Our Christmas Traditions

Just thought I'd pop in quick and share our Christmas Traditions with you. Note: A lot of these ideas I saw on Pinterest. I heart Pinterest.

 Our Nativity.

- The Lord of the Rings. Mr. N and I watch the LOTR trilogy extended version (read: 300 hours, give or take) every year at Christmas. Of course, now there's the two Hobbit movies and we are very much looking forward to seeing the third one in the theater! eek!

It used to be that we'd start the movies Christmas morning and let it play all day, but now that we have Wee Ones, we can only watch it after they are in bed--they're a little too young for Orcses. And since we I go to bed pretty early around here, (see name of blog) we can only watch an hour or two each night.

So, now we start the movies in early December and usually have them finished by Christmas Day. You do what you have to, people.

- The Jesse Tree. We are using these this year (trying to keep it simple!), but I think next year we'll either do the Truth in the Tinsel (not quite a Jesse Tree, but similar) or something like this (which is really ambitious!) or these felt ornaments. We're reading this book, The Jesse Tree, too.

Our "tree" is some sticks I painted white a few years ago. Nothing fancy, but it works. (the two jars next to it are our homeschool treasure jars. ;o)

- Advent Calendar. We're using this one from My Joy-Filled Life. I liked that I could write my own in activities in because I wanted to plan it so that we didn't have to make cookies or go sledding on a day that we had church or something. Here's our list of Advent Activities, in no particular order: 
  • decorate tree and inside of house
  • make salt-dough ornaments (I highly recommend doing this. it was so easy and fun! the girls and I really enjoyed painting them)

 an Olaf snowflake
  • make snow ice cream
  • donate old toys (love this one)
  • play a family game together (I love games!)
  • make homemade hot chocolate
  • sing Christmas carols
  • watch The Grinch
  • act out the Christmas story from the Bible
  • go sledding
  • read Christmas chapter in Little House in the Big Woods
  • stay in PJ's all day (a personal favorite)
  • have indoor picnic under Christmas tree
A few of these ideas (Buckeyes, bird feeders, and spice-dough ornaments) came from this sweet book that my friend, Gramma Linda, bought for us. Thanks, Linda! We love the book! 

- Chocolate Advent Calendar. Every morning after the girls wake up they get to eat that day's chocolate from their Advent Calendar. We just buy the $0.99 ones from Aldi.

- Book-a-Day Advent Calendar - This is maybe my favorite tradition. I wrap(!) 25 books (I only have half of them done), place them under the tree and we open one each day until Christmas. Hint: you do not have to own all of the books. I went last week and checked out about 15 Christmas books from the library and wrapped up those. Of course, we're slowly building up our own Christmas collection, but for now, the library works for me! I'll try and post some titles later. This post is taking way too much time as it is! :)

- Animal Crossing. This isn't an official tradition, it just kind of happens. Every year around Thanksgiving we (the whole family) start to play Animal Crossing. Mr. N and I have played this game together since 2002ish. Nowadays, we all play a little video games in this house. :) In fact, Animal Crossing: City Folk was my Christmas present a few years ago.

What are some of your Christmas Traditions?


  1. Um. I don't need Christmas to stay in my PJ's all day. ;) You crack me up!!!

    How FUN, Catie!!! Love your traditions....hmmm...let's see...ours are:

    1. decorate together right after Thanksgiving or around there 'bout

    2. read a lot of Christmas books and an Advent title - using Ann Voskamps new children one - you can borrow it for next year if you'd like! It's beautiful! Jesse-Tree-ish

    3. bake cookies (maybe make gingerbread houses...MAYBE ;) )

    4. listen to Christmas music

    5. Christmas Eve morning cinnamon rolls (sometimes homemade, sometimes ALDI...love me some ALDI)

    6. Christmas Eve family reading of Luke 2 using our Nativity to act it out

    7. Christmas Eve morning stocking opening

    8. Christmas Eve family communion

    9. Umm....hmm...making neighbor gifts to pass out...

    I think that is it. I do make special Christmas treats on Sunday evenings during our regular family night. :) We travel so much in December! :)

    Love ya!

  2. Oh we watch Christmas movies also!!! :D I should make Amos watch A White Christmas or something :P with me every year...I love that tradition you and Aaron have!!!!

    A really sweet cartoon we love is Red Boots for Christmas!!!

  3. I love, love, love the family communion idea!

  4. I love the idea of making a list of fun and/or meaningful things to remember, as opposed to TO DO lists. To Do lists must be made sometimes but those usually imply "things that need doing regardless of children 'distractions.'"

    Wish I'd been smart enough to do this when I had little ones.

  5. Well, I have to admit, most of my ideas come from the internet. And some days, we don't get around to doing it all, but that's ok! I'm happy if we do half of it! :)


Thanks for taking the time to comment. It's encouraging!