Traditions are important. They are a little predictable sometimes but they add a level of excitement with that expection of things to come. Our family Christmas traditions are still evolving. There are things we have always done – presents from Santa, bacon and egg breakfast before present opening, photo with Santa, roasted ham or chicken or turkey dinners – and things we’ve added to over the years, usually after some major event in our lives.
Apart from the year Celine was born (because let’s face it her birthday is 2 weeks before Christmas and we didn’t know when exactly she would be coming until she did) we don’t start most Christmas traditions until after all the birthday fuss is over. I understand most people don’t do this. Christmas is too exciting but I often feel like Christmas takes over when one shares a birthday in the same month and to me, birthdays are just as, if not more, important for a child. So I seperate the three events (Blake’s birthday also being in December) so that no one misses out.
Once the birthday fuss is over the tree goes up. Until we bought a house, that was pretty much the extent of our Christmas decorating. When we bought our house in 2012, we suddenly had a whole new playground for Christmas decorating. I could put stuff on the walls without worrying if the landlord would get upset about damage to the wallpaper. So began the tradition of decorating the lounge/dining/kitchen area for Christmas as well as the front porch along with the Christmas tree.
The children have always gotten presents from Santa but it was only the year Danielle was born that they started getting actual Santa sacks and last year was the first time we actually hung up stockings for Santa to fill.
|Last year’s family Christmas photo|
It was only the year Blake was born that we started putting out homemade cookies and milk out for Santa rather than store bought ones. It was only two years ago that we started putting out carrots for the reindeer and only last year that Santa left “snow” and the reindeer left raisen “poo” on our carpet.
This year we’re starting 3 new traditions for our family. The first is Jingles the Elf. He was late this year but next year we intend for him to visit from the beginning of December. The children have all been so excited to find out what mischief he gets up to throughout the day (you can check out what Jingles gets up to on my Instagram) that even if it doesn’t “improve” their behaviour, the experience and fun behind him is worth it.
The second is that we intend to put the family presents out under the tree as they are wrapped rather than waiting for Christmas Eve like we usually do. This is an experimental one this year to see if it works. I’m a little concerned that Blake or Danielle or even Celine might be tempted to open them before Christmas Day but it would be easier than the stress of trying to wrap them all and hide them again. Obviously Santa’s presents will still arrive on Christmas Eve as always.
The third new tradition is connected back to Jingles. When he leaves on Christmas Eve to report back to Santa, he will be leaving Christmas Eve Boxes behind for each of the children. Each box will contain an outfit for Christmas Day, some Christmas Eve sleepwear, a Santa Sack/Stocking for Santa to fill that night, and a few other fillers to keep them occupied through out the day.
I have to say, I am quite excited about the new additions to our traditions this year. What are some of yours?