Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Traditions

We all want our kids to grow up with a sense of tradition.  That's never  more the case than at Christmastime.  Here are some of our family's Christmas traditions.

The Annual Tree Hunt I posted about here.  It's not officially the Christmas season until we've trekked out with our best friends and cut down our Christmas trees.

Baking and Decorating Cookies
Whether it's sugar cookies or gingerbread, we always bust out the aprons at Christmas.
New Christmas Eve Pajamas

I love these ones from Luxury Baby Gifts.  Unfortunately my "babies" aren't such wee ones anymore.  I love taking pictures of the boys Christmas morning in their new pjs.  CG and I also get new pjs.  I always buy my own Christmas pjs in the kids section where they are half as much as they would be over in womens.  I'm cheap like that.  XL boys runs slightly larger than XL girls and fit a long torso nicer, so I usually buy myself an XL boys pj.  Next year, I might try my hand at making our Christmas pjs like Maleah at Little Eme did here.

Orphan's Christmas

We have some of our friends over every year for Christmas Eve.  We started this tradition the year after we moved down to the Binghamton area.  WD was 5 our first Christmas away from family and we traveled back to Rochester for that first year.  The trip was a whirlwind of go to house #1, open presents, play for 1/2 hour, go to house#2, open presents, play for a 1/2 hour, go to house #3, etc.  We made the decision that WD would wake up in his own bed and run out to his own tree and stocking hung by our fireplace for every Christmas from then on.  Anyone who wanted to see us at Cristmas could come, but we weren't going anywhere.

We settled in to the Binghamton area and became friends with people who were in the same predicament as us.  Family away and kids they wanted home for Christmas morning.  We invited them over to share Christmas Eve with us for that sense of extended family that we were missing.  Thus "Orphan's Christmas" was born.  Christmas Eve for people who's families are elsewhere.  My little brother and his roommate started to come for Orphan's Christmas as did my cousin and her boyfriend and everybody brings their dogs.  We joke now, that we'll need to rename it, since the older children are reaching adulthood and those adult children won't be "orphans" at Christmas.

Unwrapped Santa gifts

All other presents are wrapped and under the tree.  Santa leaves the "big" gift.  He gets credited with the one "WOW" gift.  Santa leaves a note attached to his gift with the childs name on it on special Santa stationary that only he uses.

I hope that these traditions envelope the boys memories in warmth and joy.  What are some of your traditions?  What things will your kids want to continue when they have their own kids?

Merry Christmas, everyone!


  1. Those are some amazing gingerbread construction projects! Just beautiful. Our Prince Inventive usually spearheads the gingerbread making and he hasn't gotten around to it this year.

    We also have only one, hopefully 'wow' Santa gift. Sometimes Santa wraps, sometimes he doesn't. :-) (As the kids get older, the gifts can get less wowish, at least visually, and look better wrapped)

    The one tradition I think our kids are guaranteed to continue is a new ornament for each child every year so when grown, they can take home with them to their own Christmases. I will also make sure each has a copy of "One Wintry Night," by Ruth Bell Graham, as we read that together every year.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. I know what you mean about the "wow" gift having less visual impact as the kids get older. WD's receiving a new laptop from Santa this year and I'm still not sure how I'm going to make that little black rectangle a "wow" visually.

    I love the new ornament tradition. They'll have enough ornaments for their first apartment tabletop tree by the time they're on their own.


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