December is one of our favorite months as a family! In order to avoid getting wrapped up in the never-ending “to-do” list each year, we have established several traditions to create vivid family memories and not get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the season.
1. We commemorate each year with a new ornament for each family member that represents something unique to the individuals. Then, as we spend time decorating our tree, we have fun talking about each ornment that we have chosen for our family over the years and remembering why we chose the specific ornaments.
Because Ashton played with his train set every day last year, this was his 2011 ornament.
2. We set up a smaller tree in our playroom as our “Advent Jesse Tree.” This gives us a moment each evening to focus on Jesus and how His story is woven through the history of the Bible. We use this as an alternative to an advent calendar. Each night of December, we unwrap a present that has an ornament which coordinates with that day’s Bible story.
Our “Jesse Tree”
3. We come up with activites that we post on the refigerator of fun holiday activities that we want to be sure to incorporate into the month of December. This year our family has the following activities on ornaments: Bake and decorate Christmas cookies, Drive through the “Festival of Lights”, Take a bedtime drive to look at neighborhood decorations, Play “Frosty the Snowball Toss”, Make a gingerbread house, Check out and read Christmas books from the library, Make a puzzle wreath ornament, Watch “The Polar Express”, Take a holiday family photo, Watch “Frosty the Snowman”, Make a sock snowman, Visit Santa, Make a reindeer from handprints and footprint, and Make an “Elf Yourself”video.
Our kids love the holiday traditions that we have begun as a family and it helps us to stop and take time to enjoy each other at this time of year. I would love to hear your ideas of ways that you enjoy the holidays with your family as well! We are always up for adding a new tradition!