by shara.anderson on November 27, 2012

We started working on our annual Gingerbread House today, and it got me thinking about this post about traditions from last year.

I’m always interested in traditions.  Isn’t that part of what made childhood fun and nostalgic?  I have found that I “borrow” others’ ideas better than coming up with my own.  Most of these are for Christmas, but there are a couple others.  This is a short list of some of the traditions I have done, will do, or have heard of recently.

1.  Taking a picture of the kids every year in Mommy or Daddy’s shirt or dress. As you can tell from the pictures I haven’t been exactly “on top of ” doing this each year.  I was just excited Kirk still had the shirt in his closet!  I’m thinking that this would be a good beginning of the school year tradition. 2.  Sleeping in front of the Christmas tree in the living room. This always sounds so fun!!  We have never actually done it, although we have plans to this year.  I think I get to the evening that we are supposed to sleep on the floor and it doesn’t sound quite as wonderful as when it was planned:).3.  A stocking for Jesus. I just ran across this one this year, and I am the most excited about this one.  We have an extra stocking up for Jesus this year.  What are we putting in it?  Everyone is to write (or draw) about what they have done that was kind or helpful to someone else.  Then we will read their “gifts to Jesus” before we open our gifts as a family.  I love that!!

4.  Gingerbread House. Every year for the last 5 or 6 I have made a gingerbread house with my kiddos and their good buds who I nanny for.  It really isn’t hard (it can be time consuming…just plan accordingly).  Here’s a great recipe, and the cement icing really works.  Here’s the template we use for cutting out the pieces of the house.  It is very basic and simple.  You can get much more extravagant if you’re feeling adventurous.  I’ll have to post pictures after we do ours this year.  The kids LOVE the decorating part and it makes a great centerpiece or decoration.

5.  Night of Lights  On a night where you know you can sleep in the next day take the kids out for a stroll to find houses that are decorated with lights.  Bring some snacks (popcorn etc) and enjoy seeing what others took the time to put up.  You could make it into a scavenger hunt or a counting game ie. see how many snowmen you find etc.  Don’t forget to check out the beautiful stars if it’s a clear evening and you get out of the city at all.

6.  Operation Christmas Child Boxes. This one has to be done more around Thanksgiving time, but it is such a fun thing for each of the kids to pick out stuff for a child their own age and prepare a box for them.  It really helps them think beyond what they might be wishing to get for Christmas.  We also went on YouTube and found videos of kids receiving the boxes to help the kids really so how excited the kids are for their box of goodies.

7.  Gifts from Samaritan’s Purse. This is the second year we have done this.  The kids just seem to accumulate money between birthdays and holidays, and we wanted them to have a fun way to give some of it away.  Samaritan’s Purse (who also does the Operation Christmas Child boxes) sends out a catalog before the Christmas season where you can pick out a variety of items from shelters, to mosquito nets, to medicine to purchase to be given to those in need.  Ella picked out 2 little stuffed lambs, and Cade picked out a soccer ball.

8.  Popcorn for supper on Sundays. A friend of ours had this tradition growing up.  It gave his mom a break, and the kids thought it was great.  I haven’t been able to sell Kirk on the whole idea yet:).

So, what are some of your traditions?  I love hearing what people do, and be warned that I might steal borrow your idea in the future:).

Blessings to you this Christmas season,

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