Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Making and keeping Christmas traditions with your family...

Growing up, my dad made a big deal about Christmas.  I've tried to pass on those traditions to my children too.  One of the traditions we have, that you may have as well, is to decorate the Christmas tree together.  It's a big event!  Of course, you can't have an event like this without hot cocoa!  Marshmallows and cinnamon sprinkles are a must.  We also put on some Pandora radio and listened to great Christmas music.
We don't have a fireplace, therefore, we have no mantel.  That's not going to stop us though! I used this little table that we usually have in our entry way and hung our stockings from it.  I remember when I was a kid, we would get one of our dad's tube socks - the longer, the better - and lay those out for Santa.  Santa would fill up our stockings with oranges, nuts, candy canes and old fashion ribbon candy.  The only complaint we ever had was that "Santa" thought it was hilarious to just toss a handful of the old fashioned candy into the sock and we'd have to pry it away from the fuzzy material in the morning.  We started leaving him a plastic baggy in our stocking just for the candy. haha! Of course, he usually ignored it.
No fancy, matching stockings for our mantel. =)  Each of the kids have their own that they put out every year.
We also make a big deal putting out our little Nativity set.  One of these days I hope to have a really nice set, but this one will always be special to us.
Once the tree, lights and garland, ribbon, etc is on the tree - we let the kids have at it.  Well, this year I didn't even add garland or ribbon.  Just the ornaments.  My little guy was beside himself all day.  He couldn't wait to get the tree decorated!!
Naomi with her Baby's First Christmas ornament.
 My husband and I have been exchanging ornaments every year since we were married.  Often, the kids will get a new ornament for Christmas as well.  I also have ornaments that I've received from students and ornament exchanges.  These are all special to us and are the only kind of ornaments on our tree.  Again, no fancy, schmancy, matchy ornaments for us!
Taryn with her Perry the Platypus ornament from last year.
My guys gotta represent USC football! =)
 This beautiful ornament was made for me by the mother of one of my former students.  It is a styrofoam ball covered with sequins and tiny beads individually stuck with stick pins!  It's just beautiful!
This ornament is probably one of my favorites. My grandmother gave all of the grandkids one of these a few years back.  It's a picture of her with my grandfather and the baby in her arms is my daddy.  I cherish this photo!
 Another tradition is that the kids take turns each year putting the star on top.
 All done!  You can see two presents underneath the tree already.  You can read about those interesting packages right here.
These trees are what you see when you come in my front door.  My husband bought these for me because we didn't have room in our apartment for a full-sized tree early in our marriage.  Now they hold some really cool hand-made ornaments that I've received from art group swaps.
Here's just one more picture I'll share with you for now.  This is my snow man table.  My students knew that I liked snowmen and year after year, I got every kind of snowman you could imagine from them.  This is a special collection!

Christmas in our house is definitely a special time, but I want to assure you that it's not all about the decorations.  The most important thing to my husband and I is that our children know why we celebrate Christmas and how important it is knowing that God chose to come in the form of man, to save us from our sins!
Isaiah 9:6~"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
What are you doing to make this Christmas season special for your family?  I love making memories with my children and having traditions that they can look forward to year after year.
Linking up with Darlene at Time-Warp Wife for Titus Tuesdays
Also linking up with Jasmine for Domestically Driven at Far Above Rubies.


  1. Perfect tradition! I loved every minute of it. I pray that every year our love for each other and for God increases. Love You! You are an awesome writer. Your Marco

  2. What beautiful traditions. I love reading of young mothers who focus on family during the Christmas season. The One who came was a Baby...and He loves children!



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