Christmas Traditions

Christmas traditions are in full swing. Operation Christmas 2014 is just about complete and it is time to stop, relax, and enjoy. That is what the season is all about right?! Yes, yes it is.

Today, I had to do a little cram jam as I have been falling behind but we had Christmas Quiche for supper, so check! The kids started their Gingerbread Houses, check check. The Christmas PJ’s are wrapped and the Christmas eve ornaments are ready to go. I have all the supplies for boxing day brunch Potato Latkes. I found boxes of Pot of Gold Chocolates ( 4 one for each of us so we don’t have to fight over the favourites).  Surprisingly, I have only watched The Holiday once. I will have to try to get another viewing in tomorrow. I did watch White Christmas ( a favourite of my Dad’s) today while wrapping presents.

 I have included a list of traditions I wrote out in 2010. Some are starting to change because the boys are getting older and we are also making new ones.

1. In preparing for Christmas, have your children donate some of their used toys to a local charity. This helps declutter the playroom while at the same time creating a spirit of giving. We have very few toys now so instead I did their clothes.
2. Help your children write their letter to Santa but only after you have had several discussions about what they want Santa to bring this year. Young children can change their minds often about their Christmas list, sometimes with every new commercial. Talking about the list helps you determine what they really want and helps narrow down the shopping list. By the time they sit down to write the letter you have helped them manage their list, making shopping much easier for you. LOL, Did I really write that, they must have been changing their mind and causing me havoc with my shopping.
3. As a family participate in a least one charity event together. Fill a shoe box for Samaritan’s purse, get involved with a local food drive or pick a child’s name off a Salvation Army tree. This is the first year we did not participate in a local food drive. This will be a priority for next year.
4. Attend a tree lighting event together. Didn’t make our local event this year. 
5. Purchase the Christmas tree and outdoor wreaths together. Nope, hubs and I went to the tree farm alone, had a nice walk and time together.
6. Buy all the children matching or new pjs for an annual Christmas Eve photo by the tree. Wrapped them up so they can have something to open on Christmas Eve. Can no longer get them to match.
6. Make cookies together and don’t fret about what they look like. I have not baked one Christmas cookie this season. 
7. Have Friday movie night, the weeks leading up to Christmas with Christmas themed movies. Prepare a special snack for each night; hot chocolate with candy canes and whip cream, gingerbread cookies, carmel popcorn or cranberry juice and ginger ale. Great idea still, but its hard to get pre-teen and teen in same room at same time. So instead I added hot chocolate, candy canes and marshmallows to the coffee bar. 
8. Attend a community choral Christmas concert. Nope
9. Dedicate one evening to driving about the neighbourhood looking at the Christmas lights and decorations. Nope, poured rain and had to cancel.
10. Decorate a tree outside for the birds and wildlife; string popcorn, make suet bag with red ribbons, or peanut butter seed balls. Nope, no snow 
11. Do a winter activity together such as skating, snowshoeing, or a winter walk in the park. Bundled up, get some fresh air and return a few hours later to warm by the fire or under a soft, snuggly quilt. Hopefully, this week.
12 . Take the children shopping at a local craft fair where they can choose a Christmas ornament that they can sign and date and hang on the tree. Make this an annual tradition.
13. Sing Christmas songs together and teach your children the traditional Christmas carols. Took up piano and now I can play some Christmas tunes. One son plays percussion and the other trumpet. My dream of a family band is looking promising.
14. To reduce the after Christmas blues, purchase a white table top tree and name it the winter tree. After all the holiday decorations are put away put the tree up and have the children make snowflakes for the tree. Be sure to put lights on it to keep some of the holiday sparkle going into January and February. This is still a must. The year my oldest cried his eyes out after he came home from school and the tree was down I went out and purchased the winter tree. Now we do a winter theme right after Christmas.

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