Friday, December 14, 2012

Traditions 2012

We have a really fun advent calendar at our house.   It is among one of my favorite Christmas decorations and traditions we do.

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I love it because the kids and I made it one year together.

I bought the pattern online, and have looked and it no longer exists.

I did find some fun ideas here.  You could use some of these with a similar idea in mind.

The kids take turns pulling the right ornament out of this bowl and hanging it on one of our sparkle tree branches. Our sparkle tree is made from sticks, spray paint, and glitter.

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There is an ornament for each day.

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Every year, I attach an activity to each day.  I go through my previous lists, and find new ideas on pinterest; of course.

I make a list and then attach them to days that will work the best.

For example, we do bigger activities on the weekend, and smaller activities during the week.

I had a lot of fun coming up with some of our activities this year.

Here are just a few that we have done so far:

Writing letters to Santa.

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You can download your own copy of our traditional Santa letter.  Click on the image to take you there.

Santa Letter

We also spent some time coloring a Nativity scene; this printable found here.

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I also found this adorable Nativity clip art.

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We printed it, covered it in contact paper, cut it out and added magnets. Now the kids arrange and re-arrange it on the fridge. You can find it here.

Having a snowball fight, using toilet paper snowballs.

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Tip:  roll your toilet paper into balls and then tape your snowballs so they stay together.  I don’t think we have ever laughed so hard.  We have had several snowball fights because the kids love it.  They really like throwing snowballs at their parents.

Making a gingerbread house.  In this case it was a train.

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I always buy the kit.  I am not that good of a baker.  Our kids don’t seem to mind.  We have the tradition of eating it on Christmas Eve.

Here is a complete list of some of the ideas I use.  This is taken from the Christmas Binder I use.  More about this FREE printable here.

my personal tradition list of ideas copy

You can also visit my Christmas board on Pinterest by clicking on the image below.

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Along with our advent tradition, we have other traditions going on around here.

This year, we started the chocolate countdown.  This was something we did when I was a kid. 

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OH. MY. GOODNESS.  I didn’t realize how much my kids would love this.  It has been a hit.  They enjoy counting down to Christmas with a little chocolate.  Well, so would I.

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We also kick off the holiday season with a new Christmas book.  I buy the kids a new one every year.

Christmas decorations 2012-1817 cr

The books hang out under the children’s tree and we read them throughout the month.

Of course, we have an elf.  His name is Maximus.  He has created a whole world of fun around here.

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My favorite was waking up to Tess laughing hysterically about this little stunt:

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Every year on Christmas Eve, the kids get an ornament as a gift.  These will be ornaments that they take with them when they leave home.  I wanted them to remember why I gave them the ornament and the year they received the ornament.  With that in mind, I came up with the ornament book.

Title page

The book includes a picture of the ornament labeled with the year, and a brief description of why I picked that specific ornament.

Tess 2009 

When we place the ornament on the tree, we look through the book and remember.  I can’t believe how much the kids enjoy looking through these simple books.  Sometimes it is the simple things. 

My very favorite tradition is our gift to the Savior.  This little box sits under our tree during the whole season.

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Inside you will find several index cards with our name, year, and the gift we plan to give the Savior throughout the coming year.

We leave the cards inside, and then we can reflect on what we have done in the previous years.  In years to come, this box will be filled to the brim with our gifts for the Savior.  These will always be promises to be better, and become more like him.  A whole box of working towards becoming like our Savior.  Could there be a better gift?

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Last year, I wrote “I will watch my tone of voice and how I speak to others.  I will show more love to Jonathan.”

I am proud to say that I really did work hard on those things this year. 

This year, on December 24th we will again write out our gift to Jesus and place it under the tree.

I love all these traditions, and fun moments spent as a family.

We are working very hard to keep Christ in Christmas.

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Happy traditions to you and your family.

 

5 comments:

Jen said...

So many great ideas! Thanks for sharing them!

KW said...

I do a lot of these ideas but you also made me think of others I could be doing. I love the TP snowball fight. So fun.

Creative Cole said...

We do a lot of the same Traditions! But I will definitely have to start doing the toilet paper fight. Although, growing up for me my dad would use marshmallows and try to throw them into the rotating fan above...my mom didn't like that one so much :)

Sarah Carletti said...

Andrea, I so enjoyed this. I love your family traditions - especially the TP. Silly times are great! And we have the same chocolate advent calendar!

Letti said...

I love reading about other peoples Christmas traditions. Yours are amazing. I love the advent you do. I pinned some of your ideas to use next year.

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