Hello and Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Compared to last weekend, we had a relatively low-key couple of days. The kids had a cross country meet on Saturday, but Sunday I pretty much stayed in my pajamas all day. Travis was kind enough to pick up our grocery order while I did things around the house…including purging the kids’ closets! We only do this a couple times a year, but I dread it so much! I’m glad to have that checked off my list.
We are counting down this five day week and ready for a couple weeks off! Breaks is right around the corner.
Today, I’m linking up with Lauren (and others!) for their Not Just a Mom series.
This month’s topic is Special Holiday Traditions.
I grew up with some holiday traditions like seeing the Plaza lights in KC, ice skating at Crown Center, picking out an ornament at Hallmark, baking cookies, seeing Christmas lights, and more!
So, needless to say, I have now made quite a few traditions for my kids to celebrate the holiday.
Here are some of our family traditions:
We take the kids to see Santa every year. When they were little, we didn’t take them. Once they were two to five years old or so, they’d see Santa at my school Christmas party or Trav’s work party.
Then, in 2016, we started getting a real tree, and see the perfect Santa while doing so. Our club also hosts a Cookies with Santa party, so we attend that most years. Lastly, one of our friends has hosted a Santa at her house every other year, so the kids have had plenty of opportunities to share with Santa what they hope to receive for Christmas.
2020 Santa Visit:
Santa visits through the years…
Elf on the Shelf:
Our elf, Red, has visited us since 2012. I’m not sure how many more years he will visit, but he’s always fun to have around.
We always receive lots of cookies from my mom. When those are gone, we bake some cookies to get use through the second half of December 😉
This year, my mom visited, and had quite the crew to help with our traditional family cookies.
Cooking baking through the years…
I will say my kids are at a great age (and have been for a couple years) where they are big help in the baking process.
I grew up going to the Plaza lights as well as driving through park lights, so Travis and I have continued that tradition through the years. Even when we were dating, we drove through lights in KC or Columbia. Once I moved to Kentucky, we started going through the Southern Lights at the Kentucky Horse Park.
We’ve realized through the years to go on a Monday or Tuesday night early in the season when it’s less crowded. Also, they have indoor activities, but my kids still have no clue about the inside activities. haha
We always choose a family from the Angel Tree to buy gifts for in early December. This used to be something I would just do, but the past few years, I’ve found it to be important to take the kids along with us to choose the gifts. I feel like my kids are pretty aware of others’ needs, but having them participate in the act of buying for those in need is something that I obviously hope they remember all year long and not just around the holidays.
PJs and Gifts:
I always give the kids Christmas pajamas as one of their birthday gifts in November. When they kids were probably three, we started taking them to pick out a gift for each other. I remember when they were little, we’d barely make it to the car before they’d tell each other what they picked out. haha
We usually let them open it on Christmas Eve before going to bed. It’s always fun to see what they pick out for each other. They know each other pretty well. 😉
One of our traditions has been decorating gingerbread houses. Some years, the elf brings one and other years I will get one for them to decorate. The elf usually hot glues the house together for them to find in the morning and then we’ll decorate it in the evening.
The past couple years, they’ve each had a house to decorate, and it’s a fun activity…as long as the house doesn’t collapse!
Decorating through the years…
The kids decorated their houses on Saturday night. Again, it’s fun to be a part of that process, but it’s nice they are old enough to decorate on their own. Unfortunately, Hayden’s house imploded and then one of the walls fell on the floor and broke. So, he just decorated the roof while eating bites of gingerbread as Hadley finished up her house.
Hayden ended up decorating the gingerbread man and tree that came with one of the kids.
When I took the pic of Hayden’s roof, he made this face (bottom right) to demonstrate how he felt about the house collapsing!
For once, we couldn’t blame Homer for the destruction, but he sure was tempted by the icing and the treats!
So those are some of our special holiday traditions. While the holidays are such a hectic time, I’m glad we have these traditions, so that we can spend time together as a family even during the busyness of the season.
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions??
2021 link up:
I’m excited to join the Not Just a Mom link up starting in January 2021! I joked with the ladies that I felt like I was invited to the cool kids’ table at lunch! haha. I’ve very excited to join this link up. If you are a blogger, make sure you join us on the second Monday of the month too!
Here are the 2021 topics:
That’s a wrap on our special holiday traditions! I know this holiday season looks different for everyone, and while, at times, that makes be feel anxious and even sometimes sad, I’m trying to focus on the things I can control like some of these traditions. Christmas cookies help ease the anxiety as well!
I hope you had a great weekend! Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts!
Thanks so much for reading,