and had to order those darn sheep....they are too stinking cute! Love them

Myrn

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