My family loves Christmas. We look forward to it every year and part of the reason we love it so much is because of our traditions. Here are 3 of my favorites!
1. Having a “Happy Birthday Jesus” Party after dinner on Christmas Day!
Every year after dinner on Christmas Day, our family has a “party” to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. This all came about from when my oldest was a toddler and I was struggling to find a way to connect the fun of Santa Claus with what I believe to be the true reason for the season.
How do modern day Christmas traditions fit into the story of Jesus’ birth and how do I make it all make sense to a toddler?
I started searching for ideas and came across some amazing children’s books: “Happy Birthday, Jesus!”, “J is for Jesus: the sweetest story ever told”, and “Jesus, Me, and my Christmas Tree”.
These books explain how modern day Christmas traditions, decorations, and symbols are all just part of a big celebration or birthday party for Jesus. These books were EXACTLY what I had been looking for! And as inspired by the first book, 4 years ago we decided to start having our own parties to celebrate Jesus! On Christmas Eve we buy or bake a special dessert or cake and decorate it just like we would a birthday cake. Then, after dinner on Christmas day we have our party! We light candles, sing happy birthday, and we spend a few moments talking about and connecting all the celebrations of the Christmas season back to the birth of our savior. Its a tradition that my family has come to love and look forward to. Here are a few photos from our past parties!
2. Surprising delivery drivers with treats all during the month of December!
I am a huuuuuge utilizer of online shopping. I buy just about everything online. Clothes, diapers, décor, gifts- you name it. You just cant beat free shipping to the comfort of your home. So when the holidays roll around, I find its the perfect time to thank our delivery drivers. My children LOVE this tradition as well. They love waiting by the front door around mail time to watch and see if the drivers will take treats! Our delivery drivers love this too. They have left special handwritten notes expressing their gratitude. I love how this teaches my children that small gestures can go a long way. And, that its FUN to be the giver, not just the receiver. Its a win-win for everyone! I usually use a large red metal bucket or a cooler and fill it with treats and a special note. Here is a link to the free printable that I use, so you can make your own! https://unskinnyboppy.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/DELIVERYDRIVERPRINTABLECOLOR.pdf
3. Advent Calendars!
An advent calendar is a special calendar used to count the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas! Every year we complete an advent calendar starting on December 1st leading up to Christmas day. Our family was gifted with a HUGE decorative one that we cherish as part of our décor as well. We do our advent calendar a little differently every year. Before my kiddos were in school and our schedule wasn’t so rigid, our advent calendar contained different activities. Each day the child would pull out a piece of paper from the designated pocket and it would have a different Christmas activity on it for the day. These included baking cookies, making ornaments, creating a gingerbread house, watching a Christmas movie, etc. And some pockets had small treats or stickers or even a new book. I would start planning this back in October or November and have it all ready to go by December 1st. This year, I am feeling a bit stretched thin and didn’t feel up to organizing my own advent calendar, so I purchased a pre-made one instead. My kids love Star Wars and are loving taking turns opening each door- waiting to find out what tiny figurine is behind each number. Advent calendars can really be customized to you and your family and can change from year to year. I have also found that they really help hold over the aching to open presents early, lol!