I still get excited about Christmastime as an adult, but I have to admit that it can be kind of stressful. The calendar that’s jam-packed, the financials, and the overall craziness have the ability to give you a nice adult reality slap. That said, I think there is something so magical about this time of year when it’s through the eyes of child, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to experience these upcoming Christmases as a mom.
I’m also looking forward to starting little family traditions, and I’m compiling a list filled with experiences from our childhoods, as well as ones that would be new-to-us. We have a few years to work out the kinks before Jack truly remembers anything, but this mama is super pumped to start driving this traditions train.
Advent Calendar I love bringing out the Advent calendar! It’s such an exciting (and easy) visual representation for a Christmas countdown.
Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar Growing up, the excitement for my brother and I was simply moving the felt mouse one day closer to Christmas(we owned this Avon Advent calendar – it’s selling for over $100 on eBay!?)
I know some parents put little presents in each day, and while that’s not exactly my style, I like the idea of a little somethin’ somethin’ to look forward to each day. I love the idea of sitting around as a family the day after Thanksgiving (when Christmas officially begins in this house) and thinking of 25 acts of kindness to do each day leading up to Christmas. They can range from small activites like making cards for the grandparents or simply waving at everyone you see that day, to more involved tasks like making cookies and delivering them to the local fire station. Clearly, Cory and I would strategically plant each activity, but it would be fun and random for the kid(s).
Matching PJs This is not something my family ever did, but I think it’s such a neat idea. Every Christmas Eve, the family opens a new set of Christmas PJs to wear to bed and the next morning while sitting around opening presents (or, in my case, all day – I rarely get out of PJs on Christmas!) It’s a cute idea, and it’s one that we’ve toyed around with starting now that we have a kid.
Looking at Christmas lights Cory and I do this several times during the month of December, taking short little detours through different neighborhoods to look at the Christmas lights. There are some homes in the area that go all out with decorating, and there’s something so fun about going to look at them. I normally make myself a mug of hot chocolate for the ride and we listen to Christmas music. It’s fun, easy, and free and I can’t wait until Jack is old enough to enjoy it with us.
Baking Christmas cookies This was not something I grew up doing, but I love the idea of spending the afternoon baking and decorating cookies with your family. If we’re being honest, this probably won’t happen in Jack’s childhood, but it’s a nice idea in my Pinterest mind.
Writing a letter to Santa Guys, I believed in Santa until, like, 4th grade. I actually remember where I was when I found out he wasn’t real. I was in school sitting around with friends and this kid in my class named Tim spilled the beans and my heart was broken (for five seconds.)
I am so excited for Jack to believe in Santa because I feel like it brings the magic back into the holiday. I’ve read how some families don’t want to focus on Santa, or they feel like it’s a terrible lie (to each their own, I say!) – but I think Santa embodies the spirit of Christmas. It’s fun and magical and exciting and we’re going to be all about him in this house. I remember writing letters to Santa, mailing them, and Santa (my grandpa) calling to tell us he received our letters.
Reindeer dust We would make a mixture of oatmeal and glitter (or something like that) and scatter it on our driveway so the reindeer would know where to land Santa’s sleigh. Again, it sounds stupid as an adult, but it was so exciting as a child. I even remember one year I woke up on Christmas morning and one of my toys had been broken and stepped on (by my dad who was putting together new toys) and my mom said “oh my gosh, we probably got some reindeer dust inside and one of the reindeer must have accidentally stepped on it!” (a clever parenting lie) and I had never been so excited about a broken toy.
Making room for new toys I have a a real mission in life to raise a grateful, compassionate, and empathetic child. I don’t care if he gets straight A’s or wins first place in any race, but if he’s unkind or ungrateful, we’ll have a problem. While I think there are so many exciting aspects of Christmastime, I know it’s easy to get greedy. Before Jack can write a letter to Santa or make any sort of Christmas list, he’ll need to go through the toys he owns and pick several to donate to children who may not be as fortunate as him that given year. While he certainly won’t understand it this time around, it’s the one tradition I absolutely plan on implementing this year.