This year I already knew I wanted to change up how we did Christmas. Little Man is 4 and is really starting to understand Christmas and the whole holiday season so I wanted to start really digging into some new traditions and doing stuff as a family.
Growing up, my family had like one tradition. We would go out to dinner on Christmas Eve, come home and open up one present that was under the tree. Then we set out cookies for Santa and went to bed. It was a very basic tradition but that is what we did. Oh! We also got a real Christmas tree every year, so we would pick that out as a family. After my parents divorce, the traditions said adios and Christmas looked different every single year.
I don’t want that for Little Man. I want the Christmas season to be a time where he gets excited for all the things he knows we are about to do. I want him to know our traditions and potentially pass them down with his family one day. I’m hoping that Christmas is just the most wonderful time of the year.
A few weeks ago I was listened to one of my favorite podcasts, Live Free Creative. Miranda Anderson, who is the host, was talking about being more intentional for the holiday season. YES, give me more of that. I want plans and purpose and intention. The one thing that really stuck out to me during this episode was to pick a word for the season that you want to define the season. The word fun instantly came to my head as I was driving down the freeway. After last year’s holiday season being non-existent because of my bedrest, I wanted this season to be fun and merry and bright. All things Christmas, basically. How was I going to make decisions about what to do this season? I was going to look at it through the lens of fun. Was it a fun activity? Yes? OKAY! Sign us up. Whatever is not fun is not happening.
We are 7 days into December and I am feeling like this really is the most wonderful time of the year. I wanted to share some of the things we’ve already started to do to implement some new traditions and make sure this holiday season is full of fun.
RadReading Advent Calendar– Two awesome bloggers I follow collaborated and made this amazing advent Christmas reading calendar coloring page. I had it printed as an 18×24 and put it up in Little Man’s room and now we get to color on the walls. Each day as a different reading activity. We have not followed all of the activities, mainly because my son only wants us to read him The Gingerbread Pirates book every time we want to read to him. We’ve been able to do some of the activities, our librarian recommended some Christmas books and we were able to complete day 3 honestly. Plus we are diggin’ coloring this epic picture on the walls.
How Winston Delivered Christmas– I wish I knew how I came across this book (probably Everyday Reading and one of her book posts) but I got it for my Kindle because I couldn’t get it anywhere in print on time. This book has 24 chapters so you read one a day leading up to Christmas and each chapter has a little activity to do at the end of it. Little Man has LOVED this book. We read our chapter in the morning before we do anything else for the day (work, school, errands, etc.) and do the activity later in the afternoon. So far, his favorite has been making snowflakes. (we are not doing all of them, for example, I didn’t have the ingredients to make gingerbread mice.)
Christmas Lights viewing- there is an Ethel M chocolate factory out here that also has a giant cactus garden. Every year they deck the whole garden out in lights and you get to waltz around and see pretty lights for as long as you want. We have actually done this like every year, but someone always gets grumpy during it. This year, we decided to go on a weekend and we planned out the date to make sure we could see Santa while we were there. (This Santa also gives out chocolate so +10 points.) We also decided that we were just going to have fun with no expectations and not try to rush though it. We wouldn’t be worried about time or getting caught behind a big group trying to take photos. We would just enjoy the walk and the lights and enjoy the start of the holiday season. This mindset changed everything and it was the best night. Santa was awesome, there was chocolate, they were playing Christmas movies on a projector and we got to see all the pretty lights we wanted to.
Watch all the Christmas movies you want, no matter how many times you’ve already seen it- This is my newest rule. Christmas movies are the bomb.com and watching them makes me happy. Who cares if I watch the same 7 back to back to back to back? Nobody cares and I’m enjoying the movies. Today, is the first day since Thanksgiving that I have not watched the Grinch movies. Little Man wants to watch them every day and so I’ve let him.
Always Christmas music- In the car, getting ready, while I’m baking. Does it need music? Christmas music it is!
Reading a chapter of Luke every day- The gospel of Luke has 24 chapters in it. Built in advent calendar activity. Every night my husband and I bust out our bibles and read the chapter together, out-loud and then we discuss anything that came up for us during the chapter. It has sparked a lot of good conversation and we’re only at the beginning. Jesus is the reason for the season and I am thankful that I can go through the Christmas story with my husband and dig deeper into the life of Jesus.
We have some other stuff planned for the season, some places we are going to check out. There is a place that has a life sized gingerbread house this year so that is definitely on the list. This is just what we’ve done so far into this season and I’ve been having a blast. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.