Christmas Traditions {2012}

Each year we tweak a bit here and there.  I feel like a tradition junkie at times, I want to make sure we have the best memories from these years as my four kiddos go out and start their own families.  I want them to want to come back and re-live some of the things we do, and I hope they take some ideas into their own homes.

our tree

This year we are doing our normal thing, we decorated the tree right after Thanksgiving – I cannot seem to help it, I cannot wait!!  I love our treasure boxes that the kids store their own ornaments in.  They each have a box, with all their homemade ones and the gifts they get each year.  They get those out first and they get to don all their gifts onto our tree. 

treasure boxes

We love these boxes because they “own” them.  They love to see all the fun things they made when they were “little” – and they talk about where each one came from and when they got it as they pull them out.  I love that!

We LOVE LOVE LOVE our Jesse Tree devotion from Ann Voskamp – if you have not checked it out YOU MUST!!  We love this.  I love this.  My kids could probably teach it to others.  This is something I hope we never give up.  The past three years I have been making a few of the ornaments each year, not sure how many I have left, but this has been a labor of love.  Now to start making 4 sets of ornaments to send off with my kids – that is the next project!

This year we are going to count down the last twelve days of Christmas a bit different.  I read how someone was going to have little gifts for the kids to open each day.  With 4 kids – 12 days – that is TOO many gifts – honestly, too much junk!!

So, I am tweaking it.  I will have 4 things each morning to open (I am thinking cloth gift sack to reuse every day) – inside will be an item to use to make something.  For instance : Cardstock, stamps, ink & markers = Cards.  White Chocolate chips, cherries, recipe card & gift sacks = Hootycreeks (our favorite Christmas cookies).  And after we get to assemble the gift, we are going to go deliver to someone. 

homemade ornament

Did I mention that I am giving the kids things we already have (for the most part) except for a few perishable ingredients.  So this really will not add much to our Christmas Budget – just for things I would already make and give away – instead the kids will be really doing most of the work!! 

I am so excited about this new project!!  They will love the craft/baking part – and they will also love the giving away part.  I do plan to make enough to keep a bit for us too, but the focus will be on the giving.  I cannot wait to start this, but still lots of planning!!

And I will confess, we may take 2 of our 12 days for stay in a watch a movie day – but if we can have 10 days of giving I will be thrilled!  I think this {possibly new tradition} idea may be just the thing to help us remember that it is not about the gifts we get, but the gifts we give!!

Here is my list so far for

12 Days of Christmas Giving:

1.  Cookies

2.  Homemade cards

3.  Hot cocoa gift basket

4.  Chocolate nut clusters

5. Carmel Popcorn

6.  Gift tags

7. Felt Ornaments

8. Felt Nativity

9. Games & Cards (maybe take to play at Nursing Home?)

10.Homemade bread

11.  Movie Day

12. Nativity Craft with terracotta pots

One more thing to add, this year I am going to wrap our Christmas books – so that I can be sure we read them all and build the anticipation each night as we unwrap one.  I plan to use left over past paper – maybe even newspaper – just the idea to get it wrapped.  I think the kids will like this.  We will start that as soon as I count our books and count back from the 25th – should be fun!!

Here’s to hoping it goes well, the kids enjoy it and that they “get” it!!

katie under the tree

Hope you are enjoying many happy traditions in your home!!

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