Stephen and I have enjoyed traditions with our families during the holiday season our entire lives, so it goes without saying we're pretty excited to start our own family traditions with our girls this year and in years to come!
Today I'm sharing our 12 Days of Christmas...traditions that we hope to begin as a family (or have already begun) and carry on in future years with our girls. The month of December is always so busy with parties, dinners and get-togethers that we all love but there's a special place in my heart for those sweet family memories created during this festive, special month!
Christmas Themed Breakfast
Last year I paired up my red and greens Fiesta pieces and made a festive breakfast one Saturday morning for us with sausage balls, apple cider muffins and apple butter. I'm planning on doing something similar tomorrow morning for us and eventually will channel my inner Andrea from Momfessionals to create a North Pole Breakfast for our girls on either the arrival of their elf (if we decide to do one) or just to celebrate the new month of December!
I love to cook and bake, but there's someething about this time of the year that literally has me craving to bake up a storm in the kitchen. My mom and I used to bake cookies together and I look forward to doing the same with Amelia and Mae Parker and then leaving some of our cookies out for Santa on his special plate!
Christmas Movie Night
I talked a little in the last post about mine and Stephen's Christmas movie tradition. You can read about it here. I'm also looking forward to see which of the classic cartoon Christmas movies and specials that the girls like. For me, I never cared for the Rudolph movie but now, the Charlie Brown Christmas special...gimme gimme. (Stephen hates it, so we'll see what side our girls pick!)
There's a ton of Christmas crafts out there thanks to the world of Pinterest! Earlier this week, we attempted making homemade ornaments but it was a catastrophe. We'll try again this weekend...
or else it's something maaaaybe a bit easier like this Pinterest find...
Again channeling another favorite, Shay Shull and her family's Jammy Cocoa Christmas tradition! A visit around some area neighborhoods gawking at their lights and decorations is right up my nosey little alley!
Deliver treats to special people
Whether it's a trip to a fire station or to nurses at the hospital, I would love to deliver some of the cookies we bake to these workers who sacrifice so much of their own family time to serve, protect and care for our community.
Make Christmas Cards
Growing up, I would make cards in my Sunday School classes for elderly people at the nursing homes. Being the preacher's kid, I was always in tow for my parents visits to the sick, shut-in and elderly members of our church. My mom would have me bring some of the cards to give out to those folks. I didn't understand WHY she was making me do that then, but fast forward several years and I get it now. The joy that those cards brought to the people..to see their faces light up...to know someone was thinking about them...that something so small made such a difference to someone...
Well, I can only hope to be half the mom my was to me and teach my girls some of the same lessons she taught me.
Pick out a new ornament
My parents have given my sister and I and now our kids too a new ornament each Christmas. My mom has been giving me the new Hallmark "cooking / baking" themed ornament each year for many, many years now. I look forward to getting it every Halloween in a little treat bag she makes for us. (I'm realizing the more I write this post how great my mom is to us.)
I'm not sure if we'll take the girls to let them pick a new one out each year or if we'll pick one out and give it to them ourselves. One way or another, they'll have a new special ornament to put on our tree every year!
Make a Gingerbread House
Ok, I'll will admit I was the one with a gingerbread house making kit in hand at the checkout line the other day and talked myself out of it because the girls would have zero memory of it and it wouldn't be something for them to have later on as a memory of their first Christmas. I know gingerbread keeps for a while...but not forever. Some day though, we'll be making a house together in the days leading up to Christmas and jamming out to some holiday music!
Bring home a favorite holiday treat
We have the best local donut shop in our town. It won some sort of mass statewide Facebook contest last year for Tennessee's best donut shop! Every year a few weeks before Christmas, they make "Christmas Cookies". Think a mix of shortbread / sugar cookie covered in donut glaze and smothered with red or green sprinkles. OH. They're heaven in a little white paper bag! For $6, we can bring home a dozen! What a fun little after school stop to make!
I'm talking the local Christmas Parade, Christmas in the Park activities, a local elementary school's annual performance of the Nutcracker...all the charms of a small-town Christmas, sign us up!
(Yeah, this tree is set to a light and synchronized music show at night...our town is pretty awesome like that.)
I say this now and the girls are not even three months old, BUT I think it would be so fun to let them each have a special date night by themselves with Stephen and I. Part of that night would include taking one girl shopping to pick out a present to give to her sister. It may be a stretch, but I just think it sounds like a great idea and for them to feel like they picked out, "bought" and gave a special gift to each other...well, it makes me a little weepy just thinking about it.
Also, my department at work often participates in an Angel Tree and adopts a child off of a tree. Including the girls in our shopping for another child who would otherwise not have the kind of Christmas our family has...what an opportunity for Amelia and Mae Parker to learn about blessing others in need!
Alright friends...those are our 12 Days of Christmas we're working on! What are some traditions your family has or new traditions you would like to start? I love hearing what your families are up to this holiday season!
Have a wonderful weekend!