Tis’ the season to start family traditions! I have been extra excited this year because now that Temple is almost two, she can really understand and enjoy Christmas with us! Caleb and I were talking about what traditions we want to start this year for our own little growing family. It’s so fun knowing that these are things we will do for years to come.
Something that was important to me when planning for the Holidays this year was waking up at our own house on Christmas morning. When we didn’t have kids we didn’t mind celebrating on Christmas Eve at my parents’ house and waking up there the next morning. But now that we have child, it is super important to me that we have our own little celebration when we wake up on Christmas. Now we typically spend Christmas Eve with Caleb’s family, Christmas morning just us, and Christmas day with my family. This routine really works for us, and we feel so blessed that our parents live in the area – it makes things so much easier!
What we do the month of December?
Elf on the Shelf: This year was the first year I bought an “Elf on the Shelf.” Temple is the perfect age to start this tradition, and we love it in our house. Each night we hide ‘Happy” (that’s what she named her elf!) and in the morning we all search for him. We try to get creative. For example, the other morning Happy was riding one of her horses in her playroom! This is just a fun thing for kids to look forward to when they wake up. Temple is so funny and wakes up saying, “Where’d Happy Go?” The elf also comes with a book all about your Elf on the Shelf that we read her at night.
Advent Calendar: We actually didn’t do an Advent Calendar this year but it’s something I want to start next year! What a fun way to count down the days to Christmas. I want to get the kind that you can fill each day with a little treat or small toy.
What we do on Christmas Eve
Make a birthday cake as a family to celebrate Jesus’ birthday!! We will even light a candle and sing Happy Birthday! May sound silly but it’s a wonderful way to spend quality time as a family and for Temple to understand why we are celebrating Christmas. We plan to do this the afternoon of Christmas Eve since Christmas Day we have a lot going on. We will even leave cake out for Santa that night with a big cup of milk!
Christmas PJs! I love the idea of giving your kiddos new PJs the night before Christmas to wear to bed that night and wear while opening gifts the next morning. Makes for cute photos, too. 🙂
On the morning of Christmas, we will wake up, find ‘Happy’ our Elf on the Shelf, and then have a big family breakfast. We always try and say a prayer before we eat as a family so we will definitely do that.
Growing up, Caleb’s family read the Story of Christmas in the bible before opening presents. Temple is a bit young to sit through that story, so I bought this children’s book that shares the story of Christmas for us to read before opening gifts. So, after breakfast, we will sit in the living room and read our story before gifts!
We will take turns opening gifts one at a time so we can all see what we received and what we’ve gifted each other. We always start with our stockings!
We usually like to hide her big gift that Santa brought until the end to make for a special reveal. This year that will be this Doll House!
Another fun thing is to have holiday music playing from the moment you wake up!! 🙂
Something I want to do in the future when Temple is a little older is take her to a local food drive or find a way to give back and help those less fortunate than her during the holidays. We all love to spoil our little ones, but it’s important to show them how lucky they are in the process. I want her to know how blessed we are to have a loving family, a roof over our heads, food, and gifts to give. This is so important and such a great family tradition to remind us what the holidays are all about!