Wednesday, November 29, 2017

10 Christmas Traditions

I am a big fan of family traditions. I love nothing more than creating new ones each year as the boys get bigger and start to "get it".  My TH and I incorporate traditions from our childhood memories while creating new ones of our own. As the years pass it keeps getting better!

This time of year is so magical and is even more special because we get to see it through our boy's eyes. The excitement around the tree, lights, Santa and all the holiday traditions we start once Thanksgiving dinner has been devoured.

Now that the time has come, I am so excited to share my TOP TEN Christmas Traditions with you!

1. DAY-AFTER DECORATING. I am all about getting Christmas kicked off as early as possible. I do however have a lot of guilt getting anything out on or before Thanksgiving. I feel like I am not honoring that holiday if I don't wait it I always do...and it is not easy! When Friday hits I am READY!  On Thanksgiving between food pre and cooking, I am also putting away Autumn and cleaning house to prepare for all the Christmas decor to make its way out and up!

2. HOLIDAY ATTIRE. Don't think for a second that I am not up and ready to go on that fateful Friday with music playing, cocoa heating and Christmas Cozies for the whole family! It is a must to dress the part while decorating and it makes it so much more fun!

3. 25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS. My mother-in-law always truly makes the start of the season so special with what we call her, "25 Days of Christmas" packages. Filled with holiday jammies, books, treats, blankets and cocoa...I mean you name it, she has sent it. The boys get so excited when the boxes arrive and it is so fun to enjoy all the treats for the whole month of December! Thank you Grandma!!

4. LIBRARY OF LOVE. We have managed to assemble quite a magical collection of Christmas books and we so enjoy reading a few different ones each night. From books my TH and I had as kids, to books we've been given and even purchased for the boys, we love reading them together.

5. MEET PASQUALE. Come December 1st we have a new man in town, our elf, Pasquale. Each year becomes more and more exciting as the boys get older and understand what he is really all about...working for Santa. He joins us for dessert after Thanksgiving dinner to say hello and help us read his book before bed, then he is off to his "Elf Convention" with Santa for the week before he reports for duty. The boys literally GO NUTS for him and look up and down each morning calling, "Pasquale, where are yoooouuu?". My TH takes great pride in making sure Pasquale moves around the house to watch the boys and on those nights when he isn't home, he reminds me...a few times...I absolutely love it! Plus, even mentioning his name this time of year makes the boys do annnyyytthhiiinnng I say...and quickly!

6. CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN. One of my greatest joys of the season was the paper advent calendar my Geena bought for me from the grocery store. Each night I would find the number, eat my chocolate and leave the door wide open to build anticipation for the big day. I continued to do this well into adulthood and feel no shame about it, thank you very much.  Now, with the boys and my ever-gifting MIL we have mini stockings filled with two Hershey's kisses (one for each big boy) that we enjoy after dinner as we get closer and closer to Christmas.

7. CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES. It is no secret that meeting Santa is a big deal. Not only do we like to meet with him, we like to have breakfast with him! We take the kids out for a meal with the big man complete with music, letters and elves! I try and set up at least two "big outings" with the boys to build the excitement. Our other favorite is a double decker bus tour of all the local Christmas lights...with lots of hot chocolate!

8. CHRISTMAS EVE COOKIE PICNIC. I often think I am more excited than the kids throughout the whole month of December. When Christmas Eve finally rolls around I can barely contain my excitement. Throw on our favorite Christmas Cozies and we cuddle up for a massive picnic in front of one of our favorite holiday movies. With fresh baked cookies, we snuggle and discuss the joy of the morning before heading to bed to await Santa's arrival. Of course, we prepare his cookie plate too!

9. GIVING BACK. This year will be the first year we, as a family, start our newest tradition of giving back. Our boys have so much and as they get older I want them to learn to be grateful, appreciative and most of all giving.  My hope is as they grow up they will each get to choose one activity to do as a family to give back during the holidays. I also hope that this sets the tone for the rest of the year in terms of helping others. I look forward to them learning the joys of giving back.

10. CHRISTMAS MEMORIES BOOK. We received this book as a gift before the boys were born and it has been wonderful! The holidays can be so hectic and with little kids everything often just runs together. This book allows us to sit down and talk about what happened and store the memories safely away to look back upon the following year. What we did, where we were, our favorite part...this too will be so fun to do together as the boys get older. Hopefully our one book will turn into volumes over the years!

With all our traditions I try very had to teach them that Christmas is about much more than Santa and presents. It is about family, kindness and helping others. This really is the most wonderful time of the year and I can't wait to share it with my little men.

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?

Strive to thrive, 

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