Christmas Traditions

by jessicaturner on December 20, 2008

Today my December Daily album was featured on Tip Junkie’s 17 Christmas traditions. I am so excited. If you don’t check out this site on a regular basis, you should. It offers loads of tips and giveaways – it’s amazing. 

I just uploaded the past week’s pictures to Walgreens and will be updating my album this weekend. I promise to have an update of the album posted by Monday. 
What are your Christmas traditions? I have started a journal of things I want to remember to do with our family as Elias gets older and would love to have your ideas. Here are a few things I plan to do (in no particular order):
  • Put together shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse. 
  • Elf on a Shelf
  • Sit on Santa’s lap
  • Make a gingerbread house
  • Make cookies
  • Go look at Christmas lights
  • Have 25 Christmas books that I wrap every year. Then the 25 days leading up to Christmas we unwrap and read one every night. (I have already started collecting books, so if you have a good one to recommend let me know.) 
  • Serve the needy in our community in some way 
  • Read the Christmas story of Jesus’s birth 
  • Create a December Daily album every year
Can’t wait to read your suggestions!
Here is a picture of Elias from a Christmas party we attended last night. He was a big hit in his Pooh hat. 
I have to finish my cards now… they WILL get to the post office today or tomorrow (our post office is open tomorrow). 
Oh, and don’t forget to enter to win the Nana’s Kids scrapbook paper. You have until Monday. 


{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna G December 20, 2008 at 3:21 pm

I really like the `Jesse Tree’ idea. I’d never heard about it, but Brandi wrote a post about it here:
http://brandiandboys.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/jesse-tree/

Very creative, fun and focused on the right things :)

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Southern Gal December 20, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Your traditions sound wonderful! We do a lot of the same ones. I wanted to make an advent calendar this year but let it slip up on me again. (Start in January!)
We do have something special to do every day even if it’s drink hot chocolate and watch a movie. Anything which involves spending time together is good.
We do the shoeboxes…my older children and I also volunteer at the warehouse every year.
I make handprints on construction paper (scrapbook paper now) every year from birth to 15 years old that I display each year somewhere around the house. (Three children and 35 handprints later it’s harder to find a good display area.)
I buy an ornament for each of my children each year. When they leave, they’ll have their own collection…and my tree will be bare!!

Just a few of the things we do. I could go on and on but my comment would be as long as your post!!
Renee

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mustangkayla December 20, 2008 at 3:35 pm

I just checked out Tip Junkie blog! TFS it! I’ll definitely be adding it to my google reader. As far as traditions go, one that I started with my son his first Christmas was to buy a new ornament of his choice every year. I did this when I was little and now am doing it for him. He gets so excited to pull out his own ornaments and put them on the tree himself.

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Open your Eyes. December 20, 2008 at 3:54 pm

We always buy a pack of plain christmas baubles and decorate them every coupleof years so we get new ones on our tree every couple of years. We always keep the best – my niece who is 4 loves it! I bet Elias would too as he gets older. We used to make snowglobes as well and get a new family photo and place it in each year…it is nice to see the whole family growing each year. xxx.

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Mum of 4 December 20, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Hi Jessica,
A good book by Karen Kingsbury is WE
BELIEVE IN CHRISTMAS. Another one is GOD GAVE US CHRISTMAS, not sure of the author of this one but you can find it on CBD’s website.

One of our family traditions is lighting our Advent wreath every night. We gather around pray, read a passage from the bible and sing Christmas carols. I found a book called A FAMILY ADVENT by Thomas Nelson Inc on The Women of Faith website that has a devotional or fact for every night of the week. MERRY CHRISTMAS

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Betty December 20, 2008 at 5:11 pm

I’m a 2nd grade teacher, and here are a few of the books I read (or have in the Christmas book box) to my students and plan on reading to my new grandson for years to come:
Mary Engelbreit’s A Merry Little Christmas, The Wild Christmas Reindeer and The Night Before Christmas both by Jan Brett, The Christmas Witch and Santa Claus is Coming to Town both by Steven Kellogg, Who Will Guide my Sleigh Tonight? by Jerry Pallotta, Christmas in the Big Woods – a My First Little House book by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner. Whew!
Trace his foot on brown (or whatever color) felt, both of his hands on black felt, glue together to make a reindeer head, add a red pom pom nose and some wiggly eyes, and voila! a reminder of the size of his hands and feet! Don’t forget to date it! I did this one year with my boys, but I used paint on a sweatshirt! I still have it, and my boys are 27 and 24!
Okay, I’ll stop! Sorry for the essay! Have a blessed Christmas!
Betty Lou
betty.chet@gmail.com

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Katie December 20, 2008 at 5:14 pm

Ooh, I love Christmas, and therefore I love this post!
I ADORE your idea about the Christmas books for each day! Awesome! As a Mommy and a first grade teacher, kids’ books are still my favorites, and at the bookstore I always make a bee-line for the kids’ section first. Some of my favorites are “Polar Express” (I’m sure you have that one!), “Stranger in the Woods,” and “The Mouse Before Christmas.” When he is older, the chapter book, “The Best Christmas Pagaent Ever” is GREAT (my first graders love it!) and has a super message about the real meaning of Christmas. Right now my 1 and a half year old has so much fun with some of the chubby board books that have babies at Christmas or simple Christmas things in them, as he is starting to recognize and say, “tree,” “cookies,” “Ho-ho-ho,” etc. And a really fun one is “The Jolly Postman’s Christmas” which has neat letters and things to open up and pull out. I am also a huge fan of Jan Brett books, and her Gingerbread Baby is one I read every year before we do gingerbread houses.
I am sure someone who loves pictures as much as you has already thought of this, but I started last year with an ornament (okay, I went overboard and did three! Ha!) that has a picture of his first Christmas, first time in the snow, and Santa hat on. I plan to do that every year so we can watch him grow on the tree. I also purchase from an ornament collection through Hallmark that has a baby bear and a number for what Christmas it is, and I buy a little box of the cheap plastic ornaments (last year it was Sesame Street characters, this year Disney) that he gets to put on his own little tree in his room. He loves putting them on and off, and since they aren’t breakable, I don’t have to worry about it. We do Christmas pajamas each year which are fun to get pics. in on Christmas morning. I saw someone else posted about the handprints. I have one of Holden from last year and plan to do one this year of his hand in white paint, upside down to make Santa’s beard. It is sooo cute! Then you just add eyes and a hat, and we used his pinkie to make white dots along the hat and for the ball at the end. I can’t wait to see the size difference this year! Also for when Elias is a little bigger, something fun to do is make reindeer food to leave out on the snow/lawn on Christmas Eve. I grind up graham crackers for the base, then we add oatmeal, chocolate chips, sprinkles, mini marshmallows, and some glitter to make it sparkle “so they’ll see it from up above.” My first graders are so excited when we make it each year.
Okay just set a world record for a post. I love your blog and seeing sweet little Elias grow. Enjoy every moment of your first Christmas with him! =o)

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NoPeaceNoSerenity December 20, 2008 at 5:58 pm

Not sure if you have The Small One, a Good Samaritan by Katherine Brown but what an excellent story for the season…I started readig this to my oldest (13 now) when he was about 1 and he loved it. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season!

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pam December 20, 2008 at 7:39 pm

I love your traditions, especially the daily books (I will remember that for next year) My tradition is the kids get new pj’s on Christmas eve waiting the arrival of Santa. I was just writing about traditions as well.

Blessings to you this holiday season.

Pam

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vaneblu December 20, 2008 at 7:53 pm

I have a nativity set from each year we’ve been married, you can do one for each year of Elias life, mine are tiny so you can acomodate a bunch under the tree!!
On the bottom of the set I write something special about the year!

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Anonymous December 20, 2008 at 8:29 pm
Julia December 20, 2008 at 9:50 pm

what is Elf on a Shelf??
great traditions. we are starting some of our own this year too! i like the 25 Christmas books idea.

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Ryan and Erin Russell December 21, 2008 at 1:33 am

I love the book “Santa’s favorite Story”, it is all about santa telling the animals his favorite story of christmas and the reason for it (which is Christ’s birth). Good book with cool illustration.

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Ryan and Erin Russell December 21, 2008 at 1:35 am

Oooooops, I forgot my favorite tradition. We bake a Jesus cake (it is a cake for Christ’s birthday which has all kinds of symbolism and scripture to go with it). Email me is you want the info.

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Robin December 21, 2008 at 1:57 am

You have to have an advent calendar or with your beautiful scrapbooking supplies you make advent boxes with the numbers one through 25 and put special ornaments for little Elias to put up on the tree by himself. Also, on of my favorite Christmas stories is The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado and we have a Jesus cake too!

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Hall Family in MD December 21, 2008 at 2:04 am

Some of our favorite books are….The Tale of Three Trees, The Small One by Alex Walsh, The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado, The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg (the illustrations by James Bernardin are fabulous!), Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg and The Missing Mitten Mystery by Steven Kellogg. You must share your list!! I love the idea of unwrapping a book for the 25 days of Christmas, but I need a few more books =)

Where do we enter to win??

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lifelaughsandlove December 21, 2008 at 3:18 am

We’re still working on coming up with Christmas traditions too. One that I’m excited about this year is Xmas pj’s. I know a lot of people buy the Hannah Andersson one’s, but I can’t justify that kind of money on pj’s, so I got matching ones for our kids from Children’s Place. I can’t wait to take pictures of them wearing them on Xmas morning!

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mamma2 December 21, 2008 at 1:00 pm

The Christmas Story with Ruth J. Morehead’s Holly Babes has become a favorite book of my girls. It is very colorful.
Some traditions we started this year are: we have an advent calendar that has chocolates in it, we also are going to be making ornaments each year for the grandparents and put a picture of our children holding something that was important to them throughout the last year, and we had a birthday party for Jesus (my 2 1/2 year old just loved this). Next year when my children are a little older we are going to find an angel tree and a child that is the same age as our children and have our children choose gifts for that child.

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The Belton Family December 21, 2008 at 3:09 pm

I love the family tradition of reading a book a day until Christmas. Check out Mistletoe the Cat. I know that they have it at Barnes and Noble.

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Mary December 21, 2008 at 7:12 pm

We sing Happy Birthday to Jesus before we open our gifts on Christmas Morning and say a prayer.
I could use some paper cuz I’m a Nana :).
Marry Christmas

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Deb December 21, 2008 at 7:14 pm

Two family traditions at my house are the “pickle” tradition which I think originated in Germany. It’s a dill pickle shaped ornament that is hidden on the tree by the parents. The lucky child finding it gets an “extra” gift. The other tradition that my (GROWN) kids still want to do is building the Nativity. We start out with the stable, then each night the kids locate the next addition (with hints from mom) and place it in the stable. The final addition is on Christmas when the baby Jesus is found and placed in his manger. Then we read the Chirstmas story from Luke. You should see 20 year olds crawling around looking for shepherds, sheep and such! It’s fun and makes happy memories

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Mary December 21, 2008 at 7:14 pm

Sr. Sues books like cat in the hat and green eggs and ham etc….

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gitz December 21, 2008 at 9:36 pm

I have a friend that does the 25 book-thing and her kids LOVE it. It’s such a sweet time for them at the end of the day, and getting to unwrap the books helps them not be quite so tempted to “accidentally” unwrap the presents under the tree. :)

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Rachel December 22, 2008 at 1:35 am

he is just the cutest thing!!! Love the hat. Enjoying your blog.

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amy December 22, 2008 at 3:13 pm

Our family does many of these traditions, too. Our Elf on the shelf, Twinkle, has turned out to be the most fun this year for my 3 and 7 year old daughters. But, I just wanted to mention (from a mom who buys a new holiday book for each of my girls every Christmas) that 25 new holiday books every year might prove to be challenging! Only a handful of NEW Christmas books come out every year…most are oldies but goodies. Does that make sense? You are probably just building your holiday collection so 25 new books every year might be possible the next couple of years then you could just wrap his favorites from your “collection” every year as he gets older and add some new books for him to open! Enjoy Elias~he is a doll!

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Lisa December 22, 2008 at 3:54 pm

you should definitely check out “The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey” – one of my all-time favorite Christmas stories

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Owain's mommy December 22, 2008 at 7:50 pm

I just ordered the elf on a shelf book for next Christmas.I am really excited to start this new tradition.

I love your idea of wrapping twenty five books until Christmas I think I am going to have to use this one.

This is why I love your blog you have such fun creative ideas.Keep them coming. You inspire me to be more crafty!

Amber

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Candice December 23, 2008 at 6:16 am

Oh & love the wrapping books idea!!

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Candice December 23, 2008 at 6:21 am

p.s. We love "The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey", "This is the Star", & Holly Hobbie's "Night Before Christmas".

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Judy December 23, 2008 at 10:26 pm

I didn’t read thru all the comments so I hope I’m not just repeating someone else. But one of my all time favorite books is The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey! Love it! Especially for older kids. I would read it to my fifth grade class every year and some of the kids would cry.
I’ve been doing a Jesse Tree for five years now. This year has been incredible with my three year old. We just talked about Jesus dying on the cross and why he did it the other night for the first time. The Jesse Tree devotionals have really helped me to be purposeful about covering some major Biblical concepts that are otherwise neglected. I’m having a cyber Jesse Tree party on my blog. Join in if you want! Only a few ornaments left!

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Amanda December 24, 2008 at 4:05 am

My favorite books are…
The crippled lamb
Olive the other Reindeer

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Amanda December 24, 2008 at 4:06 am

My favorite books are…
The crippled lamb
Olive the other Reindeer

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Anonymous December 27, 2008 at 11:28 pm

A new book I discovered this year is called Shall I Knit You A Hat? by Kate Klise. It’s a Christmas yarn and a fun book I shared with my grandchildren.

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