Well, tomorrow is December first and I'm sure you are already knee deep in preparing for Christmas. I thought I would share just a few of our favorite (old and new) holiday traditions.
1. Celebrating Advent
The first is new to us this year. I have always wanted to have an advent calendar, but they were either ugly, too expensive, or I just didn't plan earlier enough. Well, about a month ago, a few of my girlfriends and I put on a Pin-It Party where we actually made an Advent calendar! I am so glad it is done and ready to hang on the mantle!
The calendar is just made of gift tags, flowers and circles cut out of card stock.
I attached the tags to a long piece of twine with some clothes pins from the dollar store that I painted blue.
My favorite thing is that we wrote activities for each day on the back of the tags! I love the idea of shared family experiences rather than candy.
This is were I found some activity ideas: All Things Simple
2. The 12 Days of Christmas
Amy Verlennich from Dandelion Seeds has a come up with a wonderful way for us ladies to bless our husbands during this season. We gals can get so wrapped up in gift buying, Christmas baking, and hosting parties, that we are over worked and stressed out by the time Christmas Day finally rolls around. How about taking 12 days to show our husbands that they rank first on our list? In Amy's own words...
" I decided to put a twist on the traditional 'Partridge in a pear tree' song and celebrate 12 Days of Christmas in SHMILY style. I made a commitment to myself and God to love on him for 12 consecutive days leading up to Christmas (no matter what I felt like...) and we made it all the way to Christmas day without an argument! I was so focused on doing things for him and having fun that it was really hard to get angry with someone I was loving on and praying for! Without realizing it, I had created a new tradition that we've been 'celebrating' ever since!"
It's a great idea, right?!? Head over to her 12 Days of Christmas post and learn all about it.
3. To Bethlehem
This tradition is one that our kids look forward to all year long! Todd Wilson from Familyman Ministries has created this super fun game called To Bethlehem that we LOVE to play together! (He also has 5 Christmas
books that we all look forward to reading each year) The board game is full of pit stops and really fun activities. It is definitely an interactive experience! Here are a few pictures of our family playing a couple years ago...
"visiting Elijah's rest stop...get up and flush a toilet."
There are also chances for fun family conversations when you land on a question card. Lots of fun topics like
"If you could go anywhere for Christmas, where would you pick?" Believe me, your kids will be cracking up and having such a blast that you will want to play this every night!
So, those are our favorite traditions for the season! I hope I gave you some new, fun ideas to share with your own family!