I am a fairly random person. I Really like variety and "no planning" ahead kinds of activities. But when it comes to Christmas traditions I hold on pretty tightly.
I think it's about security.
A link to my past.
My mother always had a manger scene for us to play with...Well I don't think she ever said that it was for that. But I was allowed to "touch" the pieces. I played with it for hours and she never said I couldn't. She also started the tradition of Fondue on Christmas eve. It is one we still practice today...even with 30 people.
I love it!
I started some traditions with our kids when they were very young. I have thrown some out because they weren't as brilliant as they first seemed but others have stuck.
One tradition that stuck....It's Ringing in Christmas.
Very simple thing but even my oldest child thinks of it as a highlight. Before we read the Christmas story on Christmas eve I take these bells and go to some part of the house far away from Jason and the kids. All the lights are off. I carry a candle and the bells. I ring the bells and then walk...ring and walk...all the way to the place they all wait. And as I round the corner or come down the stairs they always greet me with smiles and shiny eyes.
Than after I get to where they are we sing a Christmas song together. Jason reads the Christmas story. And they usually open 1 gift...I know, I know, its only Christmas eve.Sorry for using this picture once again....But those are the bells I use.
Another tradition we have done for the past 5 years is a trip to Chicago on the train. We live several hours from the city so we take a train into the city and pay only $36 for the entire family. Kids ride free.We do this one Saturday sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We go very early in the morning and walk Michigan Ave.The neat thing about this is our kids get to experience the culture of the Big city. There are always people playing instruments or singing right there on the street. And the windows and trees and buildings are just beautiful~ We always have lunch and get to the Lego store and American Girl store. We hit the train about 6:30 p.m. and head home so we can still sleep in our own beds at night. We are always exhausted...but what a great time! Several years we have taken friends and family with us.
For dinner On Christmas eve we have: Bread, garlic oil, fettuccine Alfredo, shrimp and crab legs. That isn't a meal I make everyday so it is really special. Especially the crab legs.
We also want our children to be aware of other needs around the world so we will be giving a gift to our little girl in Tanzania and spend some time making pictures and letters for her.
I love to try new things. This year we are going to try something new. I'll let you know how it goes.
What are things you do with your kids to make the season special? I'm always up for new ideas!