Sunday, December 21, 2008

The 24th

So I need some serious reader participation on this one. I'd like to think of Christmas Eve traditions we can do with our kids. Daphne is just old enough to begin to understand what Christmas is about, and to anticipate it a little bit. So I think I want to start creating family traditions that she can look forward to every year and that our other kid(s) will enjoy as they grow older. We already have the tradition of opening one present on Christmas Eve. I plan on us making sugar cookies and decorating them on Christmas Eve Day to leave out for Santa. And maybe doing something with the nativity scene, but they're too young to really act out anything yet so I don't what we'll do. So far people have also suggested getting new jammies every Christmas Eve. But I'd like something really big, or meaningful, or unique to do to make Christmas Eve a special day. So does anyone else have any fun ideas on what we can do for really little kids to create a fun Christmas Eve tradition? Thanks!


tiburon said...

We do the same thing every Christmas Eve. I make my Grandma DiStefanos amazing pasta. We read the Christmas story from Luke before dinner - then we eat. Then we put a bunch of Christmas cookies on a plate and drive around and look at Christmas lights and listen to Christmas music. We finish up with Slurpees on the way home.

The kids get to open one present - pajamas - and then we read Twas the Night Before Christmas.

We lay out a letter for Santa (along with the pickle for him to hide on the tree) and some cookies and milk (and carrots for the reindeer).

Then it is off to bed.

Tiffany said...

Well, my tradition isn't exactly spiritual in nature, but it sure was fun--we went tubing at Soldier Hollow (in Heber) every Christmas Eve. Our kids (even as little ones) LOVED it. It was wintery and festive. By the time we got home and opened one present, they were actually tired on Christmas Eve. (Bonus!) You may think I'm stretching it, but I believe fun family time makes for happy memories and happy family memories are some of the most spiritual things I know.

Hildie said...

Maybe have them each pick out a toy of theirs to leave under the tree for Santa to take to kids who won't be getting anything. (They'll be getting a whole bunch of new toys and this is a great way to get rid of some of the things that they don't play with much. You can just give it to DI or something.) They might be a little young for that, but I think it brings a nice unselfish spirit to think of giving something of yours to someone less fortunate.

I was thinking of having my Chrsitmas Eve dinner be a candlelight thing. I think that seems really special (although potentially dangerous.)

rachel said...

We go to Christmas eve service, open christmas jammies. Put out cookies etc. but here is my kicker: I use carpet fresh powder mixed with glitter and make a boot print (just press my boot into a sprinkle of it on the carpet) right next to the Santa gifts (which are wrapped in special paper unlike any of the other gifts). It vaccuums up easily and smells great the next son is eight and he STILL believes...I think because of the magic dust boot print!

Devri said...

we let them open their jams, but then they open their yearly ticket... a polar express ticket.. We make a polar express night, games, hot cocoa and all, trains, and then watch the movie... it has only been a few years but we love it so far, and then read the story of Jesus, and off to lala land.

Koreena said...

We used to visit Temple Square on Christmas Eve, but the past two years we've done that a few days early just to avoid getting Matty to bed to late that night. Last year we did gingerbread houses and probably will this year as well. We always read Luke II, watch the video of it, and have a mini testimony meeting to share our testimonies of the Savior. Then it's off to bed.

I grew up with the tradition of opening one gift of our choice Christmas Eve, but we've never done that in our family. Probably because we've never had that many gifts so it's just more fun to leave everything for Christmas. We've never done cookies for Santa either, but maybe we'll do that this year.

Anonymous said...

If Grandma Lorie makes it over early enough on Christmas eve, and if there is no other mess going on, maybe she and the kids could make a gingerbread house. Really, though, that should have been done earlier in the month so it could be visually enjoyed for a couple of weeks. In my own childhood family, the house was to be broken up and eaten on new years day.

Nevertheless, we could make gingerbread men, and the kids could decorate them with several pounds and colors of frosting and sprinkles.

I like that idea of Jennie's of putting a present under the tree to give away. But if you remember, Arianne, our family used to assemble presents for some less fortunate family in the ward for a week before, and on Christmas eve we would go leave the bag-full on the porch, ring the bell and hide. Wasn't that great!


Sara said...

Ari, I love the idea of door ditchin a gift or money to someone, my kids have always loved that, and it really makes them appreciate how blessed we really are.

Suzie said...

I love traditions any time of the year but seem to have many at Christmas time.
some ideas I have:

look at your heritage. adopt a tradition based on where your ancestors are from (Germany & other countries hide a pickle)

my friend has a Christmas mouse that she has out in the open the whole month of December. It sees the good and the bad that goes on and reminds the kids to be good.

I have done "three gifts" in different ways. When they were little we had a gift on three Monday nights leading up to Christmas (FHE) we explained the significance of the gifts and being wise and following Christ. As they are older now, they each get three gifts on Christmas morn. Significant as well as keeping within our means.

another friend wraps 24 stories and puts them under the tree. Every night the children take turns opening one and then they read it together.

anything you establish and carry out will be wonderful.

you're a great mom, Ari!
Merry Christmas!

mCat said...

We have some traditions that now that my boys are older, STILL insist on them happening.
After we come home for a family party. We all gather around the tree. All the lights are out except for the tree lights. We each have a small tea light candle in front of us and we sit in a circle. We have a short story that my aunt sent us YEARS ago, that we read. Each person goes around in the circle and shares some thoughts on family, Christmas, or whatever they feel like sharing. Dad offers a great family Christmas prayer. We each blow out our candles and enjoy the darkness for a few minutes. Then everyone opens one gift (jammies). The boys strip down right there in the living room! Then they had downstairs to sleep together in the family room and watch the same movie EVERY YEAR.
It's one of those things that is really simple, but it means so much to them

heidi said...

every year in our stockings we got an orange and we ate is as part of our breakfast. it was to remind us of true treasures. my grandmother's family was very poor and for christmas they received an orange and that was a huge deal for them.

Anonymous said...

Other than the PJs and opening one present we don't have any other traditions. We did something today that maybe we could continue - we took all the boxes from furniture, from other gifts, and from moving and had a bonfire on the dead grass in the backyard. A few things hindered the fun, though. It was raining, I forgot to take out plastic things inside the boxes (made for some toxic smoke), and we didn't have any of the big marshmallows.