Christmas is by far the best time of the year in my family! It's the time of year we really gather together as a family. Here is a list of some of the traditions we share each year. Let me know if you share some of the same ones or if you have different ones you'd like to share with me!
1. Our Christmas season starts on Thanksgiving Night when we put up our tree!
2. The car stereo is glued to the 24 hour Christmas station as soon as it begins.
3. We have tons of Christmas story books we have collected over the years and we read one every night til Xmas.
4. We place an Elf stuffed animal out on Thanksgiving day to keep an eye on everyone during the day to make sure they are behaving. We pretend the Elf reports to Santa each night while we sleep and he reappears the next morning somewhere else in the house. My youngest child no longer believes in Santa but still wants to see the Elf on Thanksgiving because it's fun to find where he reappears each day!
5. All of my daughters, ages 10-21, receive an advent calendar with chocolates or stickers in it and they remind each other every night to open the next square.
6. We make lots of handmade ornaments throughout the month.
7. We purchase special xmas cards and everyone signs their own name in a different colored sharpie-we sit at the the kitchen table and pass the cards around to sign.
8. We hang all the cards we receive around the kitchen doorframe.
9. We've had the same hand knitted xmas stockings since each daughter was born.
10. We drive around to see xmas lights.
11. We go to the local Elk's clun for their "Festival of trees." We LOVE this.
12. We go to mass on xmas eve.
13. We bake dozens of cookies and pass them out to friends and family.
14. We make a huge brunch for after we open presents on xmas day.
15. We order Chinese food for dinner xmas day.
16. We open one present xmas eve and it's always a pair of pj's-and the kids pretend to be surprised!
17. Me and my honey exchange the craziest pair of slippers we can find for each other.
18. Attend the xmas tree lighting on Main Street.
19. Attend "Midnight Merriment" where all the stores stay open til midnight.
20. We hide a glass "pickle" in the tree. The first one to find it gets a HUGE candy bar and everyone else gets a regular sized one.
21. We make homemade white hot chocolate.
22. We make a peppermint pie.
23. We have a gift wrapping party.
24. We watch lots of xmas movies-especially, The Christmas Story and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas with Jim Carey.
25. We watch my daughter dance in the Nutcracker-this will be her 13nth year!
26. We put tinsel on the tree xmas eve and a spider ornament to represent the Christmas Spider story.
27. We choose a cause or something we can do to volunteer our services for a good cause. We helped raise almost $2,000 for breast cancer research this year.
28. We leave Santa cookies and milk-and everyone knows I eat em up as soon as they go to bed!
29. I place a stuffed animal in each of the kids beds after they fall asleep so they wake up to it-and yes, I even do it for the 21 year old!
*I'm sure there's more, which I will add if I recall-lol!