I am a big fan of Christmas tradition.
I love the nostalgia Christmas tradition brings and the sense of security and togetherness that even simple traditions foster for our family. Christmas time is ripe with tradition in our home. One of my very favorite Christmas traditions is one that happened all by itself without any planning on our part.
My birthday is November 12th, so one year on my birthday when my kids were really little, it was already turning out to be a very cold Colorado winter. It had snowed several times and the temperatures were freezing outside for days on end. The kids were going stir crazy from being cooped up inside for so many days in a row and we needed some excitement.
My tradition growing up had always been to set up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. That was something I always looked forward to, so it was pretty exciting for everyone when for my birthday I announced that I wanted to spend the day decorating the house and putting up the Christmas tree. At first everyone was a little confused because it was way too early to put up the Christmas decorations (we hadn’t even had Thanksgiving yet after all) but once the boxes of decorations were scattered around the living room, we all got into it.
We made hot chocolate and played Christmas music and once the tree was up and the sun started to go down we sat down together to watch A Christmas Carol. It was such a cozy time and no one wanted it to end, so we ordered pizza for dinner, dragged all of our blankets and pillows into the living room and stayed up late playing games and making cookies before finally crashing under the Christmas tree.
Every year since then it has become an unspoken understanding that on my birthday (or the weekend following my birthday) we put up the Christmas tree, drag the decorations out of storage, order a pizza, make cookies and hot chocolate, watch A Christmas Carol and camp under the tree. Yes, we are that crazy family that decorates before Thanksgiving much to the confusion of many but the magic that this accidental tradition holds for the five of us has become something we all look forward to every year.
Another tradition we have adopted in the last couple of years in place of the traditional advent calendars, I found these great Christmas story advent mini books at Barnes and Noble. We make time every night in December before bed to read a short (couple paragraph) snippet of the Christmas story. The kids love taking turns reading every night. I made a super simple display from a small slab of wood. I drilled 24 holes and put small hooks in them so the kids can hang each book ornament up after we read it.
You can grab yours here!
Is there a Christmas tradition that you and your family hold dear?