A staple in our house is to watch a Christmas movie -- generally we watch one a night, a few days leading up to Christmas. We love to kick off the Christmas movie season by inviting friends over to watch Elf with us. A family favorite of mine while growing up is A Christmas Story. We love this simple tradition and love to cultivate a sense of community while gathering around the TV with some cider or cocoa.
We snag ornaments from everywhere we travel. This in and of itself has become a beautiful tradition for us. Some of my favorites are from the National Parks that we visit throughout the year. One of the most meaningful ornaments is from Acadia National Park in Maine, as we named our daughter after our time there (you can read more about that here). We love to decorate the tree with those ornaments and reminisce over our time on that trip!
Every year, my family would load up the car and head out of town. When we arrived at the Christmas Tree Farm, we would squish several families onto a hayride. My brother and I would take turns deciding where we would stop to hop off. We would pick the perfect tree and cut it down. It was ours. We worked hard for that tree, sawing, chopping, and agreeing on the 'one.' Once the tree was cut, our family would be taken back to the barn at the front of the Tree Farm and drink cider while the tree was tied to the car. I would love to continue this tradition on; however, my husband is allergic! The best I can make of the situation is to use a fake tree and I now diffuse pine tree oil--which then makes the whole house smell like we have a real tree! Problem solved.
One thing I want to do with Harper is to go through Advent with her. My church had the Advent wreath and we would go through it each week as a family. I also want to partner Advent with being 'others' focused. Harper will help us look to help others, especially so in this season. I'm not sure what that will look like yet, but I know that we will look for ways to love others and express Christ's love for others by the giving up of ourselves.
Every child has a toy that they always want at Christmastime, but some years those toys don't make it under the tree. My parents have since given us one toy that we wanted as a kid, but we didn't get. It's now become a tradition of ours to receive one 'kid' gift each year. This is an absolute favorite of mine because we end up playing with those toys as a family! One year, we all got Beyblades and battled one another for hours. Two years ago, we each got Nerf Guns and played in the front yard--some of those foam darts didn't make it past Christmas day! I genuinely look forward to (and often attempt to guess at) the 'kid' gift that we get. I urge you to do this with your family if you don't already--we all love it and it's such a blast!
What are some of your Christmas traditions? Link up with Mrs. Disciple and let us know!