I’ve often heard how Christmastime becomes even more exciting when you start having children. I don’t think I’ve ever believed that until now! I’m so excited to start making new memories with my own little family. The last 10 years or so, my holiday seasons have been much different than my childhood memories. My family used to always have a big Christmas dinner with the traditional American dishes along with several Filipino dishes and everyone would travel to one location to enjoy it. Kids would run around, the adults would sit and play cards, and we’d all get stuffed to the gills with food. As we all got older and we married off into other families, we slowly transitioned into just meeting up for Thanksgiving in the same fashion. Then, my parents divorced, and we had to start splitting up our time between the two – not to mention to make time for the in-laws too! It’s been difficult, but I truly appreciate all the love and family time I enjoyed during those years. Now that the husband and I have a little one, I can’t wait to start our own family traditions!
So, what traditions do we want to start anyway? Do we keep some that we’ve been doing without kids? Do we start all new? The hubs and I did some research, and here are the traditions we are going to try and incorporate!
- Make a family trip to pick out a Christmas tree. We like to use real trees, and will probably continue to do so unless baby girl (or future children) develops an allergy.
- Pile into the car (with some hot chocolate in a thermos) and go see the neighborhood lights! We have moved a TON the past few years, so we’ve seen a lot of neighborhoods. Put on some Christmas music and wa-la! Instant Christmas feels. This year we might head over to Belleville, IL to see the Way of Lights Christmas Display since admission is free!
- On Christmas Eve, put on some matching jammies and read the Christmas Story of the Bible! I found an outline here.
- Cook a big Christmas dinner and then finish a night off with a Christmas movie (like ELF) and popcorn.
- Use an Advent Calendar (I’m looking for one that I can use every year – have any suggestions?)
- Pick out one ornament per family member, maybe something that represents a memory from the year or just something they really like. We’re also considering doing a photo frame ornament for baby girl each year.
- Get a Christmas photo shoot. Usually I’ve been able to find freelance photographers that have “mini” sessions during the holiday season – a great way to keep memories of each Christmas!
- Do something GOOD – choose to be a servant for someone else. Maybe this year we will do the World Vision Gift Catalog. I’ve always wanted to but never committed. That will change!
What would you add to my list? Leave a comment below!