This is an updated post from last Christmas. :)
I love Christmastime!
The decorations, the activities, the flurry of activity, the buzz of excitement from the kids. Here I share our favorite Christmas traditions with you and hope you’ll share yours in the comments!
#1. Make and decorate a gingerbread house (or train in our case last year).
They look rather impatient to eat it, don’t they? ;-) Well, those store-bought kits don’t taste as good as homemade gingerbread but it was sure fun to decorate. And it turned out really cute. Maybe one year I’ll make it all myself. Maybe.
#2. Hang our nativity ornaments.
I have a mini tree that I hang these mini ornaments on every year. I love them! I bought them last year but for the life of me can’t remember where… probably Joann Fabrics.
#3. Set up Christmas village.
This one is SO popular with the kids. :) They love setting it up and moving things around.
#4. Christmas Quilt
This “quilt” is a very pretty wall hanging. It’s become our TV cover/display. ;-) I had wanted it for years, and finally it went on sale at Christianbook.com a couple years ago!
#5. Get a real Christmas tree!
The whole Christmas Tree Farm experience is a must! So much fun. :) Some farms have live nativities, hot cocoa, and other activities, too!
#6. Give to someone in need.
We’ve done this the last two years. Our church has little cards with a child’s name, age, and Christmas wishes on it, and we buy/make a gift. The year before last it was a little girl who was 4 years old just like Emma, and last year it was a little girl who was 3 years old from a family who was homeless.
#7. MAKE gifts for family/friends.
I believe that making gifts for friends and family greatly reduces holiday stress for us. First of all because I love to sew and make things people will use, and second because I’m not trying to buy amazing gifts for everyone I know. I’d be broke if I did that! Making gifts can be spendy but I would be spending a lot more if I was buying them for everyone. Last year I made pillowcases and some other small things. In the picture above, Emma is coloring on cardstock cut into rectangles so we can laminate them and give them as bookmarks!
#8. Advent Activities – Read a Christmas Book Every Night & Enjoy an Interactive App
These are some of the Christmas books we have collected over time. I usually wrap them and put them under the tree, then let the kids unwrap one every night to read together. This is such a fun tradition. :) I didn’t wrap them this year because I’m being lazy about it, and am brainstorming some kind of reusable holder for them. Or maybe I will make a reusable gift bag and put one in it each night.
Note: Affiliate links below.
I also found this wonderful iPad app, the Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar. You can choose from the Village theme or London theme. My mom has purchased the desktop versions for us in the past and Emma was glued to the screen, so I knew it would be a good buy ($1.99 for each).
The music is lovely, the graphics are impressive, and the whole experience is magical! The cool part is there are fun interactive activities throughout – Emma is creating snowflakes that will fall over the village in the photo above. It is SO well-done. Worth much more than $1.99!
#9. Make and Decorate Christmas Cookies!
We had too much fun one year making these crazy colorful sugar cookies. I want to do this again. :)
#10. Set up the Nativity.
I actually painted this myself so it’s extra special because of that. :) I found this at Joann Fabrics in their clearance section one year. I love that place! Someday soon I would like to get a set that the kids can play with – this one they want to touch but little pieces are chipping off here and there when I let them.