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Old 11-09-2009, 08:47 AM   #11
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Re: Christmas tradition ideas.

We do the new ornament each year that represents something that was of interest, a vacation or a new skill learned. Santa usually leaves one unwrapped gift under the tree & fills the stockings. We always leave out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. Typically make hot chocolate & go look at Christmas lights. For our neighbors and friends my daughter, husband & I spend a weekend in the kitchen making desserts and snacks that we give as gifts a few days before Christmas. Every Christmas eve we open 1 present (pajamas) and read Twas the Night Before Christmas.

If I left out any of these my daughter would be upset : )

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Old 11-09-2009, 08:56 AM   #12
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Re: Christmas tradition ideas.

we read twas the night before christmas on christmas eve, bake cookies for santa, the kids get an ornament every year, and on christmas morning we read the christmas story from the bible before we do stocking and gifts. then i make apple turnovers for breakfast, and a big ham and all the good stuff for dinner.
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Old 11-09-2009, 10:29 AM   #13
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Re: Christmas tradition ideas.

All your ideas are great and I love the ornament idea, but I have a question. So they get the ornament on Christmas, how long do you leave your tree up? It seems like they would kind of only get to see it for a few days/week until it gets packed away for almost a year?
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:01 AM   #14
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Re: Christmas tradition ideas.

before xmas we
bake, make candy
write letters to santa
get reply letters from santa the week before xmas
pick a name off a giving tree or pick a family for a holiday meal. the holiday meal tends to cost less so we will be doing that this year. DS will be helping me shop.
DS picks a book and a toy for toys for tots
xmas tree lane or any light walks we can find
make and mail xmas cards for the grandparents

Durring xmas I always loved how predictable my family is!
xmas eve we always go gather at someones house around 6 and exchange family gifts we order pizza so no one has to cook and everyone brings what theyve baked and we pig out and have a great time. Its chaos but I loved it growing up and still do!
xmas morning is family time. we open santa gifts, make cinnamon rolls eggs and bacon. we play and relax until 1 when we gather at someone house for xmas lunch/dinner. We usually go back that night for leftovers and round 2 of desert.
Lots of laughing and paper plates are a requirement!
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:04 AM   #15
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Re: Christmas tradition ideas.

We've had a lot of different traditions between our two families, and we try to do them all, LOL. A few...

we look at Christmas lights....both in neighborhoods, and there's a county park near us that does a big walk-through display, takes about an hour.

We try to do an angel tree, or adopt a family type gift.

We do a "12 Days of Christmas" gift delivery, where we give a small gift or treat to a family every night for 12 days leading to Christmas. Usually we try to find a family that either needs some help around the holidays or has had a rough year, etc. This is my kids favorite activity we do. Somtimes we team up with a couple other families and make the gifts together - that way each family only has to think of 3 or 4 ideas, and make several of the same thing.

We get the kids pajamas that they open on Christmas Eve.

We leave cookies for santa, we also make and deliver cookies to the neighbors. We've also left "reindeer food" sprinkled in the yard, which is just oatmeal and glitter.

Every year we buy or make a special ornament for the tree (usually one for everyone) that reminds us of the past year - either a special trip or a special event, etc. My DH's family did this, he has all of his ornaments from growing up, one per year, plus ten years worth of ours. Our tree is a blast to decorate.

We have an advent calendar.

We spend Christmas Eve with family, and have a big party with a white elephant gift exchange. Christmas Day is just for our family.
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:04 AM   #16
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Re: Christmas tradition ideas.

We've started implementing similar things.

1 gift from Santa
A few gifts from parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. (whatever comes.)
Xmas pajamas (which count as a gift)
Applesauce and Cinnamon ornaments that we give to family and friends.
And I'd like to adopt one of the kids from the trees to shop for and donate food to a pantry.
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:06 AM   #17
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Re: Christmas tradition ideas.

my fav tradition growing up and my still does it is we get 1 gift on christmas eve ans it is new pjs to wear that night and book

i started doing that with my son but a little different, we get him a lounge outfit to wear christmas morning to my moms for brunch, a christmas shirt to wear later in the day for christmas with DH's family and a christmas book
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:19 AM   #18
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Re: Christmas tradition ideas.

we also each get an ornament a year.. I have my first christmas one and everyone after that (think i might have lost a couple in moves over the years )
and we do that with B now also
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:31 AM   #19
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Re: Christmas tradition ideas.

Since we are a young family we are still deciding on what traditions to keep ourselves. Great thread!

Here are some we did growing up and are doing with our family:
*Going to visit Santa's village at G Boys (a landscaping type place that does a big production each year in their store)
*Big breakfast Christmas morning with cinnamon buns, bacon, eggs, etc
*Christmas Eve Church and family dinner
*Christmas Stockings with treats and small gifts (this is all that DH and I exchange between us anymore)
*Advent wreath

Here are some I want to start:
*3 gifts for each kid... something to wear, something to read and a something fun
*book advent (wrap up books, one for each day in Dec and read one each night) I've been collecting xmas books from the thrift store and clearance sales for this purpose.
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:58 AM   #20
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Re: Christmas tradition ideas.

We start Christmas traditions on Thanksgiving starting with a gift from Santa that magically appears at the front door with a reminder that Santa is watching so you better be good. SIL and BIL started this with ds1 before I even met them, her aunt and uncle did it for her. It is usually a $5 toy for each child. They insist on doing it for every child that will be at Thanksgiving including their own (though I and MIL have offered to buy for their daughters).
We make ornaments to give to everyone each year. We also do a picture of the kids. Sometimes as a calendar other times as the ornament other times just in a frame.
We always bake cookies, make fudge, peppermint bark and chocolate dipped pretzels.

We go look at a light display. There is a huge one an hour from here, but some years we just go to the one that is free 20 minutes from here. We also go to a neighborhood that collects canned goods and has every house light up.
We go pick a tree (from Home depot) and make a day of Christmas movies, music, decorating and hot chocolate.
We donate to toys for tots locally and the kids pick out something they want to give. Plus they each make a fleece scarf (or more) and I sew a matching hat. This year we will adopt a child from a giving tree if we can find one (we are staying away from public places as much as possible with all of the swine flu stuff since ds is asthmatic and prone to hospitalization)

The day before Christmas eve we go to MIL's work and visit and bring pics of the kids and homemade goodies. MIL's boss gives them an extravagant gift we could never hope to compete with so we don't. He doesn't get along with his family, but used to come to all of our family events, but now that he has a girlfriend he isn't around as much. He is known as uncle to my kids and is wonderful to them and us. Mil takes my kids to work with her if I have an emergency or an appointment and don't want to take the kids. He actually takes oldest ds out to lunch and to different errands with him. He really was going through a rough time when ds1 was born and dh was going through some of the same stuff (divorce) and they just bonded and he became family.

I donate blood on Christmas eve

Christmas eve night we have a huge seafood dinner at IL's with SIL, BIL their kiddos, Cousin his wife and daughter and of course ILs. We exchange gifts too. We try to read Twas the Night Before Christmas there, but sometimes it gets too late so we do it at home.

Christmas morning I make apple cinnamon pancakes and chocolate chip pancakes after we open our gifts from Santa and each other. (we are scaling way back, but I just can't manage only 3 gifts though we do give needed gifts like socks, underwear, tshirts, snow boots, hats, gloves, toothbrushes, and stuff) Everyone except dh gets at least 2 books.

We go over to my parents house for dinner and more gift opening.

Well that was long
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