Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday: You-Tell-Me: Holiday Traditions



I know this is going to sound redundant but...my phone appears to be a little on the fritz today...which means that tutorial Tuesday pictures were not taken (as my camera died about a month ago my phone has been serving dual purposes).

So, I'm going to plan "B"...

In the past, I've loved doing these "You-Tell-Me" Tutorials because you all have such GREAT insights, tips, advice, and comments.

Cutie Face was 4-months old when Christmas came last year. We didn't really do anything special for her since she was so young. No traditions were started and, thus, nothing was continued this year.

I'd really like that to change.

For next year, I'm already planning on doing the Jesse Tree advent calendar (thanks Lauren!!!) with the two kiddos (yikes! we'll have an almost one-year-old by Christmas 2010!).

BUT

I long to create our own family traditions...with tips from y'all!

So, here are my questions:

  • What traditions have you started with your family for Christmas (or another holiday that you celebrate--Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, etc.)?
  • No family yet? What traditions did you cherish with your family when you were growing up?
  • What traditions have you heard about that you want to incorporate next year?
and one last one to grow on:

What do you do to make this season SPECIAL? this can be:
  • how you decorate,
  • where you go to see Santa
  • special places you visit to shop, see lights, etc.
  • what special movies and music you play (or radio station you listen to),
  • the holiday (from Thanksgiving-New Year's) foods you make/eat/consume,
  • the parties you throw,
  • SOMETHING YOU DO FOR YOUR COMMUNITY (I'm especially interested in this one!)
etc, etc.--i want to hear about them!

I can't wait to hear your ideas!


13 people think...:

Christine Pobke said...

hi sweets! :) our family tradition growing up was opening presents on the midnight before christmas - we all just couldn't wait!!!! :) and my sister and i ALWAYS play mariah carey's 'all i want for christmas' and sing it at full volume. :) now that we're all married and have our own (little) familis, and now that i'm living in australia where christmases are HOT HOT HOT, the new tradition is playing backyard cricket on boxing day (the day after xmas) and having a sausage bbq. :) and of course, going to the beach. and getting reeeeeally tan. :) happy holidays!! xoxo

Kaycee said...

Traditions we have (some are from my family growing up too!) so far for our 20 month old:

- Reading "Twas the Night before Christmas" to our daughter before bed on Christmas Eve (LOVED this one growing up!)
- We have an Advent calendar she gets to hang an ornament on each day (she's obsessed with it this year!)
- Picking a night to drive around just to look at Christmas lights. We put Christmas music on the stereo and drink hot chocolate.
- We make and decorate Christmas cookies together (sprinkles are SO fun!)
- Watch lots and lots of Christmas movies! My parents, brothers, sister-in-laws, nieces and nephew all get together every year and watch "White Christmas" too. And we always fast forward one particular dance thing we hate. :)

Community:
- We generally donate to a local food bank.
- We bought a Christmas present for a Compassion International Child this year too.
- We usually do an Angel Tree giving, but this year I found a link to Amazon that lets you buy toys for a Children's Hospital, I think this year we will do that. In future years I would like my daughter to help pick out the toy/gift but for now we just pick for her (or hold up two things and let her 'pick').

That was fun! Thanks for reading my long rambling. I love family traditions, and I want to make sure ours are all in place somewhat soon so they will be things our daughter always remembers. :)

Lauren said...

As a child, we always went to see a movie together on Christmas Eve. I loved this! :)

Because we live so far away from all our family, and Hubby's work and vacation schedule is different every year, it changes a bit with each year and each addition to our sweet family! :) This is what we'll do this year:

Now, we do the Christmas Eve worship service, come home and eat, get the kids in jammies, and drive around and look at lights. (This never changes; we make it a point to be home on Christmas Eve night and Christmas morning.)

Christmas morning breakfast is monkey bread! and sausage cheese grits (so yummy). We read the Christmas story out of Luke, have worship, and then get online to give birthday presents to Jesus through World Vision or Gospel for Asia. Then we like to go out in the community, to nursing homes or to visit with people who have to work, but this year the flu has put the kibosh on our nursing home plan, and I think our travel plans will necessitate opening gifts before lunch (which we usually do after the kids' afternoon nap).

It's so fun to cultivate your own traditions!

HisTreasuredPossession said...

Hey friend!! We are still finding out what works with our family from both Abel's and my families of origin. Here's what we've done so far:

We put out our managers WITHOUT baby Jesus until Christmas Morning. Then on Christmas morning we read the Bible and afterwards, we sing Happy Birthday Jesus and place him in his manger. the kids connect that this is a day to Celebrate Jesus Birth! I am hoping this year to make a Jesus Birthday Cake to keep that theme going ~ we'll see =)

I also love that Abel's family would have a small dessert "party" Christmas Eve, turn out the lights but leave the Tree lights on, then have a time of singing Carols. Always so beautiful to see and hear.

Next year we'll probably do more about advent ~ the boys will be older and more likely to pay attention!!

Hannah said...

We have a tribillion but my favorite by far is our Chrostmas Jar. We spend all December just trying to think who to give it to and it is something Nathan has figured out already as he puts change in it all year!

Beth said...

As a child, growing up in the Caribbean, one tradition that I remember so sweetly, was going swimming with my dad on Christmas day.

Now as a new mom, I am looking at what we as a family can do to create our own traditions. Right now it is traveling to spend the holiday with my husband's family. I am going to come up with a creative idea to spend time as a family on Christmas morning between carting the kids to grandpa's and grandma's houses.

I love the idea of the Jesse tree. It has got me thinking of how to incorporate it into our evenings. thank you!

Lyndsey said...

Hi there, I love your pictures on I heart faces, and I stumbled upon this post and thought I would comment, hope you don't mind!

I have two boys who are 4 and 6 and we have a couple traditions that we try and uphold every year.
One tradition is that we buy both boys an ornament and they get them on Thanksgiving. The ornaments represent something they like, or a favorite tv show, or represent their grade in school, something along those lines so every year when we put up the ornaments they can see the ones from the past and it brings back so many memories for all of us!
Another tradition the boys like is "movie night" where we watch a show like the Grinch or Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer every week that represents the season, we do it for Halloween too. We usually have movie night on Sundays and make popcorn and have hot chocolate!
Finally, and I promise this it, my mother-in-law comes from a family of 7. We all, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc used to draw a name and buy a gift for someone in the family every year. One year they said, ok how many more sweaters, candles etc do we all need? So, now every year we pick a family in need and everyone donates money to that family in honor of my mother-in-law's and her siblings parents who always taught them to help others. It is very nice because we pick a family that someone knows, so it is near and dear to us. For example, one year we gave to a woman I knew who was a single mom with breast cancer and could not afford her medicine. This year we are giving to a family that has little girls at our cousin's daughters' day care. Their mother was shot and killed by their father and they are now living with their grandparents who are having trouble making ends meet. So, there you have it, our favorite holiday traditions!

Ashlie Miller said...

I think you've become familiar with some of our family traditions: http://roofwithaview.blogspot.com/search/label/Training%20Up%20Tuesday, so I'll share what we do for our community. We love Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes (even though it may not be directly related to immediate community). We also have a heart for those on the street, but like many, wonder if there is more that we can do personally other than just give money. So, about 2 years ago, I came across this: http://www.h2obags.com/ started by some very young girls. So finally, this year, we have made our own "bags of hope" to keep in our cars for those we may encounter that need help and encouragement.

Hannah said...

I meant *Christmas* Jar, obviously. I don't know what a Chrostmas Jar would be!

mel @ the larson lingo said...

Fun post!
-We ALWAYS get our tree the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving (and take it down on Dec. 26)
-we decorate our xmas tree the night we get it while drinking hot coco & listening to christmas music. After it is decorated we watch Elf!
-We go see Santa the first weekend in Dec. Our town has a free Santa & you take your own pictures!
-For the past 3 years we have thrown a tacky xmas sweater party. so fun!
- I grew up opening all our presents on xmas eve, so my girls will always open their presents from my parents on xmas eve night after we go to church.
-this year my sisters and i decided to not give eachother gifts, but instead we adopted a family & bought gifts for them instead.
- And of course, this year every adult in our family is getting a donation to Project 320 in their name.

**Nicole** said...

Growing up we had wonderful traditions we did every year. Ever since we got married we haven't really had any set traditions. It's hard when you're moving around all the time and never living near friends and family. So far the only tradition my own little family has is putting up the Christmas Tree in the evening on Thanksgiving. I'm hoping to come up with some special ones for our kid(s) though too! :)

This year I participated in Operation Christmas Child where we filled up a shoebox with presents for a child in need. I really enjoyed giving back and would love to continue to do it each year! :)

Sara said...

As a child, an Advent calendar was a must, and I loved Christmas Eve services. Two books were always read that night: 1.)The night before Christmas (obviously!), and 2.) One of our tree ornaments was a tiny copy of 'Goldilocks and the 3 Bears'...which somehow became a cherished tradition, just because it was fun to 'read' an ornament.

My mother has an Italian background, so we had lots of Anise cookies and pitzels this time of year.

After getting married, my husband and I started taking the dog out on Christmas Eve for walks around a "fancier" subdivision - the houses look like castles all lit up.

The Saturday before Christmas is a community event I really enjoy, the "Sam Sandos Christmas Baskets". We meet early (7a) to assemble boxes of donated foods, then drive around delivering them to families in need.

For the future, I LOVE your 4-gifts idea for Christmas.

What a great idea for a post!!!

Michaela said...

Wow... lots of traditions so I'll list my favorites:
1) since I was very young, on Christmas Eve we have a "theme" Christmas. It began with my teacher mother picking a different country and we learned how they celebrated Christmas there (food, costume, games, etc.)... after about 18 years we "ran out" of distinct countries so we have just plain old theme nights now (Wizard of Oz Christmas,50's, Luau, etc....this year is 1920's (think flappers, speakeasies, etc.) It is so fun!
2) gingerbread houses... again as a child and now with my own
3) Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes with my kids