~~ It's Holiday Time! ~~


HOLIDAY CHEER

Do you have a favorite holiday tradition (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or New Year's), something you especially enjoy doing every year, or one that you'd like to start?

How about a favorite recipe just for this time of year? Or, a favorite activity? Or even a special event that you might attend or organize? Tell us what you do to create holiday cheer, and get a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!. Our winner will be randomly drawn from posts that are entered during HOLIDAY SAVINGS Month.

We will do the drawing at the beginning of each month for posts in the prior month, and announce the winner in the Co-op newsletter. Your posts will remain on this page to provide inspiration to other homeschoolers! (Need help?)


Allboys2

We have many fun Christmas traditions that make this my favorite time of the year. Dad s would have to be watching The Year Without a Santa Clause and singing loudly the Heat Miser/Snow Miser song. My younger son loves to bake and likes to make loads of sweets for all his teachers and Santa(of course). My older son loves opening his one gift of new pajamas on Christmas Eve, a tradition carried over from my great grandmother. I love when my mom comes to visit and makes gingerbread houses and candy bar trains with my boys.

2 years ago · Like · Comment

LisaKni

For as long as I can remember, every Christmas my grandma Joan made her special family recipe Grandma Joan s cookies (that is what I have always called them!). When we could not travel to her, she would mail them for me! For the past 20 years, I have kept this tradition going. Every year my four children look forward to making and eating Grandma Joan s Christmas Cookies. Her memory and love lives on through her cookies!

2 years ago · Like · Comment

MMarino777

We have a tradition of serving appetizers and finger foods for Christmas Eve dinner. After we get back from the church service, we eat and open a few gifts. Our special dinner is on Christmas Day.

2 years ago · Like · Comment

Calimbra66

We fell into a new tradition this year when we used some of my son s photography to make bookmarks. We sold some at a homeschool craft fair, and when that was over, we gave some as gifts. They were such a big hit, that we printed more: we handed out some to seniors at a senior center where we were singing Christmas carols with other homeschoolers. Then, we printed more to include in our Christmas cards to be mailed to family and friends, and we even handed out some to our neighbors. The smiles we got were so worth the effort! My son has food allergies, so this was a lovely non-food addition to our annual traditions. We ll be doing this again next year, for sure.

2 years ago · Like · Comment

queennonni

We have a tradition we started when the kids were young. I take each kid on a trip to dollar tree to get a stocking for their siblings. The kids choose three toys or gifts their sibling will like,a favorite snack and something they need. It gives each child the opportunity to put someone else before themselves and to show their siblings that they pay attention to who they are and what they like. They love it!

2 years ago · Like · Comment

wolfcrazy

I also bake with my kids as well. This year, my 12 yr old is learning about Christmas in Germany so we will be baking some of their treats

2 years ago · Like · Comment

wolfcrazy

We love Christmas in our house. We have several MUST in our house for Christmas. 1) A train has to under the tree and running when we open gifts. When Polar Express the movie came out, we got one that goes under the tree. We watch the movie with hot chocolate and snacks every year (most of the time it is real hot chocolate made with candy bars, just like the hot chocolate in the movie. 2) Christmas eve-we do 2 things. A) everyone opens one gift. B) We have hamburgers, milkshakes and french fries. 3) Christmas morning-Before opening presents we read the story of the birth of Jesus or the kids tell us the story. They are young adults and preteen now so we allow them just to tell the story. We also watch the Disney Christmas Parade every year. Merry Christmas everyone.

2 years ago · Like · Comment

Beth

We love Christmas! This year, we have had themed days during December (Nativity Day, Snowman day, Gingerbread Day, Kindness Day, etc.). I've had different activities, crafts, and snacks for each day. We've had so much fun!

2 years ago · Like · Comment

BinahYeteirah

I always enjoy the special Chanukah foods: latkes and sufganiyot fried in oil. It's extra work, but they make for a special meal. I also enjoy the simple pleasure of standing around the lit menorah and singing the traditional prayers and songs with the whole family gathered around.

2 years ago · Like · Comment

teachingthe3rs

When our kids were around 4-8 years old, we took each child to a dollar store to buy one present for each other person in the family - siblings, parents, grandparents. It let them focus on each person to decide what would be the best gift for them, without spending too much, or (for our perfectionists) worrying about not being able to create the perfect handmade gift.

2 years ago · Like · Comment

Eangelepc

Our very favorite tradition is to visit our local Walmart for the angel tree.. Then choose 4 little angels to give a gift too, we take 4 random cards and my kids find the perfect gift for them. They absolutely love it!

2 years ago · Like · Comment

rzrbkfloyd

We like to do the Samaritins Purse Shoe Boxes, and each grandchild does one for a child their age. They love sending these boxes. Here at home we love to go as a family to see the Christmas lights, driving through the neighborhoods in our town. It's fun to see them together and we always take along a special treat of hot cocoa and cookies to enjoy as we see all the pretty lights.

2 years ago · Like · Comment

AcademiaO

We celebrate the solstice, and roast a duck on the 21st. We also make tamales and Mexican eggnog, called rompope, and also make traditional raw eggnog too!

2 years ago · Like · Comment

Pamela

My favorite tradition is heading to church on Christmas Eve. Getting to see all the families, greeting everyone, always a great message about forgiveness and love. Also taking pictures for families in front of the Christmas tree. People come find me later to tell me that is the only one of the whole family through Christmas. Love putting together the meals for families that we give out and the Christmas bags that we make for families. It s a great way to see how blessed we are.

2 years ago · Like · Comment

Sara1031

My favorite tradition is driving around to see Christmas lights!

2 years ago · Like · Comment

wifemomedu

Our family participates in a homeschool co-op with two other families. We started nine years ago when the oldest kids were 4 and 5. This homeschool journey was new to us, and we knew we needed each other. Over the years we have organized dozens of field trips, service projects, and learning experiences for our gang of ten kids. Our favorite annual activity is to decorate our church foyer, sanctuary, and office for Christmas. We have so many memories and mishaps to reminiscence about each year as we gather and listen to music. From the year the tree refused to not fall over to the year all the pre-lit lights finally died and we had to scramble to find lights. Last year we decided to totally revamp all the door wreaths because they looked pitiful. We spent many years doing most of the work. The storage boxes were too heavy and the tree was too big for little ones to handle. They would set out the artificial poinsettias and wait anxiously each year to put on the ornaments. It has been a blessing to see them taking turns learning to setup the office tree and trim it in pairs over the years with all the missionary ornaments. This year the kids were able to carry the boxes, assemble the big tree, and even climb the ladder to place the star and ornaments high up. I just sat back and marveled! They love being the Christmas Elves around church. It is not a task that comes with any recognition. They do not brag about to friends. They just serve. This simple act jump starts our focus for the season of advent.

3 years ago · Like · Comment

Lora Tomei

Our favorite NYE tradition is taking the ornaments off the tree after the kids go to bed & redecorating it with balloons & ribbons. Inside each balloon is an activity to do together (have some hot chocolate, watch a movie, play a board game). They love waking up to the new "look" of our Christmas tree and taking turns popping the balloons. Bonus - half the work of taking the tree down is done by New Year's!

3 years ago · Like · Comment

tlantz

We have a couple favorite CD's we usually listen to while decorating the tree or doing Christmas stuff at home. The Charlie Brown Christmas album and the Muppets Christmas album by John Denver. I've been doing that since I was a kid and now my kids love it :)

3 years ago · Like · Comment

Funtimes4

We have so many! Our favorite is exchanging special gifts from each other on Christmas Eve. With 6 of us everyone gets so much heart felt things. Pictures drawn with love, an ornament made with care, or sometimes even a yummy goody made special by little hands. :)

3 years ago · Like · Comment

BinahYeteirah

I always make latkes on at least one of the nights of Chanukah. Usually, I end up making them two or three of the nights. There are healthier recipes out there, but I make mine in the traditional way: fried in tons of oil. We also make various types of sweet treats during these days as well. Often, we fry in oil again to make sufganyot, but sometimes we bake cookies instead.

3 years ago · Like · Comment

Sunshine

Every year, we go to the big public menorah lighting in town. It is a huge party with lots of latkes and sufganiyot to enjoy, and festive music for the kids to dance and play to. My 7yo anxiously awaits the face-painting each year! :)

3 years ago · Like · Comment

HSmamaof4

We load up the car as a family and look at Christmas lights every year. We usually make hot chocolate or get some on the way and take snacks with us. The kids love looking at the lights! We usually play Christmas music along the way. It's a family favorite this time of year.

3 years ago · Like · Comment

Missy

We started a tradition when the kids were younger of gathering on Christmas eve and putting the Adornaments (from Family Life Ministries) on the tree. We each take a turn readingone of the names of Christ printed on them and then hanging it on the tree. As the kids have grown, their spouses can join in and soon grandchildren!

3 years ago · Like · Comment

jgramkee

Decorating the Christmas Tree with my daughter. She just loves the lights and making ornaments for the tree. She loves to find things she can turn into an ornament for the tree. It really has become a tradition in our house to make Christmas ornaments for our tree instead of buying them. We have more fun and it is a great indoor activity for us all when it's way too cold outside.

3 years ago · Like · Comment

Melody

my husband and I could only afford 1 ornament our first christmas. we turned it into a fun tradition where we search for the perfect ornament to represent something special to us for that year. we have a wedding ring ornament, an emblem of our new car, and so on. no matter who spends Christmas with us they know of our tradition and help us think of something.

I also just started a tradition this year where the elves come every night while the kids are sleeping and move stuff around. we decorated the trees with bows and the elves are using them on Santa's presents. I pretty much just blame everything on the elves, the kids saw candy they weren't supposed to see so I will say that the elves took my candy and put it in their stocking, but they ate all daddy's candy and only left wrappers! silly elves.

3 years ago · Like · Comment

Homeschoolmomof3

Our main holiday tradition is to invite family and friends to our home for annual Christmas party. It has been a tradition for 18yrs now and we have some of the friends (and of course family) from year one still coming every year. It is not a matter of if we are having it, it a question of when it is going to be? We usually have it on a Friday before Chrismas and not on Christmas day. People stay as long as they want. We eat, laugh, play games, and sing. It is a family affair and everyone feels at home. It is usually a big crowd varying from 35 to 75 people, each year. Lots of fun!!! Looking forward to this year's!!

3 years ago · Like · Comment

Raquel

We have a few traditions, but my favorite is making my husband's Grandma's puffed corn recipe. I started doing this before having kids, but now it's even more special with them around! We give puffed corn goodie bags with a note and gospel tracts to the neighbors and the workers on our street: mail man, trash man, UPS drivers, etc. The boys look forward to it each year and I look forward to all the conversation and interactions it creates.

3 years ago · Like · Comment

Feb14melissa

We put up a tree to celebrate winter. Visit Santa. Celebrate the holiday with family.

3 years ago · Like · Comment

Catie

We have a few different things in our family....The first I've carried on with my children, and I hope they carry it on with theirs. Christmas Eve we were always allowed to open one present, and on Christmas Morning, we were always allowed to go get our stockings... I put them in my kids room after they crash...Ive realized...after all these years...why my mom did that...lol! Extra Sleep! Another one I started with my family is making the gingerbread kits. It can sometimes lead to a hyper frosting fight, and hours of laughter!! It's so worth it...! My kids are old enough to make their own stockings now, and they love picking out a plain stocking and painting it how they wish. They really love this! And one thing I do every year, now, is I make baskets for my neighbors. Cookies, breads, and other holiday treats that I bake, using very old family Holiday Tradition recipes. I enjoy baking, and giving, and seeing my kids learn this, fills my heart more then anything in this world ever could. Teaching my children about the Love and Grace of our Lord through my actions will always be more powerful then anything I can ever say.

3 years ago · Like · Comment

MamaCaden

We start the day with a birthday breakfast for Jesus - coffee cake with candles and balloons decorating the dining room. After breakfast, we move the balloons outside and have friends over for a Christmas bar-b-que. We love our Christmas traditions!

3 years ago · Like · Comment

Elisabeth R.

Starting December 1st, we (parents and children) all puts little notes in each other's stockings. We rotate who gets a note from whom each day, so everyone ends up with a few notes from each person in the family by Christmas. We write down things we appreciate about the individual person, a word of encouragement, a Bible verse that made us think of the person, a prayer, etc. For the notes from the youngest in our family who don't write yet, Mom or Dad will transcribe. Our favorite part of Christmas is emptying our stockings and reading all the notes from each other!

3 years ago · Like · Comment

Sarah C

We put up our Christmas tree and decorations the day after Thanksgiving, making the day festive with music and fun food. From there we celebrate a month of Advent, focusing on Jesus and giving. We sing carols, look at lights, and enjoy more family time. Since making Christmas less about gifts, we actually have had more meaningful, memorable, and joy-filled Christmas seasons. :)

3 years ago · Like · Comment

Victoria

We celebrate Advent! We have an advent wreath, and light the candles every Sunday, as well as each night between Dec. 1-25. We have a beautiful Advent devotional book that we read from each night. Additionally, we pray for loved ones, sing a carol, and enjoy a Christmas treat, all to the light of the Advent candles. My children say it is by far their favorite tradition.

3 years ago · Like · Comment

DevchenkaL

We started a tradition, giving those in need. Operation Christmas Child is on our list every year, kids each pick a box to fill in and we track our box which country it goes.

4 years ago · Like · Comment

Saboo

Every year my family gets together and puts all of our children's wrapped Christmas presents in a great, big, black Hefty Garbage sack. Then we put it near the door of the house of whomever is hosting that year. The children do not cry, nor are they upset by this in the least. Why? Because my grandmother (may she rest in peace) loved a good joke and one that she played years ago was a big hit and became a family tradition. One year she decided to do as we do...put all of the children's Christmas presents in a great, big, black Hefty Garbage sack and my brothers and cousins and I couldn't make sense of it. Where were the presents? Were they under the tree? No. (Grandma was known for hiding things so we started hunting all over the house). Could we find the gifts anywhere in the house? Nope. "Where are our presents, Grandma?" we asked, the younger ones on the verge of tears. She pointed to the large garbage sack sitting by the door. We ran to it and there they were--neatly wrapped and labeled. "Why did you do this, Grandma?" one of my brothers cried. "Well," she exclaimed, "I stayed up late last night and when Santa came to my house I grabbed his sack and booted him out the door." We all looked at her in amazement and she laughed and laughed to see our faces. Then we hugged and thanked her and tore into our gifts. Every year since then someone has "taken Santa's sack and booted him out the door" in our family and we have never tired of it.

4 years ago · Like · Comment

Cindy R

We have several traditions we look forward to each year. On Christmas Eve we have a dinner of falafel, pita bread and hummus and lots of veggies to stuff in the pita (this is a meal that comes from Israel). We spread a sheet on the ground and eat on the floor. We have always invited another family to join us. Afterwards we have a bonfire which we invite neighbors to and we sing Christmas carols, eat homemade cookies and drink hot chocolate or herbal tea. On Christ's birthday, we sing happy birthday and have a cake with candles on it which we let the wind blow out. When our children were quite small we had a particularly hard year, so I made flannel pj's from fabric sale at Thanksgiving time, and we drew names for gifts - 2 gifts per person. That has pretty much stuck from then on as that was the best Christmas we ever had. We've changed it a little as kids have grown and left home but we still draw names with those at home and then we draw names with all the family (kids, spouses and grandchildren). Then the gifts are thought out and there isn't the pressure of getting something for everyone (there's almost 22 of us now). :-)

4 years ago · Like · Comment

BeckyG

Our extended family is spread throughout the country so at Christmas time we try to get together with some of our family if possible. As our parents age, it seems more and more appropriate to try to reach out to them when possible at this time of year. My in-laws have some rich food traditions that they keep year after year and I think that it's important for them to know how much their children and grandchildren appreciate them and enjoy being with them especially at Christmas time. We literally don't know if or how many more years we will get to celebrate with them.

4 years ago · Like · Comment

KS

Our favorite tradition is to go out in our pj's, pick up hot chocolate, and drive around looking at lights. We usually each pick one thing to look for and count how many we can find. The winner is the one with the highest count. This year we changed it up and did a scavenger hunt. I put the initials of the person who found it next to the item and the winner had the most finds.
We also always attend the Christmas Eve candlelight service and each child opens up one gift Christmas Eve.
Favorite recipe at this time of year is a Dutch pastry called banket that my mom and I make every year together.

4 years ago · Like · Comment

cathy265

We like to read Christmas stories and we like to make candied yams

4 years ago · Like · Comment

Mary B

We have several traditions. One of our favorites is cutting down ourChristmas tree. We also make gingerbread houses, birthday cookies for Jesus, and drive through our town's light displays.

4 years ago · Like · Comment

LaurieD

We have a couple of favorite traditions... one is that we volunteer - collect donations and hand deliver them to families around the town. Another is that my daughter and I got fake microphones and walking around stores singing Christmas carols (dressed up in crazy Santa/elf hats) Merry Christmas and Peace to All AROUND THE WORLD!

4 years ago · Like · Comment

IttyBittyHSers

We love decorating our Christmas tree! When we unpack all the ornaments we've made, bought or been gifted over the years it's like opening up a special scrapbook. Each ornament has its own special memory.

4 years ago · Like · Comment

MomRucifi

We have a seven Godchildren who live all over the country, and they all have siblings. Instead of sending "stuff" to all those homes, each kid (sibs included) gets a book or small craft that they'll enjoy. More importantly, we give a donation to charity in their names. Then we send a letter out to each family that tells the kids what good has been done in the world in their names and asking them to do something that reflects that good in their communities -- be kind to an older person, open a door for someone, smile at someone who looks lonely...but keep paying it forward.

4 years ago · Like · Comment

ABrase

We ring bells at the red kettle for the Salvation Army on Christmas Eve before going to church. Then we enjoy appetizers and gifts to each other at home. My kids reminded me this year that we write notes to each other and stick them down deep in the stockings. Apparently, those notes are more important than I thought! :)

4 years ago · Like · Comment

MrsSally

One of our favorite traditions is to walk down to the barn on Christmas Eve night. Nearby friends and relatives join us. The rustic barn is made of cull lumber. Nothing fancy. Which is why it reminds us of the night Jesus Christ was born.
With only the light from a lantern, my husband reads Luke 2 to us as we sit on hay bales. A simple manger filled with hay if in front of us. When the kids were little, we had a doll in there.
After the Bible reading, we sing "Silent Night" and "Away in a Manger." Everyone shares something they are thankful for and we close with prayer. No matter the weather, we've done this for the past sixteen years. It's a special time for us to focus on the Reason we have Christmas.

4 years ago · Like · Comment

CindyB

On Christmas Eve, my husband & I hide the kids' presents, then create a scavenger hunt type of game for them to find their presents. They get a written clue for the first present, then when they find that present there is another clue to the location of the next present, and so on. The kids really look forward to it (we've never really done the Santa thing), sometimes even more than the presents themselves. It's a fun family time, and it ensures the kids have to work together with no bickering! :-)

4 years ago · Like · Comment

wolfcrazy

My favorite Christmas tradition is really a Christmas eve tradition. It doesn't matter if we buy or make at home. We always have French fries, hamburgers and milkshakes

4 years ago · Like · Comment

Christine

One of our favorite things to do is to go to a local neighborhood where a gentleman has a fabulous light show with music at his house. We like to pile in the car and watch the display. We also like to read through Luke 2 every Christmas morning as a family.

4 years ago · Like · Comment

Nancy C

Holiday Traditions.

One gift is opened on Christmas Eve. Always flannel PJ pants made by mom. This year that means I will sew 10 pairs. This tradition starts on the day after Thanksgiving as my daughter and I brave the dark and cold and head to JoAnn Fabrics at 6 am for their annual flannel sale. We have to find the perfect fabric for each family member but we also have to have it fit a theme. One year was polka dots, one was frogs, the next was chevron. Birds, dogs, and even monsters have made the list. We started with 6 of us. It moved to 7 with a marriage and is now up to 10 individuals with the grandbabies. It has gotten harder and harder to find a theme, the perfect material for each person and enough on a bolt to make the pants. Sometimes we walk in and it seems the theme just jumps out at us but sometimes we search and search switching material bolts around and around. We lament that there is not enough of this fabric, or that they are all too girly (what about the guys), or that this print is too big for little pants. But fortunately we finally are happy with the choices.
Next comes the washing and the cutting. One whole washer full of flannel ensures that it has shrunk before I cut. I have learned over the years to add a half yard to my purchase to allow for this shrinkage. One year I had to cut a few cuffs to add to the bottom of pants with too little material.
Early December I choose a morning to get up really early to cut the fabric. In the past it was early so that the kids wouldn t see the fabric but this year Charlotte helped Alesia and I pick it out and the other two really don t care if they know so I could get up later. I still choose early because I enjoy the quiet, the work, and the thoughts that go with each cut. I smile with the thought of a new family member this year. Where does time fly as I realize Mitch has now moved into a size 5. Evelyn would have preferred purple pants but she will be happy with the pink. Sorry Doug but your fabric is usually the last one assigned since you get what is left of the choices. Remember to add an inch or two to Charlotte s length and don t forget to shorten Alesia s waist length since she likes them that way. Josy will be happy that her pants aren t pink this year. I really like Corey s fabric this year albeit a little Christmassy. Better cut Nate s last so I can ask if he needs to go a size up this year. Two and half hours later, 40 pieces of fabric and a pile of scrap is all there is to show for my work. That plus a small pile of some of the extra purchased for shrinkage. I am saving those for a quilt so that some day I can be wrapped in all the memories of Christmases past.

4 years ago · Like · Comment

YellowHouseBookRental

We have four children. When they were young, they each dressed up and played a part in the Christmas story as their father read it. The baby, whoever it was at the time, played baby Jesus, the rest played several parts, Mary, Joseph, the wise men, shepherds, etc. I hope in the future we can have grandkids start that tradition again. It was so sweet to watch!

4 years ago · Like · Comment

Jean T.

Write something...

4 years ago · Like · Comment

Jean T.

Each year my children and I help at our church to put food together for those in need. We help year round in our food pantry and put together food that we enjoy at our family gatherings. It is a blessing to be able to give back to others in our community.

4 years ago · Like · Comment

Keri

We just started having a fondue lunch on Christmas day and plan to ski together as much as the weather permits!

4 years ago · Like · Comment

EllenT

To create holiday cheer, we slow down the pace of our hectic school and parties so that we can create meaningful memories. We bake cookies, put up the tree, shop, read books and visit with family.

4 years ago · Like · Comment

Vikki

We love to bake cookies and make care packages for the neighbors and local librarians who know us by name! Love it!

4 years ago · Like · Comment

R.Burke

At Christmas time we love to bake cookies and hand them out. We bake many different types of cookies. The most we did one year was a 1,000 cookies and believe or not we don't keep but only a few for the family to enjoy. What we do with them is hand them out to people. Many go to the elderly couples that live around us and aren't able to make their own cookies. The joy is to see them recieve the cookies and go through them as we stand there. They are so delight to see which one they each want. As a family we look forward to bringing joy in others around us.

4 years ago · Like · Comment

Raven77

I live in Florida so it's rarely cold here around Christmas...cool yes, but tolerable.There's a neighborhood in my hometown called Lantern Park. Every year since I was a child they put out lanterns on Christmas Eve. It's usually just paper bags filled with sand and a candle that people line their driveways and the sidewalk with. There are also big beautiful light displays because the homeowners association has a contest every year. Now that the battery powered tea lights are big thing some of the houses use those inside of mason jars. It's such a big thing that it's crowded to drive through. People will sit outside with firepits going and Christmas music blaring waving to people and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. I've been happy and excited to share it with my own kids every year and I hope it's a continued tradition for many more years.

4 years ago · Like · Comment

driley

We live outside of Philadelphia, so we travel into the city on the train every December. We watch the holiday light show at Macy's and visit their walk-through Dickens Village, shop at the German Christmas market, and eat lunch and check out the model trains at Reading Terminal Market.

4 years ago · Like · Comment

MelissaB

Even tho my kids are older now, we can't not make our annual gingerbread houses. It's so special to watch them make them each year. They are becoming so intricate as they get older.

4 years ago · Like · Comment

amichka12

I have a special Christmas photo album that I get out each year. There is a double spread page for every Christmas since my husband and I have gotten married. We slip our Christmas letter and family photo into one of the pockets of the year's page. It's great being able to look back at pics from past Christmases so easily.

4 years ago · Like · Comment

momof8

We draw names on Thanksgiving for Secret Santa gifts. Each person buys or makes their Secret Santa and we exchange these gifts after Christmas, usually around Epiphany, the feast of the 3 kings. This gives everyone time to put some thought into their gifts and gives us all something more to look forward to when all of the excitement of Christmas Day has passed.

4 years ago · Like · Comment

BKG

we make a Happy birthday Jesus cake (bottom layer is chocolate to represent the darkness of sin, middle layer red to represent the blood of the cross, top layer is green to represent growth in Christ, white frosting to represent Christ's purity . everyone lights a candle from a candle in the middle as we sing Happy birthday and Silent Night) . we love the symbolism, but no one cares for the sweetness of the cake and frosting. This year I made the "cake" out of ice cream and turned into a baked Alaska . not only did everyone love it, but it was easier than making 3 kinds of cake. :)

5 years ago · Like · Comment

sc125

Every year we make time to attend a performance of The Nutcracker by a professional ballet company. It is one of our favorite holiday events!

5 years ago · Like · Comment

Brandie

Every year we are traveling on christmas to visit relatives. So we started a tradition before the kids were born that we would celebrate our Christmas on New Years Day. It gives us a week to prepare after traveling and the kids get so excited again. So Happy New Years eve to you and merry christmas eve to us!

5 years ago · Like · Comment

Bobsdiane

Every year we each pick out an ornament that reflects something important that happened during that year. We date it with the year and the ornaments on our tree are meaningful. Plus, as each child grows up to start their own families, they will have meaningful ornaments to share with their children as well as the stories that go with them.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

Sara A

My children love the book advent calendar. We have a Christmas book wrapped for each day of advent & they really enjoy picking one, opening it, and reading it over and over. It's one of my favorite traditions!

5 years ago · Like · Comment

FarmGirl

We've had several traditions over the years, some forgotten. Thanks for reminding me to re-think our traditions! In years past, we always made sweet goodies to share with family and neighbors, but now we have food allergies to consider and also realize how sugar affects our bodies. There are already many oportunities to eat sweets this time of year, so we don't really have that tradition anymore. Other things we've enjoyed is drinking hot chocolate while decorating the tree and listening to Christmas music. It's also fun to drive around and look at the beautiful Christmas lights. We love to listen to my hubby read about Christ's birth from the Bible and remind our children about the true meaning of Christmas. One of my favorites is when our church goes to sing at the nursing home! Those sweet people just love it and their faces light up! :) We always have sausage balls for breakfast Christmas morning. My family loves them and they are special since I only make them once or twice a year. I have to make a gluten free version too, but they are yummy just like the original. I've enjoyed reading all the wonderful traditions on this board. Thanks for sharing!! :)

5 years ago · Like · Comment

pathojenn

One of our most beloved Christmas traditions is having a "birthday cake" for baby Jesus for breakfast and singing happy birthday--the cake is usually a coffee cake or Danish roll with candles. My parents started this when my sister and I were little to help us understand the day. When my husband and I got married it was a tradition I wanted to keep. The best part was the presents we gave to baby Jesus for his birthday--clothes to shelters, blankets to the homeless, smiles to strangers. All of these things helped our kids understand that the day was not all about them and what presents they had under the tree.

5 years ago · Like · Comment
leuckygirl: adopting this one next year....
5 years ago · Like
pathojenn: I am so glad! My kids are now 11 and 14 and I thought they might think they were too old to do the cake and sing this year. I was happy when they started talking about the birthday cake and the presents they wanted to give way back in October. I need to go call my mom and tell her thanks. It really is a cherished memory.
5 years ago · Like

LynsVT

When I was a child my grandmother had this white porcelain tree that was about 2 feet tall and there were tons of little red birds that must be placed in holes all around the tree, then it would be turned on and and a light would shine through the birds. It was one of my favorite things to do every Christmas, go put all those little birds in. I now live hundreds of miles away from my family and my grandma is 99 years old and no longer can put up any decorations, so I asked her for the special tree and she was more than happy to pass it along. I look forward to continuing this decorating tradition with my 4 kids now.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

whisperingwillow

We actually have a lot of traditions. But it was more than a difficult year and I admit it was hard to get 'into' all of the things we usually do. One of the things I've been doing myself for years is making handmade cards to send out. This year that changed a little. I was lucky enough to find what I needed in my paper crafting supplies to give my 26 yr old daughter and 9 yr old son plenty of things to sift through while big sis and little brother did it this year. It was adorable to watch and then I got to smile again after talking to or receiving notes from friends and family that thought it was just as adorable as I did that even with their age difference they are taking on my tradition!

5 years ago · Like · Comment

PammieK

We did random acts of Christmas cheer for others this year.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

MelissaB

Every December, the kids and I make an afternoon of making gingerbread dough, cutting out the pieces for four gingerbread houses, and then the kids decorate their cottages while I snap a million pictures. Love looking at their houses each day and am always sad when January comes and it's time to bid goodbye to them because they are falling apart. Merry Christmas!

5 years ago · Like · Comment

teresa

On Christmas Eve, we have little sausages, cheese, fruit and veggie trays. The girls get their special Christmas Eve present (new pj's, slippers, and hot chocolate) and we watch Christmas movies. Christmas day we open presents, go to Mass and then out to eat. Not too exciting but we always spend some time talking about the differences between our lives and the life of baby Jesus - how he didn't have a warm home to live in, how the presents he received were different than the presents we all got, the food his Mom would have made was different than what we eat, etc. Then the girls get to play with their presents while my husband and I get a nap.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

Ruralnebr

We started a new tradition this year: Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt. We have a checklist (downloaded from www.thegreatestchristmas.com, free gifts tab) and we drove around our hometown checking them off. Celebrated afterwards with hot chocolate (no, actually we got ice cream, lol!)

5 years ago · Like · Comment

BlessedWith5

Having 5 kids we look forward to Christmas and time to slow down from all of the busyness. We shop for a new ornament for each child, adding to the collection every year; make monkey bread together for breakfast before we decorate the tree; watch our favorite Christmas movies throughout the season (Arthur Chrsmas, A Christmas Carol, It's A Wonderful Life, Elf, Charlie Brown's Christmas specials, Rudolph, Frosty, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Veggie Tales Christmas, etc.); take time to celebrate Advent each night; make Christmas goodies for friends, neighbors and family; participate in Christmas plays and musicals at our church; go caroling at local nursing homes with others from church; attend a local Theater's Christmas production; take one night closer to Christmas to drive around looking at Christmas lights and Nativities, plus eat out at our favorite restaurant; AND listen to LOTS of Christmas music. We love the Christmas season and especially because we slow down and have time together with the family creating wonderful memories.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

ACraw

Good Morning, we have had a few rough years to include a housefire. This year we have been blessed and my family enjoyed taking gifts or food to families that don't have. We drop the items off with no names exchanged.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

Heather

This year we did things a little differently to help get our son in the mood of giving over receiving. In a two week period, we saw the Little Prince opera, A Christmas Carol play, The Nutcracker ballet, and A Charlie Brown Christmas play. We definitely used a perk of homeschooling by taking advantage of student matinees. I have to admit, the use of theatre performances for teaching about kindness and generosity was wonderful. My son loved all of the shows and after each one, we had wonderful discussions on the true meaning of Christmas as well as all of the other holidays of this time. These performances all moved him in a different way. He enjoyed every single one of them and left each performance knowing the importance of kindness. We also discussed that although this time of the year it is given extra emphasis, we really should be kind and giving throughout the year.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

jnncmsh91

Our favorite holiday tradition is baking several types of cookies and making different types of candies to share with our neighbors each evening in December. It's fun and my kids enjoy giving :)

5 years ago · Like · Comment

elm

We begin making Christmas cookies and candies at the start of Advent and tuck them all away until after coming home from church on Christmas Eve. OH... the sweets we eat in celebration of the birth of Jesus!! :)

5 years ago · Like · Comment

Glenna

Every other year, our family goes to Maui over Christmas. We love to welcome Santa Claus to Ka'anapali Beach on Christmas morning as he gets paddled into his well-earned vacation on a nicely outfitted outrigger canoe with a "sleigh" chair.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

Hyphen

My mother-in-law always makes butter cookies for Chanukah. She uses the same recipe her mother used in Germany. Now our oldest daughter has started baking cookies using the same recipe.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

Magik

We enjoy "kringling" our friends and neighbors. This entails leaving something for them at their door (hot cocoa basket, plate of cookies, kids craft activities, etc) with a note that they've been "kringled" - we ring the door bell/knock and run and hide until they've collected the goodies before we head home. It's typically kept secret, but with some busy families you have to coordinate with the parents so food isn't left out for animals to find. The other we have enjoyed is baking cookies to take to our local fire and police departments. This year we are doing a large cocoa kit basket with a few different card games for our fire department.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

lisamcleod

The kids and I love to make different cookies and candies together.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

lisamcleod

Our absolute favourite thing to do, is take our two 5 year olds to the soup kitchen. We all get to meet and serve some wonderful people. It's a very humbling and gratifying experience. We have been living 2 hours from the city now we can't do it this year. I'm just praying we get to move back this year so we can go back to helping so many wonderful people. It really helps us keep our hearts where they should be.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

jodyraec

On the second night of Channukah every year, I make sure my son chooses a new toy to donate to an organization that caters to needy children. It makes us all feel great, knowing that we don't only receive gifts during the holidays, but that we also give gifts. It makes celebrating the holidays more cheerful. I also try to do this once or twice throughout the year.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

staceorama

We bake/cook traditional family specialties (from sweets to meals) that have been passed down from descendants over the years, each year adding something new. These treats represent our legacy of cultures and traditions as well as new things we choose to incorporate! from our Czechoslovakian, Scottish, Polish, Russian, British, Native American, German, Mexican, and more roots, and traditions steeped in various religions. We make these treats and learn about their/our history...creating further appreciation and love for all people.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

BeccaBro44

We start with one of Arnold Ytreeide's book (this year it's his new one "Ishtar's Odyssey") at the beginning of Advent and read as a family every day during our evening devotions time. On Christmas Eve, we open the Christmas stockings that are filled with little toiletries, etc. Next we each open our package of new Christmas Jammies. We go change into the new jammies and come back to read the Advent book and the Christmas story from the Book of Luke. We drink hot chocolate and have cheese and crackers.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

AimShepp

Our extended family has gathered for soup and presents on Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember. When I was little, we would have soup at my grandparents' house before the Christmas Eve church service, and then return after church to open presents. Nowadays we do the soup and presents after church. We always have chicken noodle soup with butterballs and chili. I also make several of the candy recipes that my Great-Grandma used to make: fudge, peanut butter fudge, butter toffee, and divinity. This year, for the first time, I will be hosting the Christmas Eve festivities at my home.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

LisaKni

Every year we make Grandma Joan's Christmas Cookies (a secret family recipe from my grandma) to eat and share with others, our kids draw names and buy each other gifts, and they get one present from us to open on Christmas Eve (the rest are next morning) - New Christmas Jammie's. They look forward to the sameness of these traditions every year. This year we are opening our home up to friends and acquaintances that have no family to spend Christmas with and our kids are shopping and making gifts for them to have something to open. We are also starting a Jesse tree for the first time this year and attending a Walk Through Bethlehem.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

jillyb

We volunteer with a transitional housing non-profit that helps homeless families build a new life. Sort and wrap Christmas Presents.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

mousebouncer

We love to donate items to our local social services. Then we all meet to pack boxes of food, supplies, and gifts to take to those in our area who need some help during the holiday season. Getting to deliver these boxes is a highlight for us every year.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

Cmtwinmama

My children and I make peppermint bark for all our neighbors. We package it in pretty Christmas boxes and pray for each neighbor as we do so.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

herbygal

This will be our second year celebrating Hanukkah. We love to light the candles of our menorah each night and remember that Yeshua/Jesus is the light of the world. We make latkes and gather with friends and family on some of the nights. We also find a way to give to the community, either by giving to a charity or volunteering at a soup kitchen.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

leuckygirl

I wrap 23 Christmas themed books in tissue paper and place them on the fireplace hearth. Each night starting on Dec 1, one of the kiddos gets to randomly choose and "open" the story for the night. Then on Dec. 24th we read Twas the Night before Christmas and on the 25th we read the Bible story of Christ's birth. We do this before nightly devotionals and the girls (6 and 11) both love it.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

tmasters

We set-up a Jesse Tree every year. We hang an illustrated ornament on the tree, sing Christmas songs, and read Bible verses telling that represent the people, prophesies, and events leading up to the birth of Jesus. The ornaments of the Jesse Tree tell the story of God in the Old Testament.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

amootry

Just being together and time with family and friends is one of the perfect gifts at any time of year! Not a want, but a definite need!

5 years ago · Like · Comment

tmasters

We have an Advent Book Tree Countdown we do as a family tradition. We read a Christian Christmas book every day leading up to Christmas. Each book focuses on the real reason why we celebrate Christmas Jesus including topics such as giving and serving others. A new book is given every Christmas! There are so many wonderful choices. We also try to do related, meaningful crafts with certain books. Some crafts can be given as homemade gifts to individuals too.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

tmasters

One of our favorite Christmas traditions are the visits from our Christmas Angel doll. She leaves messages for my daughter in gold glitter starting December 1st through Christmas Day. Each message encourages her to do a random act of kindness or good deeds. She helps my daughter think about others before herself. My daughter always wakes up super early to search for the angel and her message. We also named her Noelle the year she arrived. This really helps her focus on giving or helping others during the Christmas season. She learns that we must love and treat others how Jesus would want us to. Merry CHRISTmas and Happy New Year to you all!
God bless,
Tracey

5 years ago · Like · Comment

dawgwife

My husband and I started a tradition of finding fresh mistletoe and creating a new way to retrieve it from the trees every year... this proves challenging & funny as the years progress.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

Treva B

We have an advent box that we fill each year with some small fun things or cards with messages promising gifts of time, events, etc along with some more serious Christmas reading. In addition to the box, we try to find a new advent book to read and enjoy together. We especially love the advent books by Arnold Ytreeide. We also buy our daughter a new pair of pajamas and she gets to open those on Christmas eve and wear them to bed and to open gifts Christmas morning.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

COHSMom

We have a few fun Christmas Traditions: Most Special is our gift giving. I had read an article about this and we have done our gift giving this way for several years now. We think of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. Gold is the most precious gift we would like to receive, Frankincense is for a need, and Myrrh is a Spiritual gift. We also wrap the gifts to match the Theme. We also give a gift to Jesus. Every year we pray about an area in our lives that we want to give to Jesus. We wrap up our gift and put it in a special box and Christmas morning before we do anything else, we have prayer and then we each read our Gifts to Jesus and the Scripture that may relate to our gift. Another thing we love is to have Upside-down Apple French Toast on Christmas morning. It is very rich - not only in flavor but in calories as well!

5 years ago · Like · Comment

rebbratan

We enjoy spending time together talking, eating, and discussing what Christmas is truly all about.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

Christine

We open our Christmas presents on Thanksgiving so that our focus is on the Lord, and not gifts on Christmas day. :-)

5 years ago · Like · Comment

CJmom

Every year we go cut down our own Christmas tree, decorate it and sing carols around the piano.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

Bud

This year, my parents are visiting from overseas, so all of the kids decided to do a Christmas cruise. It will be 13 of us. Very excited!

5 years ago · Like · Comment

Jen120983

We travel to Indiana to visit my family. We drive 14 hours to get there and all cram into my grandmas small house, but the memories made are my favorites.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

ABrase

On Dec. 24, our family does a random act of kindness together before heading to church for the Christmas Eve service. One year, it was delivering blankets and snacks to the homeless shelter. Another year it was paying for another family's meal at a restaurant. It's a sweet tradition to prepare our hearts for Christmas. After church, we indulge in yummy appetizers and treats around the Christmas tree and the kids open their gifts to each other.

5 years ago · Like · Comment

Jerilyn B

One of our favorite traditions is celebrating the traditional twelve days of Christmas from December 25 - January 6. Each day the Wise Men advance a little closer to the stable, arriving on January 6th- the Epiphany. We try to fill these twelve days with lots of family Christmas memories - playing games, watching 'It's a Wonderful Life',giving homemade cookie plates, visiting family and friends.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

michelleb

We have several traditions I love... we attend a candlelight Christmas Eve service in a barn. Its simple, humble, and beautiful. We bake Jesus a birthday cake that the kids decorate, talking about Christmas and what we want to give Jesus for his birthday (some kind of service project). For many years we have sponsored Angel Tree children the same age/sex of our kids and let the kids pick out their gifts. A tradition that I want to start is reading Lisa TerKeurst ' s book The Sweetest Story Ever Told and making cookies to give away that tell the Christmas Story as in the book. In years past we envisioned a great spiritual family moment with our children on Christmas day of reading the Christmas Story from scripture. However it never was quite what I thought it would be...no matter when we tried to do it the kids could only think about presents (either opening them or playing with them). So this year I decided to try a different approach all together and it went so well that we will definately make it a new tradition! Every day during the month of December, we had a special devotional time about the Christmas story, the true meaning of Christmas and what it means for us that Jesus came to earth. We did several of the Youversion bible app's kids advent bible reading plans, memorized Matt 1:23 as our month's verse, and did any other activities that would focus our hearts on what Christmas is all about. Their favorite was the Why Do We Call it Christmas reading plan. We all learned a lot about the history of the Christmas holiday. The kids enjoyed it so much that they would ask for it most days. Two things happened spontaneously that showed me it had made an impact: One of the kids drew a picture on Christmas Eve of the nativity, labeling it "there was no room in the inn". The best though was on Christmas morning at a family gathering. My 7 yr old said to his cousin (who was anxiously awaiting opening presents): "hey, Christmas isn't all about opening presents you know...it is Jesus' birthday." And then we all sang happy birthday to Jesus! Since we learned that the 12 days of Christmas start on Dec 25, we are going to continue these devotions until Epiphany on Jan 6. Next year I plan to buy a nativity set that the kids can play with and have them use it to tell us the Christmas story.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

Sara1031

Every year I look forward to driving around to see the lights. listening to Christmas music, and drinking hot chocolate with my family.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

whisperingwillow

We have way too many traditions for me to list, since all are favorites! But having 3 children that are not close in age actually makes things more fun! Ages 25, 21 & 8, the older two are having fun carrying on the belief of Santa for their little brother that I homeschool. Being public school kids they remember how cruel other kids were about that. But I think that all of our favorite is the fact that we don't rush through Christmas morning. My daughter (age 25) and I take turns buying a new family game to open on Christmas eve for all of us to play. We let my 8 yr old open a present or two and we all wear new Christmas p.j's on Christmas be. Christmas morning starts LATE in our house. Nobody jumps up too early just because it's Christmas. We want it to last and not be rushed. We start opening presents 'whenever' we start. Anywhere from 10a.m til noon!! And take turns opening presents and even the youngest takes his time. It ends up taking us several hours to open presents, and I mean HOURS. Even my oldest kids cherished each and every gift they opened and never rushed by opening and rushing to the next. My 8 yr old takes more time than they did! We often have to say 'come on rip it open have some fun!!" I KNOW that all of my kids will have kids that do the same. I think this is my favorite tradition, the way my kids don't rush through and tear things opening and toss aside, but instead they take their time and enjoy and appreciate every single little gift they open.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

Chelle

As a family of six, each year we draw names and buy the gift(s) that go in each other's stockings. The kids have a lot of fun thinking about then buying or making a gift then putting it into the correct stocking on Christmas Eve. This way, we help to lessen Santa's involvement in filling stockings, and each family member is responsible for getting one gift, rather than five. It's also a tradition for our family to eat out at a fast-food place (whatever might be open) on Christmas Eve, and to read the Biblical account of Christ's birth.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

knowlearningacademy

We always have my daughter go through all of her things and fill up bags to donate to local thrift shops and choose where we will donate any loose change collected over the year that we have. My DD chose the local humane society this year so her clothes and toys she chose to donate went to a thrift store that sends its proceeds to the humane society and she also put all our money donations to them as well. She loves knowing she's helping other kids get nice toys and animals good care!

6 years ago · Like · Comment

Tammy

We go to our Christmas Eve candlelight service at church. Then we come home and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and follow with Sparkling Grape Juice to celebrate.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

RmbKids

Christmas tree hunting the Saturday before Christmas, attending midnight Mass, opening gifts Christmas morning and watching Father Goose with the family. These are traditions we enjoy.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

2Peanuts

This year, I made a savory Christmas casserole from sausage & eggs (found on allrecipes.com) and then a sweet treat (this year's find was amazing --- http://www.plainchicken.com/2012/05/nutella-smores-pulls.html) for Christmas breakfast. The goodies baked while we opened presents. After nearly 10 years of family Christmases, I think I've finally found our "traditional" Christmas breakfast!

6 years ago · Like · Comment

jegut

It is tradition to make lefse which is a flat bread made out of mashed potatoes. You eat it with butter and sugar.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

Science mom

This year u decided to really focus in on advent and learning all the ins and outs. So for the month of December we switched our homeschool curriculum to only study advent. We used the Holy Heroes website to assist us in doing this , and they made it very fun and interesting for the kids. I learned a lot out of this curriculum switch myself. We bought an advent wreath which we used ever night before dinner and our elf and Christmas angel really focused on doing good deeds this year rather than just foolish antics. I loved this experience with my kids and plan to continue to do it ever advent/Christmas season!

6 years ago · Like · Comment

Laura E

We love watching the Muppet's Christmas Carol with our puppeteer friends at the big screen movie theatre! Another tradition is to listen to When Santa Fell to Earth read by cornelia Funke. It'll make you believe that Santa is possible.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

Mommyof4

My parents used to buy me and my siblings a strange fruit every Christmas. Now with 4 kids I carry on the tradition in our home. However I don't think it has caught on well, as my children ask me to put a pineapple in their stocking instead of a fruit that they are unfamiliar with. Oh well. It will catch on sooner or later.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

Meesey

After we bought a larger home to better accommodate our homeschooling, we started having my mom spend the night on Christmas Eve. We cook some of the traditional food we ate when I was a child going to my grandparent's home. With her at our house, we all feel happy that she is not home alone and we can wake up to have breakfast together and open presents. With the blessing of having a bigger home, we also can host a birthday lunch for my son and a holiday dinner for my husband's family too.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

AmyMC

One of my children's favorite traditions is the Holiday Egg Casserole that I make every year. I've even had to adapt it the last few years as we have all had to go gluten free. I get up early and get the casserole in the oven so it will be ready when everyone comes downstairs. Then we have our breakfast before we open any of our gifts. Christmas would not not be the same in our house with the egg casserole!

6 years ago · Like · Comment

EWU

When I was in my teens, I used to join our Church's Christmas caroling group as a guitarist every Christmas. Our group will travel from house to house on Christmas Eve from 6pm right up to wee hours of the night singing Christmas Carols, bringing cheers to all the families who invite us into their homes. Those were the best Christmas memories I have.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

Mellerwine

Every year my husband and I received Christmas tree ornaments from family growing up and this tradition has continued on to our children who look forward to putting up their new ornaments along with the ones from previous years including some from when Mommy & Daddy were their age.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

mkfiskum

Christmas has found us in different places nearly every year. One year we lived in Hawaii and celebrated Christmas Hawaiian style. Now that we live in Washington, we still celebrate Mele Kalikimaka every year near the beginning of December with a giant family luau. It's awesome!

6 years ago · Like · Comment

Mongolianmama

We've moved a lot, but never lived in a house or apartment with a fireplace. So every Christmas Eve the stockings are *hidden* somewhere in our large living room, and it's like an Easter hunt on Christmas morning for each of our 5 to find their heavily laden stocking!

6 years ago · Like · Comment

smocker

We always have pumpkin bread and wassail when we decorate our tree. The house smells amazing!

6 years ago · Like · Comment

FieldsofGrace

We sing together as a family from a musical Advent calendar every day in December until Christmas! We also bake cookies and make small, individual gingerbread houses together during Christmas week.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

schoolbeans

We set up a nativity scene at the beginning of Advent but Mary and Joseph are not in it. They travel 'to Bethlehem' around the house, moving a little closer every day, but hidden. The kids have to find them everyday. They love it. We do the same with the wise men, coming from a different direction, but they don't arrive until Epiphany. Baby Jesus doesn't show up in the manger until Christmas morning. The kids love to rush down and find him there.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

CJmom

We read Charles Dickens'"A Christmas Carol," make cookies and sing carols around the piano.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

Conerberal

We watch the Charlie Brown Christmas and Rudolph television specials while eating popcorn (a huge treat for the boys). We bake cookies for Santa. We have a Scripture-based advent calendar, and Christmas morning we read about the birth of Jesus from Luke

6 years ago · Like · Comment

HeatherAlt

We ride around after Church looking at Christmas lights and listening to Christmas music on the radio or on CD.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

Cookie99

We pack everyone in the van and go around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. We get everyone a hot drink and turn on the Christmas music as we ooh and ahh over the beauty of the lights in the darkness. This is a fun activity to remind ourselves that Jesus is the light of the world.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

M5

We started a tradition this year that I hope will continue. We hosted Thanksgiving for our extended family and wanted to decorate. Thinking about taking the decorations down and putting up Christmas decorations had us very carefully plan how we did Thanksgiving. We used a lot of green in the background for Thanksgiving, then replaced the orange with red. We had enough time to enjoy the process without feeling rushed.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

Mamared76

We try to make every Christmas a family oriented event the Advent Calendar with a chocolate each night, drives through the neighborhoods looking at lights, to our favorite Christmas thing of all; creating. Every year we have a list of things to create or build together. The gingerbread house, new ornaments (most of our ornaments are hand made), cookies to baked, and gifts to make. The yearly gift making is the family favorite. Since we don't celebrate Santa the way many families do. We embrace the spirit of giving by making things for the ones we love. Playing Elf is the term we use. Scarves hand crocheted or finger knitted, pot holders made on the loom, and jewelry strung by tiny hands are some of the families most cherished gifts. The spirit of giving is the most important tradition I believe we can pass on to our children. Whether it be homemade gifts, the Christmas Child Shoebox, or the more mundane like food drives and cleaning out your closets for the homeless shelter. The true spirit of the year is a giving heart and that is the best tradition of all.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

gomommy

We have a tradition of going to Christmas eve service at our church and then going home and putting reindeer food (glitter and oats) and carrots out for Santa's reindeer and cookies and milk out for Santa. It is a warm and magical evening for everyone.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

YellowHouseBookRental

When our children were young, every Christmas Eve, we would read about Jesus birth, from Luke 2, and have the children dress up as Mary, Joseph, wisemen. For many years we had a a baby or toddler in our family so they got the Jesus part. They were such precious memories and the children loved doing it! Now that they are teens and adults,..... well, we will have to wait for grandchildren to do it again!

6 years ago · Like · Comment

hope&joy

We always read the Christmas story from scripture on Christmas morning before opening presents, and spend some time worshipping with prayer and song.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

gena

After reading the book "Treasuring God in our Traditions" by Noel Piper, my husband and I spent a lot of time thinking about how we would like Christmas morning to work in our home. One of my favorite traditions that we started happens right when the children wake up. The kids all put their blankies on their heads and we tie a scarf around the top to make them look like shepherds. They each have a used wrapping paper roll for their staff. My husband stands on the other side of their bedroom door and reads aloud the angel part from Luke 2. After he reads about the angels singing he plays the "Hallelujah Chorus" and the kids have to go find our manger scene ---(we hide it in a different place each Christmas). Once they find it we have a time of prayer and song before we go to the tree to open presents. After presents we sit down for breakfast and their is a lump of chocolate coal on our plates. It is a reminder of what we deserve---the flames of hell---but because of Jesus and his work on the cross we are forgiven and we inherit our Father's kingdom.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

YV

Each year, since my dad was a little boy, the dads have taken the kids and their friends Christmas caroling while the moms shopped and wrapped gifts. My grandfather did it, my dad did it, and now I am taking my own children caroling with their friends on Monday. :)

6 years ago · Like · Comment

Kwojcuil

Our favorite part of the Christmas season is decorating the entire house together! It takes a couple of weeks from getting the tree to putting up lights and garland around windows to all of our singing stuffed animals put on shelves but everyone gets involved. It's so much fun!

6 years ago · Like · Comment

Juyautbry

Each year we make an angel food cake and top it with red whipped cream. We sing Happy Birthday to baby Jesus and then talk about the icing as his blood and the cake as his purity in the world. It gives us a time to reflect on the real reason for the season.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

ERice

We perform at Bethlehem City to tell others about Jesus!

6 years ago · Like · Comment

HJBJD

Our homeschooled 4-H group practices & goes to an assisted living facility to sing Christmas carols. We have a pianist & fiddle player. This year we made ornaments to give to each resident. It is very rewarding & makes one's heart smile when the elderly sing along! It's also a priceless sight when hugs are shared with our kids!

6 years ago · Like · Comment

tmhinton

My kids favorite tradition is making our Jesus birthday cake on Christmas eve and singing happy birthday to Jesus on Christmas. They love it and get excited to do it which is so special!

6 years ago · Like · Comment

lanithile

Our boys get their own small Christmas tree, and they get to decorate it any way they like!

6 years ago · Like · Comment

Nancy in NH

Carrying on my mom's tradition of making her awesome meatballs and chop suey is a big part of every Christmas for us.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

shernandez

We do 12 days of Christmas. Each day, our kids get one gift leading up to Christmas. On Christmas morning, they get their stockings! We also love doing the Truth in the Tinsel Advent study with the printable ornaments. My oldest daughter looks forward to this the most every day.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

TeamBrauller

We award our favorite local Christmas light displays with homemade awards in categories we make up. We tie them to mailboxes. It is fun and exciting!

6 years ago · Like · Comment

naomi

We make fresh wreaths for gifts to friends and neighbors!!

6 years ago · Like · Comment

Cmtwinmama

We set up a table with a jigsaw puzzle with a Christmas theme.Anyone who comes to visit through the holidays can join us for a cup of eggnog or hot cocoa and we sit around the table, talk and enjoy each other's company.

6 years ago · Like · Comment

adventuremaven

My husband and I are Jewish believers in Jesus (hallelujah!) and are raising our children to know and worship Jesus and to also identify as Jews. We celebrate Hanukkah (and particularly give gifts at Hanukkah not Christmas) and Passover, as well as observe a few other Jewish holidays. We don't put up a tree or give gifts at Christmas because, for us, it detracts from the real meaning for the season. Instead, we read the Bible on Christmas morning (the birth of Jesus) and sing carols. We also like to eat Chinese on Christmas day, a little nod to our people.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

snowflake

My family loves to make homemade cookies and hot chocolate on the night before Christmas Eve. (Christmas Eve is reserved for spending time with grandma). We then drive around town looking at all the lights while eating Christmas Cookies and drinking the cocoa. It's a fun tradition and my kids always look forward to our time doing this together. They even talk about it during the rest of the year if we are out late at night driving. It makes them think of looking at Christmas lights.

8 years ago · Like · Comment
RoadTripper: homemade cookies are an important part of our Christmas, too!
8 years ago · Like

Astronomersky

We celebrate Christmas and we bake a cake on christmas day to celebrate Jesus's birthday. It helps everyone realize that christmas is more than just presents. My mother-in-law started that tradition. Next year in addition to to the cake we are going to start a new tradition. We are going to let the kids pick out a charity that they would like to support and we are going to donate some money and depending on the charity have the kids either help out or make something for them.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

Carrie in NC

We honor the appointed times of YHVH. One of our favorite celebrations is Sukkot (Feast of Booths). For many years, we have put up our tents in the backyard, strung mini-lights and plastic fruits on the center canopy, and invited friends to join us around a campfire to sing songs of praise and worship, share our praise reports of the year, and eat S'mores.

This year, I bought a gift for our family--a seven-branched menorah with a relief of Jerusalem and the candle-holders spelling out His Name: Yeshua (literal meaning: YHVH is salvation). This way, when we light it for Sukkot (and again for Chanukah--a second Sukkot) we are proclaiming that Yeshua is the Light of the World. The rest of the year, it will have a special place on our mantel to be a constant reminder of YHVH's precious gift.

We love to remember all year long His willingness to leave heaven and be born in this world, with the express purpose of bringing reconciliation with the Father through His shed blood. Scripture doesn't tell us when Yeshua was born, but it does record the prophecies He fulfilled and His death and resurrection to pay the penalty for our sins. We await His return when the Father says that it is time for the bridegroom to receive His bride. Baruch Haba b'Shem Yehovah!

8 years ago · Like · Comment

Shell angel

As a family we do a hand full of fun things that touches not just my husband and me but the Lord. What my family does is that we will make Christmas cards and I mean a lot of Christmas cards and we put the Christmas card in peoples doors. Just randomly. In the cards we have Bible verses in it. Also before the end of the year we will create a big poster. Everyone has their own section where they can put the things they would like to accomplish in the new year, we can keep adding more todos to the poster when ever we have a new idea. We go to hospitals and just stop and talk to folks and give them smiles, hugs and we pray with them. My daughter did a beautiful thing this Christmas to help a family who was dealing with the pain of their 2 year old who has brain cancer. My daughter told me she saw the little girl who had brain cancer last year walking with her dad and she felt really bad so my daughter wanted to do something big for the little girl. However, she didn't do anything that time, but the next time which was this Christmas she gave the father a gift and in the gift she had a nice long letter. She also saved her $50 and put it into the card and put it into a box so the family could open up something. My daughter told her good friend to deliver the box to the father of the little girl who was just walking into the building. Shelby my daughter told her friend that if the man asks who gave him this gift tell him it was a person who wants the best for your family and that she is praying for healing. Shelbys friend gave the man the gift and the man was shocked and so pleased that someone was thinking about their family. The next Sunday came up and Shelbys friend that gave the box to the man came to church and told Shelby that the man wanted to know who she was and wanted to thank her. I didn't share this but when Shelby wrote the letter she told the family that they would never know who gave them this Money to their family. It's something I will never forget what my daughter did this Christmas. My daughter is 16 and she told me it's all about giving.

8 years ago · Like · Comment
Shell angel: Write something...
Shell angel likes this. · 8 years ago · Like
Shell angel: This is stuff I could do.this is great!!!!!
Shell angel likes this. · 8 years ago · Like
Shell angel: You know this is a beautiful thing to do. Great ideas ill have to try this with my family.
Shell angel likes this. · 8 years ago · Like
Shell angel: The best things about Christmas is Giving
Shell angel likes this. · 8 years ago · Like

samanthaewing

One of my favorite traditions of Christmas was our "Christmas Eve Gift Exchange', in an effort to quell the constant demand to open presents on Christmas Eve, my grandfather came up with "Christmas Eve Gag Gifts'. On Thanksgiving we would draw names and present our best gag gift to the recipient. One particular year, after hitting my grandfather's car as I backed out of the driveway, I received a rear-view mirror!

8 years ago · Like · Comment

Brynnsmom

Every Christmas morning before we head to the tree, we take the kids on a journey to Bethlehem. We have different rooms numbered in different numbers and different activities to do in each room. We read through the Christmas story as we make our way through dressing up like Gabriel, Joseph, Mary, the shepherds, shine our flashlights like a multitude of angels and bring gifts to worship the baby Jesus as the wisemen. We have prophecies and their fulfillments in little gift boxes that pertain to each event. When we finally get to the manger, we spend time to sing and worship Jesus.

Also, we put activities to do on a sticky note on each present. WE do this because Grandma and Grandpa are usually here and we wanted present opening to be about the people and not just about the gifts, so we will put interesting questions to answer, like "When was the first time you felt like a grown up" or zany activities that have to be performed before you can open your present.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

M5

We bake pumpkin pies for the community dinner at the same time we bake for our family dinner. It is alot of fun because we are usually in a time crunch when we are baking the pies (on Christmas day - community dinner starts at noon!) We all need to pitch in and help. I think it teaches the kids that it is important to think of others even when it is not convenient, and that it doesn't need to be miserable!

8 years ago · Like · Comment
Shell angel: Family Christmas can be done anytime cant it?
Shell angel likes this. · 8 years ago · Like

hsreviewsjust4you

We began the Christmas tradition of Operation Christmas Backpack. We joined together with several other families to fill backpacks with items we felt would be most useful to someone living on the streets. This year we were able to distribute 40 backpacks. All of these backpacks were distributed Christmas morning before any of our families opened their gifts. You can read more about this on my blog as we'd love to have Operation Christmas Backpack spread throughout the U.S. http://www.asliceofhomeschoolpie.com/2012/12/operation-christmas-backpack-part-2.html

8 years ago · Like · Comment

RoseyGift

We host a "Nativity Party" at our church - everyone comes dressed as their favorite character or animal from the Nativity story. We read the story from Luke - if you're an angel, you read the angel parts, if you're a shepherd, you read the shepherd parts. We sing traditional carols in between. No practice required and very little planning!

8 years ago · Like · Comment

txnewbie

All through the year we keep a box with index cards and pen in our family room. Whenever there is a praise we write it down and date it on a card. On New Year's Eve each year we go through all the cards as a family for a time of remembrance of what God has done throughout the year.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

2Mings

Every year we try to do two things, one within family and one outward gesture. As it is the end of the year, as a family we sit down at a nice dinner and we go around table answering theme questions like "what most grateful for this year", "most memorable moment", "most funny moment", etc.. As we are living in a country outside of the US that is non-Christian, we try to spread a little of the tradition by singing with like-minded friends in a place that needs a little Christmas cheer (and yes we are always dressed up in our reindeer hats and Santa Claus hats).

8 years ago · Like · Comment

S Slayter

We visit the local assisted living facility and sing carols to the residents! So much fun and they really enjoy seeing all the kids. I think this is one of the best traditions we have started. We also go with a few friends, so this makes it that much more fun.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

RoadTripper

My daughter and I bake Christmas butter cookies, every year, some of which we leave out on a plate for Santa on Christmas Eve. She is now 10. When she was ~4, we did this on Christmas Eve day -- and the pressure to 'finish' before night-time was tremendous. I learned from that, and we are done with them by Dec23rd, the latest. This year, we'll start them tomorrow (Fri Dec21st).

8 years ago · Like · Comment
RoadTripper: Happy New Year everyone!....our cookies came out GREAT!, and it was a lot of fun making and decorating them.
8 years ago · Like

Fitmommaof2

Each year we celebrate Christmas as Jesus Birthday. We always have a manger scene under the tree before any presents. My Children are allowed to play with this at any time. They often lay near the tree and play with the figurines. We also always read the birthstory of Jesus before any presents are opened.
Finally and what tends to be the kids favorite, following the Christmas dinner, we all gather in the kitchen to bake Jesus a birthday cake. The kids get total choice in type color and then can decorate any way they choose.
When it is complete we put 1 candle in light it and sing the Happy Birthday song to Jesus!

It's a Happy Birthday Jesus Party all day long!!

8 years ago · Like · Comment

jtchristian

One of our favorite things to do is to make Christmas Pretzel Kisses! You take any kind of the smaller pretzels (not sticks, but the ones shaped like a traditional pretzel), spread them out on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper, and put a candy kiss in the middle of each. Put them in an oven at 200 degrees for a few minutes, just until the kiss is just soft. Then take some m&m's and press one down into the center of the kiss. I usually pop the pan in the freezer for about 10 min. to make sure they firm up. We like to bag them up and hand them out to our friends, family, and neighbors!

8 years ago · Like · Comment

twinmomma

We make a Christmas CD every year to give to friends, family and strangers! It is inexpensive and I can make a ton of them and carry them in my purse to give out. Friend and family love it b/c they say it is something they can pull out every year and play. We pick a different theme and the kids get to help pick out the music!
Super fun for everyone!

8 years ago · Like · Comment

MommaBee

Each year we get a freshly cut Christmas tree. While the tree is settling into it's place and Dad & I are putting on the lights and ribbon, the kids decorate their "Elf" trees. These are tabletop sized trees that I had gotten before the kids were born. They've made perfect mini trees for the kids! Each year they decorate their own trees with mini ornaments we've collected and then place them in a special spot. The next morning, they each find a small gift that they can open, which is a new ornament for our regular tree but is selected especially for him/her. These are the first to be hung on our family tree which we then decorate together. I love this tradition and my kids do, too! (Last year I forgot to put the elf gifts by their trees and how disappointed they were......and they're 15 & 12!!)

8 years ago · Like · Comment

mamab

My children & I all participate in out Church Christmas presentation every year! We all love it so much! We prepare for it for months!

8 years ago · Like · Comment

KatieT

Every year we give the kids a special ornament in their stocking that represents something special to them. They each have a special box to keep their ornaments in so when they are grown and have their own tree they will already have a special collection of ornaments. Also the week before Christmas everyone picks a special Christmas cookie recipe, many passed down from my mom, and make the cookies. Then we share them with family, friends, and neighbors.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

livinablesdlife

I wrap A baby Jesus labeled best Christmas present. My kids open it and we talk about the real meaning of our Christmas celebration. Later in the day we have birthday cake together after singing Happy Birthday to Jesus. My kids talk about it weeks before Christmas and really look forward to it.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

slw1127

We give our children 3 gifts - one they need, one they want and one that lasts. This goes along with the gifts the wise men gave Jesus. The gift that lasts is something for spiritual growth or something that will provide memories.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

Barbf

Every year our family discuss and decide on what we will give as a birthday gift for Jesus. We talk about how it is really His birthday and that when we do something for others it is like we are doing it for Him. He was very concerned about the poor and needy while He lived on earth, so we choose those who are needy to give to. In the past we have given gifts to needy families in our community, given gifts to children of prisoners (Angel Tree Ministry), filled shoe boxes for Samaritan's Ministry (they take the gifts to needy children overseas), and given money to organizations like Feed the Hungry. We have also gone to nursing homes and ministered to the residents there. My children have always enjoyed being involved in helping and giving to others and look forward every year to giving to Jesus. Often they are the ones who will ask, "What are we going to give to Jesus this year?" They also love picking out and buying gifts for their family members and friends and have more joy in giving than receiving. They don't argue over who is going to get the first gift on Christmas, instead they all clamor over who they can give their gift to first. It is such a blessing to see the joy they have when they give to others! We also always read the Christmas story and remind ourselves that God gave the most important gift of all - HIS SON!

8 years ago · Like · Comment

sbaloue

We celebrate Christmas the same way every year. We have ribs from our favorite downtown restaurant. We visit both Grandmothers, and spend the evening visiting family.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

joruth

Every year me and my children get together with friends to bake and decorate home made gingerbread boys. I make my Grandmother's unique recipe which she passed down to my Mom, who passed it on to her daughters. It is a great time of fellowship, and it helps keep family traditions and history alive.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

MyPuraKitty

Every year we go to Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium the Satruday before Christmas. And this year we started a new tradition. We made up care packages and keep them in our car to hand out to people in need that we pass on the street. We are enjoying doing this so much, that we will continue to do it through out the year.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

ErinC

We bake goodies and deliver to those who are in need and friends.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

hspanda

We volunteer by shopping for, setting up, working at, and cleaning up after a Holiday Party for over 800 children that might not get any gifts or holiday cheer otherwise.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

Himay_1

We celebrate Hanukkah and this year my 11 year old son wanted to make a 6 foot tall Hanukiah for the yard that would light up. He drew up his plans, we went to local hardware store and purchased the supplies and together, mom and son built, wired up for electricity a 6 foot tall 5 foot wide Hanukiah that can be seen from space!!!! I am proud of our accomplishment, especially the electrical part....and our Hanukiah lights not only our yard but our heart as well! See my profile pic. Happy Hanukkah....be a light to the world!

8 years ago · Like · Comment

northwestmom

We bake cookies like crazy for literally two or three entire days... then we take the cookies around to friends and local businesses along with a Christmas card. Everyone seems to enjoy the goodies and we love blessing those around us!

8 years ago · Like · Comment

3000melanies

We have dinner under the tree. Normally, it is takeout chicken or subs. We turn off all of the lights except for under the tree. We lay a picnic blanket under/by the tree and play Christmas carols as we eat. We always finish with our fresh baked Christmas cookies. We look forward to it every year and sometimes have it twice during the time the tree is up!

8 years ago · Like · Comment

Carol in WI

We help our homeschool co-op organize a student "Market Day." Each year at the beginning of December, students bring their homemade crafts, baked goods, and other creations to sell. (It's even open to the public!) Students learn entrepreneurial skills, make some money for the holidays, and are even able to independently do their "Christmas shopping." Our community loves it too!

8 years ago · Like · Comment

dnlcapen

Each year we make a festive evening when we decorate our Christmas tree. I make a batch of each of their favorite cookies and many other finger foods. That night we have this snacky dinner as we decorate the tree. When we are done decorating the tree, we all sleep under it that night, pets included! It's a yearly tradition that the kids really look forward to! :-)

8 years ago · Like · Comment

keds

Our family loves Christmas music. The kids like to go caroling if we can, it doesn't really matter where we are they find somewhere to go. All through December we listen to all kinds of Christmas music and there is always at least one of us singing along.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

ElisabethR

My boys & I enjoy making candies & goodies, starting at Thanksgiving and going till we are able to bless all good friends, teachers, business associates, etc. with goodies. It all started with peppermint bark, then expanded last year to other bark flavors. . this year we started making homemade marshmallows as well, and later today we'll do cut out cookies for the first time.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

tappelb

Every year since our son's birth, my husband and I have each given him an ornament which has special meaning for that particular year. They range from Baby Jesus to Santa to Thomas the Tank Engine to Larry Boy, but each one has some significance in the year it was presented...for example, the year we began home schooling, we gave him a glass ornament of an old fashioned schoolhouse.

For each ornament, we write a personal note inside the cover of its box which we always date. Our son is only 9 years-old now, but he already has quite a collection of ornaments!

As we open them each year and read the messages we've written, memories come flooding back to us which reconfirm our commitment to this tradition. Because when the time comes in the future that our son is grown and we are no longer with him, it is our hope that he will always feel our presence in spirit as he reads our written words recalling the times we've shared together and the strong love we have for one another.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

Nancy KJ

Last year was the first time we did this but it was great! We wrapped a figure from a simple nativity set in a plain piece of paper that had a corresponding scripture written on it and then secretly left it in the neighbor's mailbox. We did that each day leading up to Christmas and then on Christmas morning, we delivered baby Jesus in person! You still have plenty of time to try this. Most nativities have about 8 pieces. :)

8 years ago · Like · Comment

tlcslp

A few years ago, I picked up a wire ornament that opened up. I decided that would be a great thing to fill with little candies or doodads and to give as a gift. Then I decided to make it a tradition as "the giving ball". When I gave it to my sister that first year, she was tasked with giving it to someone else the following year, with the fillings tailored to that person. As our boyfriends, now husbands, and children entered the scene, they were included in the tradition. Now, about 15 years later, everyone has had at least one chance to give the Giving Ball. This year my son chooses to give it to Grandpa, so we will go shopping soon for the fillings. It's a tradition that has grown and has lasted. Usually no one remembers who is the giver, so it's a surprise when someone produces it and more of a surprise if you end up being the recipient!

8 years ago · Like · Comment

OrtizPivaral

Movie marathon. The Thanksgiving break is where the countdown starts, we dust our movie players (video, DVD, blue ray, etc) and start off the holiday season! Every day while watching our favorite Christmas movies (all Home Alone, Peanuts, etc.) we start to decorate the house, the tree, the yard, etc. We decorate and watch the movies, rewind our favorite parts and laugh and make brand new memories all over again! My kids love it so much that they even invite friends over for the movie experience under the lights and Christmas tree!

8 years ago · Like · Comment

OrtizPivaral

The Ginger Bread House! Since we live where it doesn't snow, we make candy, frosting and powdered sugar remind us that... With sprinkles of snowy powder sugar and frosting driping from the seams and rooftop! Every year we join with friends and celebrate the Christmas joy with the decorating of the houses, take pictures and have an awesome time with the frosting, candy and powder sugar.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

OrtizPivaral

The Nutcracker! We take one December Sunday after church and go out around town in the hunt for the nutcracker! And then either watch it on TV or attend to the Ballet. This Sunday we got it and we are going to dress-up on Thursday to watch the play in the theater where they have a special day for students at a discount rate!

8 years ago · Like · Comment

QueenieReighn

Our family loves to go over to our church one night and decorate it for Christmas. It's so fun to see the surprise and excitement when everyone comes in for church later and sees how nice it looks. :-)

8 years ago · Like · Comment

MoniDavalos

I've been considering some kind of EASY advent ideas and came across this one a couple years back. Wrap all the Xmas books you have up in wrapping paper like a gift. Put them under the tree. Each day a child picks a book and you read the story! I love it!!

8 years ago · Like · Comment

lauren

Our family celebrates Chanukah which a celebration of the miracle of a vial of oil that was only enough to last for one day lasting for 8 days. Our tradtion teaches that each time we chose to take on a new mitzvah (good deed) it is we have enacted a miracle. Therefore, each Chanukah every member of our family choses a new good deed to embrace from that point forward. It is a joy to see the miracle of Chanukah continue and grow within each child.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

fairyclown

I love Christmas. There are several things we do to spread the cheer. I love the movie "A Christmas Carol". It makes me cry every time. Get the family together one evening and pop corn and enjoy the classic truth of how to spread the love for mankind. It just hits the spot on what our focus needs to be towards humanity during the year.
We are starting to put 'thank you Christ for what you have done this year' or 'what we are grateful to Christ for' notes on out tree. Pretty papers and ribbons.
Lastly, secret people where we aren't tied to having to buy everyone in the family a gift. Thought of it's more blessed to give than receive. And we some times include others from our neighborhood, too. Have a get together meal and play games, and open gifts.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

Saboo

My grandma was a free-spirited lady and we loved having Christmas at her house. The Christmas tradition she started, which continues with our family to this day, stemmed from something she said she did that we children thought delightfully wicked. One Christmas morning, my cousins, siblings, and I arrived at Grandma's house to see a big, black, stuffed-full "Hefty Sack" in her front room. When we asked her what it was, she urged us to "open it up", her eyes twinkling. The sack was stuffed full of presents for us! We then asked her why all the presents were in a sack. She answered, "Oh, when Santa showed up last night, I stole his sack from him and booted him out the door", then laughed at the look on our faces. To this day, whomever's home we all go to for Christmas has a "Hefty Sack" in the front room, stuffed full of presents for the kids in the family. The children always ask what it is (even though they know the answer) and laugh to hear the answer, "That's Santa's sack. Great-grandma stole it from him...."

8 years ago · Like · Comment

S. Campbell

5 years ago my son and I decided to visit a local nursing home on Christmas to take gifts to residents that wouldn't have any visitors that day. We've been visiting every month since, and each Christmas we take gifts and spend time with many of the residents. They are so thankful that someone takes the time to care, and I encourage anyone hoping to make a difference in the lives of others to consider visiting a nursing home or care center. You won't regret it. :) My favorite visit of the year is Christmas and I can't wait to load up our decorated wagon!

8 years ago · Like · Comment

Evelyn H.

Last year we borrowed an idea from a friend that we are continuing and extending this year. Last year, during the season of Advent, we collected our spare change in a decorated coffee can. After the worship service on Christmas Eve, we took the can down to a local coffee shop that has a ministry to homeless teens.. This year, I've made hand-knit scarves to sell at a craft fair with proceeds going to our "First Gift of Christmas"-the gift we give to Jesus to honor his birth.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

hope&joy

When my daughter was growing up, we lived in a foreign country where the majority people don't celebrate Christmas. When she was young, we were introduced to Adorenaments at a Christmas club for expat children. They made trees from a bare branch in a sand filled pot and decorated them with 12 "ornaments" for 12 names of Jesus.. Later I found that I could order a nice set of Adorenaments from FamilyLife (www.familylife.com) that comes with a keepsake board and a devotion guide. Sometimes we hang the ornaments on the tree and sometimes we just display them on the board. It is a great reminder of who Jesus is.
Our other tradition is that we always read some version of the Christmas story from the Bible and sing a Christmas hymn like "O Come Let Us Adore Him" and pray together on Christmas morning before we open gifts.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

Toni C.

We pick names, of someone in our house, on the first day of Advent and we have to do something special each week for them and then make a Christmas gift to give them on Christmas day. We also work at the soup kitchen and we(us and the youth group) are giving a special Christmas party a few days before Christmas for 2 of the families that come to the soup kitchen. We buy gifts from their list and then give them a meal that day and one for them to take home to make on Christmas Day. We love to see how we impact their lives.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

Kasi B

Instead of waiting for Christmas to read the Christmas story, we start the weekend after Thanksgiving. This is when we set up our Nativity scene. We open it up and split up the pieces to all the children. Then we read the Christmas story from the Bible. Our children listen more attentively because they have to listen for their "part." For when we read of the shepards, it is time for those children with shepards to put their pieces on our mantle. We continue until we have finished reading the story and our nativity scene is set up. Then we have the story of Christ with us throughout the whole season.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

flying4royalty

Each year we do Advent together as a family. The children take turns lighting the advent candles the four Sundays before Christmas and we talk about what the candles represent and how it goes with the Christmas Story. By the Sunday before Christmas we have finished all the candles and we celebrate by having a big advent dinner. This tradition was started by my grandparents. They got it from friends in Europe. We eat only things that can be put together quickly, fruit, nuts, pickles, cheeses and crackers. We also make challah braids, fruit bread, cheese balls, cranberry sauce and of course lots of candies and fudges. It is my favorite meal of the year. After eating we share the entire Christmas story and light the Jesus Candle. We always sing Christmas songs and it prepares our hearts for the special day.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

Ewe

On December 5 our boys put their shoes out and St. Nick comes in the night and fills them with chocolate coins. On December 6 we read Julie Stiegemeyer's book, Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend. Our 3 boys always talk about Santa as St. Nick.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

Mrs. Snowflake

When our first child was a baby, I started writing a little note to record some special events of the year. After Christmas, I would tuck the note into a stocking to be packed away until the next year. I enjoyed finding the notes and reminiscing. It always warmed my heart and put a smile on my face. Each year, as our family grew and our lives changed, I would write a little longer note. Now, these "letters from Mom" are in a notebook, which I have never told anyone about. These remembrances have included births and deaths of family members, graduations, college, and moves we have made. More importantly, they have included the good and the difficult times in which I have recorded the ways that God has taken care of us. One day, hopefully, I will be able to write of grandchildren, too. I think this will be a blessing to my children when I am in Heaven, and they find this little book of family memories. I hope it will encourage them to stay close to God throughout their lives.

8 years ago · Like · Comment
LisaR: What a great idea!
8 years ago · Like

ChristineG

Each year, beginning on December 1st, every night my husband reads aloud one letter from Tolkien's 'Father Christmas Letters'. Everyone loves the hilarious stories of the North Polar Bear and the adventures of Father Christmas and, of course, the special time with Dad! I love the stories because they are so well written that they appeal to young and old.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

twen1977

We always bake a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas Eve (last year we made cupcakes and put them in the shape of a cross). Then before we eat dessert on Christmas evening we sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus and blow out candles for him.

8 years ago · Like · Comment

Cmtwinmama

I buy a 1000 piece Christmas puzzle and set it up on a card table.When someone stops by for a visit we share a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, Christmas cookies, and work on the puzzle. Everyone seems to enjoy this!

8 years ago · Like · Comment

DrMom

One of our favorite traditions is finding making and packaging a cookie-in-a-jar type recipe to share with friends and neighbors. Another is to make snowman soup - milky hot chocolate in a bowl with 3 chocolate chips (eyes and nose), 5-7 mini marshmallows (mouth) and a cinnamon stick broken in half (arms) to stir with!!

8 years ago · Like · Comment

jkroman

Our Favorite tradition is stringing popcorn and cranberries with the sweet sound of Christmas music playing!

8 years ago · Like · Comment

deannaaich

We always, always, do the What does Jesus Really Want for Christmas Box Kit from Lifeway Christian Stores which builds a simple nativity after opening 8 boxes and a surprise at the end!!! Then, always have a Happy Birthday Jesus, full-out birthday party and then we will color ornaments of the names of God and put them in our Christmas cards--very fun while we watch neat movies like Amazing Grace, Ben Hur, the Ten Commandments, and more :) We usually have the party in the morning and build donut castles , for the King of Kings! (using the little white donuts and adding a coneshape of paper to the tops with a stick on jewel--very simple)

9 years ago · Like · Comment

tmasters

I have a green box that Alyssa opens first every Christmas. It is the first gift of Christmas and the MOST important one for us all. A Baby Jesus figurine is placed inside the box and then Alyssa takes Him over to the manger.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

granmaof2

One of our favorite holiday traditions is a dish we just call the Pink Stuff. No major holiday meal seems complete without it. My grandmother was the first to serve it and she passed it on to my mother and now I have passed it on to our kids and grandkids, It is simply red Jello with Cool Whip and fruit cocktail in it which turns it a delicious pink. We all love it and my kids always ask if we're going to have it and are disappointed if we don't. Now the grandkids are starting to ask. It is simple, yet nothing says home and family to us like the Pink Stuff.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

4Ethan

My family and I participated in Wreaths Across America, whose goal is to place wreaths on the graves of those buried at National Cemetaries. It was an honor to do this not only in honor of our son, but those who have served for our freedom and their families! The ceremony was beautiful and breathtaking, and was truly focused on the Lord! We will be participating at this event each year, Lord-willing, as a part of Christmas festivities. www.wreathsacrossamerica.org

9 years ago · Like · Comment

tmasters

We were blessed this Christmas so my hubby and I decided to pass on the blessings to two other families. They are our new friends from the library ... such well behaved children ... and oh so sweet and precious! We invited them over to our house for a Polar Express party. We decorated the floor with train tracks and blue and silver decorations. I hung up the Polar Express tickets outside our front door ... each ticket had a letter sticker on it that spelled BELIEVE since I couldn't hole punch the letters. I called the children over to the reading area "All Aboard" and hole punched each ticket. Their faces were gleaming with happiness! I had a wrapped gift and asked the children what they thought was inside the box and I told them we would check our predictions after the story. One girl changed her guess before the story ended and was able to open the box for us all. It was a jingle bell necklace (the first craft we did). I read the Polar Express to the kiddos (seven girls - including ours). Then, we did the jingle bell craft and a train photo magnet craft. I made 5" train cookies for the children to decorate with buttercream frosting and candies. we also drank hot cocoa and made reindeer-wiches for a snack. We also read The Christmas Story by Patricia Pingry (blue book) and Mortimer's Christmas Manger (one of my favorites). We made nativity bracelets from Oriental Trading and an adorable Baby Jesus Manger craft which I neglected to take a photo of because my CF card was full. The children watched the Polar Express while we made a spaghetti dinner with Italian bread and finished up the manger crafts. After dinner, we surprised the children with God's Greatest Gift goody bags full of crafts and nativity activities including a train whistle stating the greatest gift was Jesus (at Hobby Lobby on sale). We also decided to purchase two gifts for each child. Alyssa and I had so much fun shopping for the girls ... great mommy daughter time. I LOVED hearing her reasons for certain purchases. I tried very hard to get educational, game, art, or logical thinking toys for one family since they also homeschool. I only bought things that I would buy my daughter ... things that could be used to bring the families together. I purchased games that covered many ages so that the family with four daughters could play together. We had a wonderful time and are blessed to have met these families. I asked my daughter what her favorite part was and she told me it was giving the gifts to the other children which was amazing since she just recently turned four and didn't expect anything in return. We told her a couple weeks before how blessed she was and that the reason for the season is not presents but Jesus, love, and spending time together. I just wanted to share this day with you all - it was so much fun and I hope you will try it next year with your children if possible. Oh ... I pulled out some of my math manipulatives from my teaching days (Pattern Blocks, Attribute Blocks, and Unifix Cubes) for the children to create trains ... they worked together to make a long train track to play on! LOL! We also had Christmas coloring and activity sheets.

9 years ago · Like · Comment
M5: Wow that sounds like a lot of fun! It must have taken a lot of thought and planning. I am sure the families loved it.
8 years ago · Like
tmasters: Thank you! We had loads of fun! It was an unforgettable event for my family.
8 years ago · Like

We always try to make sure we do something (play and singing) about the true meaning of Christmas.Our whole family is involved in this. We had a group of children we pick-up for church just this year ,they didnt even know the Christmas story about the birth of Jesus! They were also in the play and they know it now:)

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Loblolly

We hosted a Reason for the Season party for several families in our community. We all gathered in our garage for the party (the house wasn't big enough) and the entire evening was all about Jesus. He was our guest of honor. We sang Christmas hymns and read the birth of Christ in Luke 2 together and shared such sweet fellowship and worship to our king and his birth. We then shared a good meal of soup and cornbread and ate birthday cupcakes in honor of Jesus. I hope this becomes an annual tradition for us as we begin the season focusing on the true meaning of Christmas and giving praise to the Lord.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

LindsayD

Our favourite Chanukkah traditions are to eat potato latkes AT LEAST twice during the celebration and singing Maoz Tzur each night!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

pressed4time

We celebrate my husband's traditional Carpathien Christmas eve with a meatless meal of pherogies, hash browns, saurkraut and machanka, a thick mushroom soup made from kraut juice. And start the whole thing off with a passing of challah bread and honey started by the eldest female blessing the youngest child with across mark on their forehead( finger dipped in honey) saying," May you be as sweet as honey and may all the girls love you". No meat till Christmas day! Each course has spiritual significance, but mostly just lots of fun being together!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

SmellyMelly

We make sufganiyot every year...jelly donuts. The boys will have their friends over to enjoy the fresh, hot donuts...

9 years ago · Like · Comment

leisuretime

The one movie my husband wants to see every year is "A Charlie Brown Christmas." It is such a tradition, our daughter chose it for her speech assignment this month!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Vivaldi

On New Year's Day, our family spreads out a large piece of white paper on our dining room table and we all write down our thoughts about the previous year, along with drawings and decorations. Many lists are compiled: Top Ten Highlights, Lowlights, People we Visited, Books Read, Things To Stop/Continue/Start, Movies Watched, Trips Taken, etc. This is a highlight of the day and the new year. We also take out the old rolls of paper from previous years and reminisce.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Tessie

Our family Christmas tradition begins with tamales and posole--our family (and friends) will get together to make these two seasonal dishes and catch-up on the events of the year. The kids usually help in making the cookie treats. After the cooking is done, we pass around chocolate coins and a few grapes (for the kids) and glass of wine for the adults to toast the trials and triumphs of the year that was and the sweetness of the coming year.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

3000melanies

We like to have dinner picnic style under the tree. We turn off all the lights except for the tree. Put on Christmas songs in the background and have our dinner. Usually it is something that Mom doesn't have to make, like KFC or great subs from an Italian sandwich shop. We have home made Christmas cookies for desert. Very relaxing and fun. It gets me in full holiday mode every time.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Gigi

To answer the question from someone to my post down about 10 posts below this one....."What do we do with our Christmas present exchange with such a full Christmas Eve day?"******Our family starts Christmas on December 5 (St. Nicholas Eve) because that is our son-in-law's tradition; he is from Europe. That evening the parents fill our Grand children's boots or lean books and larger objects up next to the boots.*******Between 3-10 days later, Grandpa and Grandma host a special surprise time with each grand kid to come over and spend the day and nights with us. We give them their present from us, have special food, and play with each one individually (this year we built Lego's with the boys and played dolls with the girls). *******Around the 18th of the month, Grandpa and Grandma take the kids for about six hours and go around to do fun things likes lights and playing. The highlight for us this year was the drive through nativity scene.While we have the kids, the adult children in the family have a simple gift exchange, food, and fun during those six hours. This year the adults all bought games, did a white elephant exchange, and played the games they got. This way the adults have some uninterrupted time together to interact with the presents they got. *******Doing Christmas this way keeps us from being overwhelmed on one day alone and keeps Christmas Eve Day open for the real reason of Christmas--Jesus. That day we give gifts to Him. See Gigi's post 10 below.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Em

Instead of all the Advent calendars on the market that focus on a small gift each day, this year my husband and I made ours and filled it with different seasonal activities each day. It ensured that we actually did all the fun stuff we mean to do every year (drive around and look at Christmas lights, bake cookies *with* the kids, have a family movie night each Friday night, make birdseed ornaments for outdoors, go to a craft night at the library, check out a new wildlife rehabilitation center, etc) It hung off our mantle and was the highlight of everyone's day - finding out what new adventure awaited us!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

JPalz777

My husband and I wanted to keep our focus more on the spiritual aspect of Christmas and avoid the materialism and chaotic malls. So about 12 years ago we decided to give 3 gifts (no more and no less) to each person on our shopping list. One gift is to be something practical, one gift is to be something fun, and the last gift is a meaningful treasure that would mean something special to the receiver. At first, my sons were in their early teen years and thought the idea was crazy. But on that first Christmas that we followed through on this new tradition, they were delighted with their gifts. We continue to this day following this tradition and it leaves a lasting impression on those receiving gifts from us. Even our newest additions of in-laws are intrigued at first, but have fallen in love with the idea!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

CBasile

It has always bugged me that Christmas music on the radio ends on December 26, many people throw out their trees, etc. So this year, we are celebrating the 12 days of Christmas to extend the holiday until Epiphany. Each day the kids get to open a family present--something the family can do together that day, like a puzzle, craft kit, Christmas movie DVD, Christmas song CD, a recipe to bake and eat together, etc. These are all gifts I would have normally given the family at Christmas, but decided to wait and spread them out over the 12 days. Gives the kids something to look forward to during the Christmas break, too!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

CBasile

We always see a local presentation of the "Nutcracker" ballet before Christmas. Afterwards, we enjoy a special meal at home and I give the kids a "Nutcracker" themed ornament for the Christmas tree. This year, I served our meal on some Nutcracker themed dishes that I received early for a Christmas gift! It is one of our favorite things to do every year.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

CBasile

We like to pray the O Antiphons from December 17-23. My daughter spells out the day's O Antiphon on a magnetic board and adds an appropriate picture (for instance, a picture of the Holy Spirit for O Wisdom on December 17.) We light a candle and pray the antiphon, then discuss what it means. Sometimes we might have a special meal or dessert to match the theme of the O Antiphon. This is an old monastery custom.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

We have a Christmas box tradition. Each morning of December, the kids will open The Christmas Box. In the box is a clue of how we will celebrate Christmas that day. Examples are ornaments and paint supplies to make ornaments for family and friends, dress up clothes to act out the nativity, cookie cutters to make cookies for neighbors, etc. their favorite activity this year was regifting a toy. Their giving hearts blessed this Mom this Christmas!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

SugarRush

"Fancy lunch"
When my 3 grown daughters arrive for Christmas we always make this. They call it the fancy lunch as it's served on croissants. I have the chicken already prepared and they do the chopping of celery and onions. Even with a tiny kitchen it gives us a chance to be together in the kitchen again making something delicious. Yet it's minimal mess and utensils. It's a perfect lunch for day after Christmas sales shopping.

Cranberry Chicken Salad

4 cups cubed, cooked chicken meat
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup chopped celery
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup minced green bell pepper (optional)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
ground black pepper to taste

In a large bowl mix all ingredients. Chill for an hour.

9 years ago · Like · Comment
S. Campbell: This sounds yummy!
8 years ago · Like

ClaireW

We have a yule log that my husband made by drilling 25 holes into a log. We put 24 green candles and one red in the holes, and each night during Advent we light another candle on the yule log. it is fun to see the light from the candles increase as Christmas draws closer... this reminds us that Jesus is coming nearer each night. While the candles are lit we read one of our Christmas books and say our evening prayers.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

babu

i have done many things over the years with my children, but one that they ask for every Christmas eve is drinking milk through a candy cane. i don't remember how this tradition started, but after enjoying dinner and anything else we do, we break the ends off the large candy canes and just hang out while we drink the milk through the tiny holes in the candy canes.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Gigi

On Christmas Eve day we start with a brunch. Everybody brings their food already prepared. /the feast is amazing (like a 5 star hotel.) After eating, we all dress up in costumes--angels, shepherds, wise men, Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, donkey, sheep, Roman soldier for the decree. We have made and collected costume pieces through the years, so we have quite a wealth of outfits. Adults and kids alike laugh and interact as we dress, and then the "narrator" reads the Christmas story as we all become the actors. The donkey was a read hit this year. Reenacting the Christmas story is our favorite Christmas activity. Next year it would be fun to take our play on the road to a rest home or a VA hospital or at least wear our costumes to pass out cards and presents to patients.

I make a CD with 5 previously chosen Christmas songs and we have a family song fest.

Then we come around the table and light our Birthday candle--a glass star about 8 inches in diameter with six candles in it to light up the star. We sing Happy Birthday to Jesus, and each year a different child is chosen to blow out the candles. (That eliminates the discussions of who blew out the most candles, of who didn't get to blow anything out, of who got in front of who.) It has become quite an honor to be designated as the candle blower. I call the child before Christmas Eve and tell him or her that they have been chosen to blow out the candle this year.

After the song we have a treasure chest that holds a card for each member of the family. On the card each person writes about what they will give to Jesus for this next year. Things like burdens, fears, first minutes of the day, my house, my life, my eyes are a sample of things that have been given through the years. We talk about what happened through the year as a result of our last years gift to Jesus. Then we have family time to play games, build Lego's, play with dolls, etc. This year our family time was a walk around our mile long loop. The sun was shining and it was 54 degrees and no wind. A rare treat for Seattle on Christmas day. A few years ago we spent all Christmas day building an igloo.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Gigi

On Christmas Eve day we start with a brunch. Everybody brings their food already prepared. /the feast is amazing (like a 5 star hotel.) After eating, we all dress up in costumes--angels, shepherds, wise men, Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, donkey, sheep, Roman soldier for the decree. We have made and collected costume pieces through the years, so we have quite a wealth of outfits. Adults and kids alike laugh and interact as we dress, and then the "narrator" reads the Christmas story as we all become the actors. The donkey was a read hit this year. Reenacting the Christmas story is our favorite Christmas activity.

Then we come around the table and light our candle--a glass star about 8 inches in diameter with six candles in it to light up the star. We sing Happy Birthday to Jesus, and each year a different child is chosen to blow out the candles. (That eliminates the discussions of who blew out the most candles, of who didn't get to blow anything out, of who got in front of who.) It has become quite an honor to be designated as the candle blower. I call the child before Christmas Eve and tell him or her that they have been chosen to blow out the candle this year.

After the song we have a treasure chest that holds a card for each member of the family. On the card each person writes about what they will give to Jesus for this next year. Things like burdens, fears, first minutes of the day, my house, my life, my eyes are a sample of things that have been given through the years. We talk about what happened through the year as a result of our last years gift to Jesus.

Then we have family time to play games, build Lego's, play with dolls, etc. This year our family time was a walk around our mile long loop. The sun was shining and it was 54 degrees and no wind. A rare treat for Seattle on Christmas day. A few years ago we spent all Christmas day building an igloo.

9 years ago · Like · Comment
Gigi: I had to repost above because some of the content didn't show.
9 years ago · Like

Gigi

Raw Cranberry Fruit Salad
2 cups organic cranberries
1 tsp orange zest from organic orange (below)
1 organic orange, peeled, sectioned, and quartered
1 tart apple, peeled, cored, and diced
2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and diced
1-1/2 cups seedless grapes, halved OR organic raisins
3/4 cup fresh pineapple cut into small chunks
1/2 cup pecans, halved
1/3 cup raw unfiltered honey OR maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp each of ginger and allspice
This was a hit at our brunch today. It's delicious.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

jen-u-n

Our family loves to look at Christmas lights and displays. I start by putting a nice stew in the crock pot for after. Then we each grab a piping hot travel cup of cocoa with marshmallows floating atop (dessert before dinner!) and a snuggly blanket along with our Lamplighter audio book of Dickens "A Christmas Carol." We wrap ourselves up in the car, sip our hot cocoa and enjoy all the festive lights and manger scenes. When we have exhausted our ability to keep sitting we come home to the wonderful smell of our hot stew. I might bake some biscuits while the boys find our old black and white version of "It's a Wonderful Life." We are so blessed in this country. I am so thankful I can home school my children. It develops deep bonds and affords so many opportunities for moments like these! Merry Christmas.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Tonyaw

One year I cooked a great deal of food expecting many family members to show up for dinner. Something happened and no one was able to make it. So, my 4 children and I made plates and got in the car and drove around town. Each of us had an assignment to find someone out there who looked as if they were not going to have a Christmas feast or might be spending Christmas alone. One by one we would find a person, at bus stop, sleeping under the freeway, in a store, where ever we could. Then the person took that plate of food, really 2 plates because we each included a dessert plate, and we offered it to the person who was alone or in need on Christmas. Now my children look forward to doing this every year even when we have a house full of guest to share in our Christmas feast.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

juliewho

Somehow this weird thing has become a family tradition. I always cook Cornish game hens for Christmas dinner. One year while I was rinsing the hens prior to seasoning I made one dance rockette style to some of the livelier Christmas songs. The dancing was a hit and my children would insist on the dancing hens every year after. They still insist even though two of them are in their mid to late twenties. Not heart-warming, but certainly a joyful family "thing".

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Dawn Marie L

Love to reflect quietly with the lights everywhere! Makes the dark not dreary!
Read "What Jesus Wants for Christmas" to our youngest child. It's a 7-day hands-on nativity.
Sing aloud with all 5 of us with Nat King Cole's Christmas album.
Surprise friends by bringing Martha S's Eggnog minus the alcohol to parties.
This year we carolled with a bunch of neighbors and friends - it will be a tradition now! It really blessed many people.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

My mom had an old recipe for apple cider. We always make it on Christmas and it fills the house with this beautiful aroma. My mom now has Alzheimer's and can't enjoy the cider anymore. But, my daughters and I continue the tradition and hope the aroma stimulates her senses of wonderful memories of family and love. They do for us.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

dvanow

Since I don't do a Christmas tree or decorations, I do a scavenger hunt for the kids. We start our day with a special breakfast, read the Christams story in the Bible or from a book chosen for the day and talk about what were are thankful to Jesus for. I then hand out the index cards of clues and send them off to find the treasures. It is a big hit every year; the kids really look forward ot it.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

CootiePatootie

Our Christmas tradition has always been to read the Christmas story from Luke 2, and then to describe the one thing that happened during the year that we are most thankful for, and the one thing that we learned the most from. It's fun to see how the thankfulness changes as the kids get older and understand more about what's really important in life!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

fudge4u

This is a tradition we enjoy. We save our Christmas cards that people send us and put them into a basket. Each day beginning after Christmas we take one of the cards out of our basket and pray for that family. If they sent a note or letter we use info from that to guide our prayers. Then we send them a note letting them know that we prayed for them around our dinner table.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

penny1958

We have a tradition that dates back to my childhood. We light a bayberry candle on christmas eve and remember those family member who could not be with us this year or those who we have lost. Then on New Years eve we light another one to remember to be thankful for what we had this past year and to hope for those who are having a hard time.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Misti

A tradition we've done for about 6 years is on Christmas morning, we gift the kids a set amount of money to spend that we've saved up through the year and they spend it on the Gospel for Asia website buying chickens, bicycles, clothes, Bibles, tracts ect for missionaries in India. They all look forward to this on Christmas morning!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Milkbery

I have favorite recipes, activities and events that we partake in each Christmas season. My favorite recipe is probably for Pumpkin Cranberry Bread.
Favorite activity would probably be the mischief our magic elves, Eggnog and Merry Bells, get into.
Favorite event is our annual gingerbread house decorating party that I host.
My personal, feel good, favorite way to spread a little cheer is when we grab ourselves to some fast food and I pay for the car behind us as well. Just as a little treat.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

mello

We have a large family, so instead having our kids buy each other gifts, they are required to "make" their gifts for each other.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Chief wife

We have a tradition of not only doing several advent activities every night until Christmas but also each night in December, my husband or myself hide a small stuffed abominable snowman (the one from the old animated Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer) somewhere in our house. In the morning the kids rush around to be the first to find "Bomby". It's good fun and our 2 older boys know that if Bomby is low on the floor that it's for their younger sister to find.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

tmasters

Last night Alyssa was able to open her Christmas Eve gift from us early since daddy has to work at the fire station that day. We bought her the "What God Wants for Christmas: Nativity Kit with Book and Cd from Christianbook.com They were selling it for only $12.99. FamilyChristian.com also has it on sale right now for $14.99. We made hot chocolate with peppermint sticks and extract. After opening the gift, we sat on the couch and read the first part of the poem from the book. The activity guide also contains a little extra scripture information. We read about Gabriel the angel and we also read the referenced scripture verses from the Bible related to that part of the story. The kit comes with a pop-up nativity set and seven boxes containing figurines to add to the nativity. The 7th box is a surprise ... and is what God really wants for Christmas. The book recommends reading and opening one box per day hence the other reason I gave the gift to her early. Alyssa loved the miniature figurines! We also listened to the CD that came with the item - which was the reading again and a short version of the song: Hark the Herald Angels Sing. She danced with the figurine. I printed off the coloring and activity sheets from the Family Life website and from one other website. Here is the Family Life website address: http://www.familylife.com/site/c.dnJHKLNnFoG/b.6699577/k.4F25/FamilyLife_Resources.htm. Next year I will probably invite library friends and do a scavenger hunt. In addition to these activities we also bought the Truth in the Tinsel e-book for 25% off from here http://truthinthetinsel.com/. It is no longer on sale but VERY reasonably priced considering what you get. This e-book is full of advent crafts to do with little ones. I received it late but will definitely start early next year. There was an angel ornament for Gabriel that we all completed as a family. We also watched the Littlest Angel afterwards - I will read the book today. This will be a tradition EVERY year!!!!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

tmasters

I found a NEW tradition that I would LOVE to start next year since it is almost Christmas. I may still TRY to start it anyways even though it is LATE in the game. It was called the Sacrifice Manger. First, in November ... I subscribed to Holy Heroes Advent Adventures for the first time. Alyssa and I were watching the videos together when the children started discussing the tradition. Alyssa said she wanted to do it! The idea is to make or buy the manger for Baby Jesus. Cut yarn, straw, raffia, or whatever you can find that looks like straw into pieces. Create a list of sacrifices or good deeds and place in a large bowl. The children can pull out a strip, read it, and complete the action. Once they have made a sacrifice or done a good deed (even if it is not one from the bowl), then they can add a piece of straw to the manger. The idea is to make the manger as soft and full as they possibly can so that Baby Jesus will be warm and comfortable. This is the website for the Holy Heroes http://www.holyheroes.com/ - it is Catholic-based but I am not Catholic and have found many resources to help with my teachings during advent. They send videos and activities on a daily basis from the start to end of advent. We have enjoyed it this year.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

My 3 Angels

On New Year's we light one candle that is pushed into a large bowl filled with sand. We sit and discuss our goals, both individual and family goals, that were met of the previous year. We also discuss what quality or habit we want to let go of, such as teasing or selfishness, and what quality we'd like to replace it with, such as being more helpful or having better organizational skills. (They don't necessarily have to be related.)

Then, we write what we want to let go of on Magician's Flash Paper, which is paper that when lit dissappears very quickly w/o ash. One by one we meditate a moment, then light the paper from a candle and toss it into the air or onto the bowl with sand. It burns away our unwanted habit, leaving room for the new one. Then we each take a new candle and light it from the one burning and add it to the bowl of sand.

When we're done with individual goal, we select a couple family goals to work on in the coming year, and brainstorm ideas of how to accomplish that goal, as well as how to help each other w/ the personal ones. The kids love using the flash paper, and it brings us so close as a family to work together and help each other achieve our dreams. ~ ~

9 years ago · Like · Comment

FieldsofGrace

Our 2 favorite Christmas traditions are singing Christmas songs from our daily Christmas Advent calendar that a good friend gave to us after our first child was born 11 years ago and making our own gingerbread for gingergbread houses! Now we have 4 children and are missionaries in Mozambique, but these traditions still remain our favorite!

9 years ago · Like · Comment
FieldsofGrace: Made gingerbread houses yesterday and ended up with roofless houses since the gingerbread was too soft for the roofs to stay on without bending! Oh, well...that just meant that we started eating the houses a lot sooner than we normally do...right after making them! :)
9 years ago · Like

mayfam4

We have many traditions, but one that my children love is making gift boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Each child packs a shoe box full of small gifts that they hope another child will like. We also enjoy reading Boxes for Katje each year, before we take our gift boxes to our church.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

JennTtheCMC

We do lots of fun things, but this one is practically FREE and can be done by anyone. We take insulated coffee cups filled with hot chocolate to sip on and drive about 30 minutes from our house to an extra-decorated street we've known about for ages. Then we drive slowly and ooh-and-ahh over all the lights while carols play on our radio. Our kids (9yr old son, 6yr old son & 3yr old daughter) really enjoy this tradition. Last year we made a "prize bag" filled with hershey kisses and other treats and attached a note saying that this house wins the 'best decorations' prize from our family with a wish for a very blessed Christmas. It was so fun leaving that on the doorstep of the "winners!" FYI, the kids did NOT pick the one with the most lights!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Max

Last year our family spent Christmas Day visiting veterans at our local VA Hospital. We put together small gift bags with Christmas cards thanking them for their service to our country. When we arrived at the hospital we were shocked to find that only four or five of the nearly 200 in-patients had received visitors that day. We found no gifts or cards in their rooms. It was a very rewarding, yet heart-wrenching day. We made a commitment to make it an annual tradition and will be going on Christmas Eve this year. We have posted our event on our Facebook page and are hoping to get more families involved this year and in the future!

9 years ago · Like · Comment
Max: Sorry about the double post. Don't know how that happened.
9 years ago · Like

Max

Last year our family spent Christmas Day visiting veterans at our local VA Hospital. We put together small gift bags with Christmas cards thanking them for their service to our country. When we arrived at the hospital, we were shocked to find that only four or five of the nearly 200 in-patients had received visitors that day. We found no gifts or cards in their rooms. It was a very rewarding, yet heart-wrenching day. We made a commitment to make it an annual tradition and will be going on Christmas Eve this year. We have posted our event on our Facebook page and are hoping to get more families involved this year and in the future!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

kbalman

Every year we make gingerbread houses using graham crackers. I have been making them since I was a child and now I get to make them with my children. This year we also made gingerbread nativities. We also made an Advent calender this year and I am so excited we finally started and Advent tradition. I am also organizing a caroling event next week at a nursing home so far there will be about 50 homeschooled kids. If it goes well I may make it a yearly event.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

dutchess

There are 3 wonderful advent books that we rotate between, Tabitha's Travels, Jotham's Journey and Bartholomew's Passage all by Arnold Ytreeide. They are suspenseful,
exciting adventures about kids during the time of Jesus birth. There is a chapter for each day during advent . Even as my kids are becomming teens, they still want to hear one each year.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Patti

As my sons became teens I had to come up with new traditions. I save the tubes from the wrapping paper and before Christmas dinner we have a sword fight with them. The tube that does not break or tear is the winner of the first piece of pie after dinner. It is one of our favorite traditions now.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

tmhinton

My family, especially my dd, looks so forward to baking and decorating the Jesus Birthday cake. She loves that we sing happy birthday and then have it for dessert on Christmas day. We do all the baking and decorating on Christmas Eve and then she is excited for the Christmas dessert. It is a tradition that we started when she was 2 and she looks forward to it every year. We have fun talking about why each thing we do to make the cake is significant to the birth of Christ and then decorating. Singing happy birthday is fun. We all enjoy it!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

nisacatbo

We love to tour neighborhood light displays with Christmas music on the car stereo and travels mugs full of hot chocolate.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

PhyllisM

We have three Christmas traditions. First is tree decorating. We bake and eat chocolate chip cookies, play Christmas music while decorating the tree. Then that evening we dress for bed and listen to the audio version of A Christmas Carol.

Second tradition is on Christmas Eve. My husband takes our five children to his mother's house for "Jesus' Birthday Party". The have cake and ice cream play games, and read the bible story. While they are gone, I wrap and display the Christmas gifts under the tree. Also I buy everyone new pajamas and hide them through out the house. When they return home they ooh and aww over the gifts on display and then go searching for their pajamas. They are allowed to sleep in the new pajamas. (This was all for the purpose of having nicely dressed children in the Christmas morning photos if we did not go to church.)

The third tradition is on Christmas morning. First we attend church service (if it is on Christmas Day) and when we return home my husband (or the children now that they are older 15, 13, 11, 8, and 5) will read the story of the birth of Jesus from the bible. Then we open our gifts. We spend the rest of the day relaxing at home.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

MicheleW

A new tradition for us (began last year) is baking cookies and taking them to the employees at Meijer (the grocery we use). Store clerks get a lot of grumpy people this time of year, so we pack up the kids and let them give out cookies and smiles and share the love of Christ. It's funny - my kids get free cookies at the bakery all year long. This gives them the chance to give a little back.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

I have 6 children under 10 and we LOVE Christmas in our home. We have several traditions but one seems to always be the favorite. Our Advent Manger Scene!

I have a large bag with 24 Manger scene items in it to build a Nativity scene over the month of December. There is the manger structure, a palm tree, angels, lots of animals (some added by my little boys and not part of the time period! - adds to the sweetness of my kid's ages) shepherds, wise men, and more.

We go in order from youngest to oldest and each night one child gets to pull an item out of the bag and build our advent Manger scene. We place it in the China cabinet so the manger is built in there and can't be touched or played with.

The night of Christmas Eve - Mommy or Daddy pulls the baby Jesus out of the bag and places it in the manger. It's a very sweet moment and time seems to stand still in our home as we each remember and cherish the moment of Christmas and the true meaning for it.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

flmom

The first present our four kids open, on Christmas Eve before bedtime, is a pair of new pajamas. They all know what the present will be, but the pajamas are picked out by mom and are a surprise. This is the only thing under the tree until the morning. The kids look forward to wearing brand new comfy pajamas to bed on Christmas Eve, and it's great for Christmas morning pictures! :)

9 years ago · Like · Comment

momof2boys

Dark Chocolate Cherry Fudge (careful, it's addicting!)

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup (5 fl.-oz. can) NESTL CARNATION Evaporated MilkNESTL CARNATION Evaporated Milk
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) NESTL TOLL HOUSE Dark Chocolate Morsels
3/4 cup (4 oz.) dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
LINE 8-inch-square baking pan with foil.

COMBINE sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

STIR in marshmallows, morsels, dried cherries and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into prepared baking pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into 48 pieces.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Since our son is young this is only of second year of doing this, before he was just to young and not really capable, but I adore this tradition already. Starting the day after Thanksgiving we make one Christmas ornament every day until Christmas Eve. Then on Christmas Eve he gets to be in charge of decorating the tree with all the ornaments he has made. He gets to pick a person, and an ornament and that person gets to put the ornament on the tree. Some days we have friends make them with us at playdates, when family comes we each make our own all together at the table, and on Christmas Eve we have a tree full of beautiful handmade ornaments. Then after I take the tree down I end up with a Manilla envelope stuffed full of ornaments that I label and put in the attic. We've had a rough start to it this year, with sickness and such, but instead we've tried to keep up by making multiple ornaments at a time, and since he's even bigger the ornament kits and supplies are where we can pick one to do almost anytime he wants. With more than one kid they can simply take turns decorating the tree with their own ornaments. Putting the tree up on Christmas Eve is an amazing introduction to what is to come, and adds more festivity to a day that usually feels like a day of just waiting. It can also be very representative, like setting up for a Birthday party.

9 years ago · Like · Comment
: Another thing we do, is on Christmas morning first we open our stockings, then we relax and have a hearty breakfast, then we all take turns opening our presents, one at a time. This way the whole day is paced out better, instead of a few moments of fanatic tearing into presents followed by being overwhelmed and not knowing which thing to play with. After each present we take time to enjoy that present before moving on. We read the back of books to find out what they're about, read the children's books together, play with a toy, etc before moving to the next present. We try to keep presents to a minimum, and each present is enjoyed thoroughly before even opening the next one.
9 years ago · Like

sasserella

So with us being first year homeschoolers, we are always looking for inspiration. The holidays seem to always inspire me as well as my boys. I know that homeschooling was the right choice for our family. I also know that I find guidance and inspiration from my friends, especially all the homeschooling parents we now share our days with! So we decided to start a new tradition this year. We have decided to celebrate the holidays all around the world, without leaving our living room. We pick a country, eat what they eat, follow their traditions for a few days and of course do art...an ornament for our Christmas tree! I figure by the time they are in grade eight we'll need more then one tree...and maybe a bigger home!!
The holidays seem to be the time to be creative in a loving way and allowing ourselves to be in the moment with our friends and family! So with that being said, Happy holidays from us to all of you...my greatest inspiration of all!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Cappy

Each year, we reserve one evening to build gingerbread houses, but with a twist. We only use products we have on hand such as left-over candies, snack crackers, pretzels, cookies, cereal, etc...Over the years we've learned the goldfish crackers make wonderful shingles, pretzel sticks are great fence-building materials, breadcrumbs for sand/dirt, even wafer cookies for roof-top solar panels! It's an evening we always look forward to and we all enjoy stretching our creativity also.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

muzicdiva777

Of all the traditions we have for the Christmas holiday, by far my favorite is one I started when my oldest daughter was a toddler over 36 years ago and still do for my youngest daughter and my grandchildren. Every year they are allowed to open one gift on Christmas Eve, but it must be the gift that I have marked for for Christmas Eve. The reason is that gift is always a pair of pajamas that I have made or bought especially for them. We give them pajamas for two reasons. First, during the cold weather of December pajamas with keep each child warm at night. But the most important reason is what we share with them about what those pajamas should remind them of, and that is that the Christ child did not have warm pajamas on that first Christmas when he was born. We explain that Jesus was wrapped in swaddling cloth and laid in a manger, not a warm bed in a home. For this reason we should be thankful for what we have, a warm house, warm pajamas and a warm bed to sleep in. With this we have taught our children to be thankful for what they have and grateful for each gift they receive that year. Of all the traditions this is one my older children always call to make sure I'm going to do again for their children, and sometimes for themselves. Warm pajamas have become a memory of home, family and Jesus our Savior whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Kimberly

My two daughters have created their own Christmas tradition of getting out the Barbies and Polly Pockets and playing with them on the tree and the Christmas train. They and their friends make a small bed on the tree for their dolls and then make little homes around the tree. The Polly Pockets love riding on the train. They can't wait for us to put up the tree and train.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

homeschooldoc

We have had so many traditions over the years, some handed down from my Irish family and some from my husband s off the boat Italian family and they have all been so much fun. We have pageants, baking special Italian crostoli that only Dad can help with, new Christmas PJs, and special letters back and forth to Santa. But my favorite new tradition? It started last year. I have a teen and a tween who are so involved in the community that we were running between concerts, community carols, cookie baking, and all of our home traditions that we were not sitting listening to music or watching the twinkling tree. I was devastated that we did not get to build our special (creative, kid-oriented, no fanciness) gingerbread village and wondered when would we get this done. Then I just stopped.
We are taking our time this year. We pick and choose different traditions that we will carry on one year and not the other. We have still committed to some outside events but are taking more time for family movie night ( It s a Wonderful Life , etc), sharing our favorite carols, and just being . We will keep the traditions but NOT BE RULED by them. They are great at giving the Christmas spirit but they can take it away if the pace gets too frenetic. So my new tradition, started late in the season last year, is to slow down. Bake cookies or buy them and decorate them. Invite people over now or after the New Year when the pace is quieter and more personal. Meditate not run.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

MEWolfPack

The Flying Squirrel Tradition -
One year when I was home from college we had a strange night. It was 2 nights before Christmas, my friend was sleeping in the living room where the Christmas tree was and I was in the attached sunporch. In the middle of the night I woke up to a crash. I called out, "what was that?" and my friend replied, "the Christmas tree fell over". At first I started to go back to sleep and then it registered what she said. I got up and saw the tree on the floor, broken bulbs all around, and our 2 dogs sniffing at it very intently. I yelled up the stairs to my parents to come down quick. They came down in a hurry, bleary eyed and half asleep. My dad lifted the tree up and as he set it back up, he looked at the trunk and right near his hand was a flying squirrel! Now the question was, how do we get the flying squirrel out of the house? We decided to carry the whole tree out the front door but we didn't want the squirrel to decided to jump off and escape into the house so my mom gave me a broom to make sure it was scared only in the right direction. Then, my mom yelled up the stairs to my brother, "David, guard the stairs!" Keep in mind that he was sound asleep and this is all he heard. He came to the top of the stairs very confused. So now my brother is guarding the stairs (of course he doesn't know what from at this point), my parents are carrying the Christmas tree out of the house and I am beating a broom on the tree to keep the squirrel from jumping into the house and in the hopes of scaring it out of the tree and outside (this is in the wee hours of the morning and although not too many people were driving by and I doubt the neighbors were up, it must have been a very strange sight to those who did see this. I am sure it caused some double takes as they drove by. We were of course in pajamas as well). Once outside, I beat the tree with the broom until the poor squirrel was finally scared enough to run for it and find safety in a nearby OUTSIDE tree. Then we pulled the tree back inside and cleaned up the mess, and finally explained to my brother what was going on. So, the next Christmas I made a stuffed flying squirrel and gave it to my dad for a christmas present. It goes in the tree every year. Now that I have my own family I have actually bought a stuffed flying squirrel for our tree. It makes us all laugh (now) to remember that crazy year of the flying squirrel and our friends enjoy the story each year as well.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

TeresaR

I bake Stolle de Noel, making my own almond paste and candied citrus peels! It's a huge hit with my family and the friends I share it with. :)

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Gmomstl

Christmas is a good time to cheer everyone up. I start decorating and playing inspirational music in my car and home around the minddle of October. I extend extra attention to those that need help in getting into the sincere mood of the season of "comfort and joy.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Mama Bear

Christmas Eve is our favorite day of the year. We used to spend it with extended family, and felt a bit lost when we moved far from "home". We decided to improvise, and the results have been amazing! Each year, we prepare a buffet of our favorite foods - bacon wrapped water chestnuts, hot spiced punch, marinated chicken, etc. - and we invite our friends to tote along their own favorites and enjoy the evening with us. The list of people we'd like to invite is always 5 times longer than the number we can really accommodate, so we give special preference to those who would likely be spending Christmas alone or might have other needs for an extra shot of Christmas cheer. We also invite people to share a favorite Christmas song, poem or memory and we finish the evening with a scripture reading of the first Christmas interspersed with singing Christmas carols. This will be our 13th Christmas Eve spent this way. Half of our children now live far away, so we sometimes don't see them for even 2 or 3 years at a time. With 3 of our children coming home this year, we asked if they would rather have Christmas Eve be smaller and more intimate and family-focused. The response: "Heck, no! Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve are the two times a year when the house should be bursting at the seams with people." :) So our house will be packed again this year. Our guests will be black, white, Chinese, Catholic, Mormon, Baptist, wealthy, financially-challenged, single, married, newborn, middle-aged and in the twilight years. And we'll all share good food, friendship and a love of the Savior.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

jskisses

I have a sister who is many years younger than I am and I was like a second mom to her when she was younger. When I had my son, I knew she was going to feel a bit 'replaced' so for her Christmas gift, I got several gifts, wrapping each of them individually. All of the small gifts get a number assigned to them and they go into a big box full of wrapping paper scraps or packing peanuts. On top of the wrapped box I attached a note informing her it was her special box of Christmas fun. She had to answer little Christmas trivia questions, or sing carols backwards, etc to open each gift. It didn't matter what was in the box, the true gift was the fun we all had and knowing that she still felt special. I continued this until she was 18 and at that point, my son was about 7 years old, so she took over the 'gift' of the special Christmas fun box for him. It's still one of the most looked forward to traditions in our family and it gives the recipient a chance to know they are special. When my son reaches 18, if my sis has a child, he'll continue the tradition with them. I hope that every Christmas has a box of fun for many years to come!

9 years ago · Like · Comment
: I love this idea for any child! I might steal it for next year to do with my son!
9 years ago · Like

dssmidwife

We learn a Christmas carol and a Christmas song each year - all the verses. We keep the lyrics in the car so we can sing as we go around doing our errands and we remember the other songs we've learned from years gone by. It's easy and we like it.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

tjeanm

I love doing an Advent calendar with my daughter. I splurged on one with the doors hiding spaces that can be filled. I printed up a scripture passage for each day, starting with prophecies and moving to the Christmas story, culminating with a full Christmas passage at the 25th. I also put a piece of gum, a coin, tattoos, stickers, or tiny toys scattered throughout. I wake up every morning to my daughter asking if she can open the calendar yet. Most years we also do an advent wreath, with readings and singings, after one meal a week, but this year we are between homes, so we weren't able to do it.
To keep the focus on Christ instead of gifts on Christmas day, we open some small gifts on Christmas Eve. On Christmas, we give her 3 gifts. A "myrrh" one - as it was used to anoint bodies, we make it a body related gift (like lotions and body wash). A "frankincense" one - since it was used for prayers, we make it something to bring her closer to God - last year it was a storybook bible, this year a family devotion book. The last is "gold" - that's a big gift, a pricier, more special, one.
We also let her pick out one ornament each year - she gets fairly free reign, but it has to be something nice, not a cheap character ornament or anything like that. I hope one day to be able to pass them all down to her when she starts her own family. And it's fun looking back at what she picked previous years.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

cawestacademy

Annual Christmas Ornament: A Year in Review
1) I buy a "blank/white" Christmas ball ornament from the craft store.
2) I get my multicolored fine point sharpies and my day planner.
3) I go through and choose significant events that have happened throughout the year and write a brief description on the ornament.
4) I enjoy opening this ornament EVERY Christmas to come!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Elizabeth

Normally, we have Christmas presents, but this year I lost my job so we cannot afford them. However, we are thanking Jesus for our daily provision and that my husband still has his job for time-being. We will try to carry on the tradition of making candy and giving it to neighbors. We also are participating in a music program for our local senior center where we volunteer throughout the year. We generally don't celebrate with a Christmas tree, but rather a birthday cake for Jesus. Fortunately, we were one of the winners of the "Give Thanks" contest, so we were able to bless another with a financial gift! We are blood-bought, born-again believers in Jesus Christ and know our treasures are in Heaven, but it would still be fun to open something for Christmas. : D

9 years ago · Like · Comment

lzimmer

Every Christmas eve after returning home from church, my children get to open two presents. They are always a new ornament for the tree. The ornament generally tries to commemorate something important to that child from during the year...i.e. a new pet, a first..., some major event, etc. The other gift is always a new pair of pajamas which they generally wear to bed that night.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

lzimmer

Every Christmas Eve we attend our church's Christmas eve children's service. They reenact the nativity in one form or another and the kids get to wear costumes. It is very informal, no rehearsal, no predesignated parts, just whoever shows up and wants to be a character can. One of our parishioners made new costumes a couple of years ago. She took zip-up hooded sweatshirts and decorated the hoods with big loops of yearn for the sheep, and with ears for the donkey. Of course we have angels with pull over "dresses", wings, and halos, and shepherds in addition to the three main characters. We conclude the evening by singing Happy Birthday to Jesus and having a birthday cake for him. This year we are adding a twist. The children helped our priest write a letter of invitation to Santa Clause to come visit. He will "quietly" arrive, acknowledge the nativity, accept communion and "quietly" leave. Just a way to combine the secular and the sacred and give more focus to the real reason for the season.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

lzimmer

We have several traditions that we practice at Christmas time. One is to go to a Christmas tree farm on the weekend after Thanksgiving to cut down a fresh tree. We generally invite grandparents to accompany us. This particular tree farm has reindeer to pet, feed, and observe. Santa is usually visiting for a photo op, and they have horse drawn wagon rides. They also offer free hot chocolate and popcorn to enjoy while you wait for your tree to be shook and bound. They have little plastic toboggans to help you transport your tree back up to the shaker. My son has a ball pulling his little sister on the toboggan through the maze of trees and trying to tip her over. She likewise has a ball trying to hang on tight enough to foil his plan.

We also make gift jars every year to give to teachers, coaches, etc. The kids love spending the day measuring and layering the ingredients in the jars. Then we decorate the top to make them festive looking.

Finally, we do an advent calendar every night along with an advent devotional. Each year the devotional is different. This year we are reading about different Christmas carols. We also have and advent wreath, that we light the candles on each night while we read. So far I think the carols devotional is our favorite. The kids want to sing a verse of the carol each night before I read to them about it importance to the Christmas season.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

mommao

We bake up an assortment of Christmas treats two days before Christmas. Then on Christmas Eve we drive around to deliver the goodies to family, friends, and neighbors while checking out all the Christmas light displays too. But, the really fun part is we bring extra treat plates to give out randomly to strangers who are stuck working on Christmas Eve!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

MsH

We sleep under the light Christmas tree on Christmas Eve

9 years ago · Like · Comment

naturemama

My family is of an Earth centered religion. Every year we create a new tool/symbol to be used during our celebration. This year we will be creating a Yultide Besom. we gather things from nature to create our Besoms. After asking permission, and listening for the answer, we will gather things like pine brances, evergreens, holly, pine cones, grasses, and tree branches. We try to always only take what is needed and to always say thank you by sprinkling some water onto the Earth. We also create a Yule Log and light it using a sacred piece from the year before. This ensures good luck into the coming year. We decorate, with every one participating, our home with Holly, Mistletoe, and Pine/Evergreens. On the night of the Solstice, we hold a family celebration. I will explain the history of Yule and the Solstice and that this is the shortest day of the Year. At Yule, the sun is born once more and gets a little bit stronger and stays in the sky a little bit longer each day after that. We then have a Birthday Party to celebrate the rebirth of the Sun, Lugh, and the returning of His warmth to the Earth. We begin with the lighting of the Yule Candle and singing Happy Birthday to the Sun. During this we will tell a story about Yule and create something. Last year it was Walnut wishes to be buried after Imbolc. At the end, have "cakes and Ale" which consists of a treat that is particularly special or this occasion (maybe something like Solstice cookies) and a drink, traditionally Apple juice.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

RV5

Every year our boys begin our Christmas Day celebration by reenacting the nativity story from the Bible with one of our family's nativity scenes. When they were young it wasn't unusual for Sesame Street figures to show up to worship the babe in the manger. As they've grown, and we've often traveled at the holidays, the boys' improvisation skills with whatever favorite characters are on hand have creatively, yet beautifully, helped reveal the Christmas story. Last year, for instance, Mary arrived to the stable riding a Donkey Kong, and a Star Trek Gabriel said, "Beam me up Goddy" after relaying the message of the Messiah's birth to the shepherds. Though we allow artistic license to keep the boys excited about freshly illustrating the story, they never stray from the truth of the Bible in their recount. It's been a wonderful way to begin our morning focused on the real reason of Christmas. Afterwards, they begin their search for the "Best Gift of Christmas" - a baby Jesus doll in a bed of straw hidden among the packages under the tree.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

gacathmomof6

We begin our holiday cheer by celebrating the feast day of St. Nicholas on Dec. 6th. The children leave their shoes outside their bedrooms with their letter to Santa and a carrot for the reindeer. St. Nick leaves a letter back telling how they've grown as a person and a Christian this year and a little bag of chocolate gold coins (per the legend) and a candy cane (representing a bishop's mitre).

9 years ago · Like · Comment

A few days before Christmas, I host a "Polar Express" night for all the (potty-trained) kids who call me Aunty. Each group of siblings decorates a gingerbread house/train. Then we have hot chocolate and homemade cookies. Everyone gets their pjs on, and watches a Christmas movie. (Originally it was Polar Express.) They climb into their sleeping bags, I read the Christmas account from the bible, we take turns to pray, and then some go to sleep. In the morning, I serve waffles and give them back to their parents, who got a night off to shop/wrap. So far, 6 different families; now at 19 kids age range 3 - 16years. They love it and it feels so good to bless parents and kids in one swoop!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

tmasters

Another tradition we have is that on Christmas Eve Eve we go to our friend's house to eat tamales and the children switch gifts. We then attend Christmas Eve Eve service at our church. My daughter stays with the adults because she enjoys hearing the music and singing the songs. There is an touching light activity during the service. We then drive to Wimberley, Texas to walk through The Trail of Lights. It is a walking trail or path through 8 acres with lighted displays decorated by families, churches, and businesses. They have a Jingle Bell Express train ride, roasted hot dogs and cocoa, and of course Santa. There are many other wonderful things to see and do there. It is always beautiful and such a great memory for us.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

tmasters

We made it a tradition to attend the local library Christmas pajama party. They read a story aloud, do crafts, sing carols, and eat treats. I am not sure yet what they are planning but I will be calling today or tomorrow. This year Alyssa invited a friend to tag along with us. I plan on inviting her and her mother over afterwards for more story related activities. It will be so much fun!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

KendraH

My family is half Jewish, so every night my daughter calls her grandparents so they can light the candles of the menorah "together". We also watch a Christmas movie every night as our family movie. My daughter and I make and decorate ornaments.

9 years ago · Like · Comment
KendraH: We also go around to the different Disney Resorts at Walt Disney World to see the decorations.
MarkO likes this. · 9 years ago · Like

inSANEmom

I grew up in an Air Force family and then married into the Army. Every year on Christmas morning we drive to each of the security gates on the base/post and deliver cookies and treats for the soliders or guards who are working. We want to make sure they know we are appreciative of them working to keep us safe EVERY day... but especially on those days when I am sure they would much rather be at home with their families, they are instead helping to protect our military base. My family did this while I was growing up and I now enjoy doing it with my husband and kids every year.

9 years ago · Like · Comment
MommaBee: Me too.....except that I grew up in a Marine family and married into the Navy!
While overseas in Germany every year we took freshly baked goodies to the gate guards for Christmas. The Americans on duty were always grateful, but what really delighted us was the reaction of the Germans on duty with them. The German guards were usually very surprised that anyone would do such a thing for them. Such big smiles did so much to warm our hearts!
8 years ago · Like

tmasters

On Christmas morning I enjoy preparing a special breakfast for my family. Daddy is a firefighter so this year we'll wait until he gets home from work to enjoy the breakfast (later than usual). I will make them Cinnamon Rolls from scratch, Eggnog Pancakes, or Gingerbread Pancakes using Christmas cookie cutters (unless of course I can come up with a better idea before then). The year that my husband works on Christmas I will prepare a Christmas Muffin Tin breakfast for Alyssa. We've done this before and she gets a kick out of it! What you do is take any muffin tin (thematic ones add to the idea) and place meal items in the sections. The food ideas can be REALLY creative and thematic too. Click here for Christmas shape ideas http://michellesjournalcorner.blogspot.com/2008/12/muffin-tin-monday-christmas-shapes.html or here for more http://michellesjournalcorner.blogspot.com/. You can also type in and google Muffin Tin Meals. Enjoy!

9 years ago · Like · Comment
tmasters: I forgot to say that sometimes I read a book related to the Muffin Tin Meals for added fun!
9 years ago · Like
tmasters: I forgot to say that sometimes I read a book related to the Muffin Tin Meals for added fun!
9 years ago · Like

Jen_K

We created a tradition on our honeymoon, every vacation we take we get an ornament to remind us of where we went. These are the most special ornaments that we add to our tree every year. Each one brings back memories of good times spent together on vacation. The kids also love finding a new ornament when we are on vacation to bring back for our tree!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Nikki_NY

I collect new and used good condition toys donated by families (and kind children) to send to children in developing countries. Each year about 2 barrels of toys are sent to be received around Christmas time. Parents in these countries can barely afford to feed their families or send their children to school. It is my hopes that this at the very least gives the children who receives them a little relief from the very adult stresses of poverty.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

KatieT

On Christmas Eve my son & I lay out extra Christmas lights in the front yard to make a runway for Santa's sleigh. We don't have a chimney so there's no need for him to land on the roof. Then we leave reindeer food (oatmeal) on the runway for Rudolph and his team. On Christmas morning my son finds "sleigh tracks" on the ground and most of the reindeer food has been "eaten."

9 years ago · Like · Comment

K

Here is my "new" favorite holiday recipe! Easy, yummy and it makes an inexpensive gift :)

PUMPKIN FUDGE

2 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. pumpkin
1/4 tsp. spice (or more to taste)
1 stick butter
8oz white chocolate
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 c chopped pecans (optional)

In a sauce pan combine all but the white chocolate, vanilla and if using nuts. Over medium high heat stiring continually bring to a boil and continue cooking until mixture starts to thicken aprox 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add white chocolate, vanilla and if using the nuts. Beat until firm enough to pour into a buttered 8"X8" pan. Cool in the refrigerator for about an hour, cut then continue cooling until fully set.

For the final step I used an electric stand mixer.

9 years ago · Like · Comment
K: Thank you for "liking" my post. :)
9 years ago · Like

melohd

I'll be the oddball...we do Hannukah. We do a who-dun-it mystery dinner party for only adult friends- Jewish and Christian both- no kids allowed- so everyone can actually relax and enjoy something for themselves instead of the usual hecticness, materialism and such. It's not a murder mystery, it's who stole the hannukah menorah?

9 years ago · Like · Comment

JulieMom

Our annual tradition is to drive to the National Forest the day or 2 after Thanksgiving to cut down our Christmas tree. We usually get to see Smokey Bear (& get pics with him) along with Santa, and even if there's no snow at home, there usually is some to be found up in the mountains in the forest. Wonderful for stoking that Christmas spirit! My daughter's birthday is today & she loves having a Christmas tree up for her birthday! (Nothing new to our family, dh's bday is 12-29 & mine is 1-2, so bday presents under the Christmas tree are almost a family tradition too!) :)

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Revheidi

Each year since our children were small and even now that 2 have moved out, we have always given them each a special ornament as a gift. This way, when they move out, they have plenty of special and meaningful ornaments for their own tree

9 years ago · Like · Comment

tmasters

We started a new tradition this year called the Jesse Tree. It is an advent activity done by many Catholic families and churches - even though we are not Catholic ... I believe this activity can be used by any christian family. We have been reading one story a day from the book Jesse Tree Geraldine McCaughrean. After reading and discussing the story we color the ornaments to place on the Jesse Tree. We also say a prayer and read scripture related to the story and ornament. This year we are using an artificial tree but I plan to make a Jesse Tree from branches next year. We will also make the ornaments into craft activities next year (I ran out of time this year to organize). If you are interested in this activity try to google it because there are some wonderful FREE resources out there.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

tmasters

We read Penny's Christmas Jar Miracle by Jason F. Wright as a family. We decorate the Christmas jar together as a craft type activity. Then, we start collecting and place our change in the jar throughout the month. I have hopes to start this tradition earlier each year so that there will be more money to give away in a bigger container. We save up the money and close to Christmas ... Alyssa will choose who we will secretly give the jar to for Christmas. If you have more children you could brainstorm a list of people or charities and then vote (decide together). You could also let the children take turns deciding each year. We started this last year and Alyssa really enjoys hiding and giving the gift to another family that may need it more than we do.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

tmasters

On Christmas Eve we sing Christmas songs or carols. We dance around like maniacs. Alyssa is allowed to open two gifts: A Christmas Book and Pajamas. I usually take her to the store to see which pajamas are her favorites and then buy one later. We also watch family Christmas movie and eat popcorn.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

tmasters

One of my favorite holidays is Christmas and I have strived to create many special traditions that will bring our family together and create positive memories. I started this tradition two years ago and would have started it earlier if I had known about it. I am sure this could be adapted to fit any winter holiday or celebration. I used to be a teacher so I accumulated many books over the years. I am now putting those books to use with my four year old daughter. First, I wrap 25 different Christmas (winter or holiday celebration) books as beautiful gifts. This year books 1-24 are wrapped in gold and the last one is wrapped in purple wrapping paper. Next, place all of the wrapped books in a large festively wrapped box or basket in the main family room. Our books are in a basket under the front part of the tree in the living room. Then, each night Alyssa will select one book that will be read together as a family (sometimes I number the books - tell why later). This tradition spreads the holiday cheer throughout the entire month. This could also be done as a 12 Days of Christmas activity if you don't own or want to borrow that many books but we like to use it kind of like an advent activity.
I also choose two special Christmas books as Christmas gifts each year. Most of these books are very special stories that celebrate what we feel is the true meaning of Christmas: birth of Jesus (nativity), bible stories, gift giving, love, advent, etc. We also throw in a few for fun. The two NEW books will be opened as her gifts on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day morning.
Why do I number the books??? Well, I usually want to do more with the books than just read them. So, last year I planned at least one activity to do with each book - this can be craft activities, math activities, reading enrichment, sensory tubs, writing, etc. I numbered folders and bags to correspond with the books to store art supplies and papers.
A few of our favorite books in no particular order:
Humphrey's First Christmas by Carol Heyer
A Special Place for Santa by Jeanne Pieper
Penny's Christmas Jar Miracle by Jason F. Wright
The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck
Mortimer's Christmas Manger by Jane Chapman
The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell
The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden and Barbara Cooney
Bright Star, Bright Star What Do You See? by Cassandre Maxwell
J is for Jesus: The Sweetest Story Ever Told by Crystal Bowman
The Candymaker's Gift by David & Helen haidle
Christmas in the Manger by Nola Buck
The Night Before Christmas (many loved versions)
Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell
The Christmas Baby by Marion Dane Bauer
The Story of Christmas or The Christmas Story by Patricia Pingry
The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Hunt
The Jesse Tree by Geraldine McCaughrean
The Story of the Christmas Rose (retold by I.M. Richardson)
What is Christmas by Michelle Medlock Adams
My First Story of Christmas by TimDowley
Christmas is ... by Gail Gibbons
The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats
Jingle Bells by Iza Trapani
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
Gingerbread Mouse by Katy Bratun
The Christmas Hat by A.J. Wood
One Snowy Night by Christina Butler
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
The Gingerbread Girl by Lisa Campbell Ernst
The Crippled Lamb
The Gingerbread Man or Baby (Jan Brett and other loved versions)
**There are way too many books to list but this should get you started. Any extra books are placed in another basket or on tables nearby to be read at bedtime or throughout the day.
I hope you'll give this activity a try and see the joy and happiness it will bring to your family. The wrapping of the books is worth the memories and smiles. Happy Holidays!
Tracey M.

9 years ago · Like · Comment
: I've heard of this before and always forget it until it's almost to late. As great and festive as it is to use Christmas books I love to idea of using any book, if you buy one or two small books a month you could essentially have 24 new books to celebrate Christmas! Though if your family is anything like mine you practically need a second income for books as it is! Maybe this year I will try to do it by utilizing like new books at thrift stores, and used books stores. Thank you for reminding me of this wonderful idea!
9 years ago · Like

lynn898

We love the season but ours extends until Chinese New Year. We really enjoy dressing up and preparing for the New Year with traditions like cutting our hair before the new year begins, cleaning and sweeping, which represents sweeping out the bad lick of the last year and making room for good luck and of course we love the food from Eight delights rice pudding to loooong noodles for long life!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

JP&E Love

We absolutely love the Christmas season and there is a sense of wonder and happiness in the home that can only be felt during this time. We start in early December by playing Christmas music in the house all the time. I know it sounds a bit cheesy but it does lift the heart. We also watch "The Christmas Story," "The Polar Express," and Disney's "A Christmas Carol." On Christmas Eve we read about the birth of Christ and we track Santa as he gets closer to our area! We have a ball and try to never lose focus of why we have Christmas to start with. God Bless!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

CTMom

Here's what we do:
- gifts of new PJs for Christmas Eve (so the kids will look great for photos on Christmas morning!)

- a new ornament for each child each year. We make an event of it shopping, a stop for cocoa, etc.(not sure if mom will keep these mementos, lol, or surprise each child with these as a "starter pack" when they have places of their own to decorate.)

- we're just two years in to a "new" tradition - an outdoor tree on the deck. I miss the old-fashioned real tree, but with allergies it's a no-go. This way, we have a real tree. We decorate it with bird/animal-friendly ornaments (pine cones and candy canes with birdseed, popcorn balls, etc). Making the ornaments can be part of the fun, but if pressed for time some store-bought options exist. A really nice thing about this tradition is that with our cold winters the tree lasts a long time and cushions the post-holiday "let-down". So while the rest of the decorations get packed away, the outdoor tree brings the daily antics of critters all winter, and we can replenish the decorations whenever we want. Or not - it looks so beautiful in the winter snow. If we could afford one that could be planted later on, it would be an added bonus. Not necessary, but that would be fun too.

9 years ago · Like · Comment
inSANEmom: We do the new PJ thing too! Every year I make an overly-exaggerated big deal about the kids opening one present on Christmas Eve. "I wonder what it will be this year???" And of course, every year it's PJs! The kids just roll their eyes at me. :-)
9 years ago · Like

sweetpea

Our favorite Christmas traditions are Christmas Eve church service followed by touring Christmas lights with our thermoses of hot chocolate, sausage pinwheels for Christmas breakfast (kids insist that must happen!), opening gifts by the fireplace and reading the Christmas story from Luke 2.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Marie

My husband & I were married on New Years Eve, so we invented a family holiday between Christmas & New Year's to take advantage of all the post-Christmas sales, leading up to our anniversary. Everyone gets a little gift every day, and we even made up a family song that we sing each day when we open the gifts. So many of our friends know about it that it's starting to catch on outside of our family! It extends all the holiday fun, heightens the Anniversary anticipation, and to top if off, our youngest son was born the day after New Years Day, so we *really* prolong the holidays now!!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

jewelbeth

One of our favorite Christmas traditions is the "Traveling Nativity". The nativity is the first thing set up for Christmas and the last thing taken down. After it's set up, we enjoy walking by and rearranging the position of the figurines in the nativity. It is something the family watches closely to see if we can spot even slight changes in position. Also, where the nativity is positioned, at a certain time in the afternoon the sun streams through the skylight and illuminates the nativity with visible sunbeams. We also watch for this phenomena. Between the traveling nativity and the sunbeams, we remain focused on the true meaning of Christmas!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

VirginiaV

We have lots of Christmas traditions in my house, but the one I like best is that every year we go out on Christmas Eve, either to a party or perhaps dinner out, and when we return "Mrs. Claus" has left a package under the tree for each child. It gets them in the mood to celebrate, and it curbs the "can't we open just one gift" whining.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

VirginiaV

We have lots of Christmas traditions in my house, but the one I like best is that every year we go out on Christmas Eve, either to a party or perhaps dinner out, and when we return "Mrs. Claus" has left a package under the tree for each child. It gets them in the mood to celebrate, and it curbs the "can't we open just one gift" whining.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

kbooty

Every Year I was blessed to have so much Family near home. But we would have to run from one event to another to keep everyone in my family and my husband's family traditions. Christmas Eve was 3 different place My Dad's extend Family at brunch, Husband's extended family at dinner. Run to my parent's and open gifts from my parents (but hubby does not allow gifts open til Christmas)So back to my family in the morning after Santa to open gifts from us. Then to His family to open gifts. THEN home for 2 mins. and to my Mom's extended Family for dinner. Whew! I 'm tired just think about it!! I decided to invite my Family and My husband's family to my house on Christmas Breakfast, we all open gifts spend the day relaxing and enjoying each other. NO MORE CRAZY Christmas days!! All showed up but In-laws did not bring gifts. (they came for Breakfast but expected us to come to their house and open gifts as always. SIGH!!! Well we still have breakfast every year either here or at my sister-laws. ( I did not want to take her son from his gifts he is younger than my kids) But we still have to run to the in-laws. My parents come a little early and we open family gifts. MY kids love having grandparents so the tradition will not change. Besides I will not always have this time so I figure its worth the gas and happiness. And I love having family!!!God Bless You and your Families. Huge them and Love them! Merry Christmas!

9 years ago · Like · Comment

booksb4bread

Every year since my children were little, we've made some kind of handmade ornaments to give away. My kids are now teens, but I still make the ornaments, and they sometimes help with the current project. My favorite ornament to make is Moravian Paper Stars. I found the instructions at http://highhopes.com/3dstar.html.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

eileen64c

Every year my kids make sure I have ingredients to make "Grandma's punch". If you don't want to make it in a punch bowl we have also made it as floats.

1 qt eggnog
1 pt vanilla ice cream, softened
2 cups (16 oz) lemon-lime soda (7-up or Sprite), chilled
Nutmeg

Combine eggnog and ice cream in punch bowl. Slowly add lemon-lime soda. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

If you want to just make a small amount you can make it as floats.

Just fill glass almost 1/2 full with eggnog. Add couple scoops of ice cream and slowly
fill glass with lemon-lime soda. Sprinkle top with nutmeg.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

M5

We try to attend as many local events and support our local businesses as much as possible during this time of year. The events are usually low cost, and we get to see our neighbors and friends out and about.

9 years ago · Like · Comment

Brett

Every year we attend Stanford University's singalong of Handel's Messiah. It is great fun to be in a majestic church with several thousand people all singing the Hallelujah Chorus!

9 years ago · Like · Comment
LisaK: Attending any Messiah singalong would be my favorite... Still looking for one this year in our new location.
9 years ago · Like
twest44: As normal as it sounds we trying to keep it simple. We spend as much time together as a family and set up the nativity set that I was given from my grandparents when I was 16. Every year it is funny as to where the little kids put the figures. One year Jesus was in the loft of the barn, because the youngest at the time did not want him to get stepped on by the cows.
9 years ago · Like
oceantash: Every year we put out our reusable advent calendar (a little red cabinet with 25 doors). Each cubby is filled with a tiny ornament for my girls' little tree and a note with a way to help our family, our community or the earth. We do all kinds of things - giving secret gifts, going on trash collecting walks , donating new and used toys!
8 years ago · Like
boldentwpl: We have a couple of special traditions, but one is....our children read Luke 2 and some of the children plays and sings Christmas songs on the piano.

When my extended family is together, my Dad brings out a nail and tells the story of Christ's birth, death & resurrection.

Our favorite Christmas recipe is Cracker Candy.....
1 sleeve of saltines
1 c butter
1 c brown sugar
1 bag chocolate chips

On a cookie sheet, line with aluminum foil. Lay out saltines in a single layer. Set aside. Cook butter and brown sugar. Boil for 2.5 minutes. Pour over saltines. Bake on 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Pour chocolate chips over and let soften. Spread over saltine/sugar mixture. Refrigerate til hardened. Then break up in peices.
8 years ago · Like
Elizabeth: About ten years ago, we were living on one income and had four small children (6 and under). I wanted so much to buy an advent calendar but could not afford one. So I took some needlepoint plastic, some different-colored fabric scraps and felt, doll stuffing, an old pillowcase, a marker, and velcro, and I made a nativity scene on the top half and 25 pockets to hold each shepherd, animal, angel, Joseph, Mary, Baby Jesus, His manger, etc. It was so much fun to make something like that, and to THIS DAY, my children (three teenagers now) still look forward to their day to put up one of the stuffed velcro pieces in the stable! It has become a wonderful tradition.

Also, I used the same kind of felt to make rather small stockings and decorated them with iron-on patches. My children still hang them up each year, and even though I usually have to put some of their stocking stuffers outside the stockings because they don't all fit, they don't want to replace them.

The strings of fellowship are tied tightly in our home, PRAISE THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!
8 years ago · Like
FightinTxAg98: My MIL died before I met my husband. To honor her and treat my husband, I use her cranberry nut bread recipe each year.
6 years ago · Like
FightinTxAg98: Oops! Wrong spot!
6 years ago · Like
Nancy W: One of my favorite things is our countdown candle. I buy a tall taper -- then use silver and gold Sharpies to write numbers 1 to 24 down the candle. Each night at dinner, we burn down the candle to the date, getting closer to Christmas.
6 years ago · Like
SAANG: We start early so as Christmas approaches we can acutally enjoy the season.

Thanksgiving weekend we put up the tree, decorate the house and send out Christmas cards and letters to friends and family. This also means all the Christmas DVDs come out again to be watched (we don't have cable, or netflix etc.). We watch all the classics both old and new.

We are usually involved in the local Nutcracker production, so we do that as part of Chirstmas.

We bake cookies for the neighbors, postman, garbage man, etc. 50 dozen or 600+ cookies get baked then we pack them up with a poem we write each year and deliver them around the neighborhood with our Christmas hats on. Some of the neighbors say its not Christmas until our cookies arrive.

On Christmas Eve we go to services and the come home for a lobster dinner.

Then we are really into ski season and winter has really begun.
5 years ago · Like