Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas traditions come naturally

I was going to make an effort this year to create some christmas traditions but then realised they've kind of come naturally. My children are all very young but we have a few things in place which I'm pretty confident will stay forever. 

Carols and lights. We had a great time at carols this year and I especially enjoyed the walk home looking at the christmas lights. It was memorable and I'm going to make it something we do every year. This is the kind of effortless activity I like. We go somewhere and walk home. Perfect. 

Ugly Christmas sweater party. This is already a highlight of our calendar. It started off as an evening event but has just been brought earlier in the day to make it more child friendly. We love it. It's a fixture. I like to think that when my children are 18, they're going to struggle to make a decision to miss it.

Nativity advent calendar. Growing up we always had an advent calendar. It was just cardboard with a picture inside each window. Last year, I wanted to get something simple and couldn't find one. Most had chocolates in them. In the end I decided to invest in a pretty special one that we will use each year. It's wooden with boxes around the outside of a magnetic board. Each box contains a character from the nativity story so over the course of advent we create the nativity scene. I'm really happy with it and also happy that I don't have to think about it each year and buy a new one. We will have it forever. Maybe even one day my grandchildren will use it.

Elf on the shelf. When I first heard about this I just wrote it off as some weird commercial thing that I didn't need to know about. However, I love it! Basically we have an elf that visits our house during the day and returns to the North Pole during the night to report back to Father Christmas. Some people set up elaborate scenes with the elf for their children to wake up to. Another idea is to have the elf bring notes back from the North Pole with suggestions of something kind they could do that day. Maybe we'll do some of these things in the future but right now we just move the elf to a different place in the house. That is exciting enough for a 3 year old and two one year olds.

Christmas books. We've acquired a few different books about Christmas. These get packed away with the decorations and get read over and over again during December. I don't know if you can call this a Christmas tradition but it's something that only happens in December and it certainly creates excitement around Christmas time.

Stockings. I grew up with stockings at the end of the bed and the notion that whatever was in the stocking is what was actually from Father Christmas. The stocking gifts are little enough to fit in the stocking and also little in terms of cost. If we're going with the idea that it comes from the big man, I'm not going to put the most expensive gift in because he visits everyone and it would be a bit weird if he brought bikes to my children and socks to the less privileged. It's more about the excitement of waking up and seeing that Father Christmas came. My memories are of the stockings being filled with water balloons and a few lollies. My children this year are all getting crayons. Not a whole pack each. One pack split up across all three. 

Food for Father Christmas. We're going to start this one tonight. I used to do this as child and it was fun. I just asked Miss 3 what she thinks Father Christmas would like. She thinks biscuits and a glass of water. I love the simplicity. We will do that.

Are you seeing my 'effortless' theme? Creating Christmas traditions doesn't have to be a big deal. These things have all come naturally. We haven't even got to Christmas day yet but I'm already confident that Miss 3 loves Christmas time.

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