Although #toddlerAW doesn’t understand the reason for all the festivities going on around him, he is aware that something special is in the air…a sense of excitement and wonder. I’ve honestly been dying to start some Christmas traditions now that we have a kid, even if he can’t really get in to them yet or understand why I’m making all this effort. I know it will be more exciting for him in the next year or so, and I definitely plan to add some more traditions as he gets older, but I did want to come up with some things that we can implement now, and that he can hopefully enjoy this year. Here’s my list so far:
1. New Christmas pj’s on Christmas Eve. Growing up, my brother and I always got to open one present of our choosing from under the tree. A lot went in to the selection. We wanted it to be a good one, but not too good so as to avoid “wasting” a good present-opening before Christmas morning. It was actually kind of stressful, lol! We take our gift-opening pretty serious;) It’s fun to open something the night before, and I thought it would be fun to start giving Asher Wade new Christmas pj’s on Christmas Eve. Each year he’ll know he’s getting pj’s, but the style/color/theme will be a surprise.
2. Church on Christmas Eve. Because we go to such a huge (awesome!!) church, our Christmas Eve services actually start several days before Christmas in order to accommodate all of the members and guests. Until this year we’ve always been out-of-town for Christmas anyways, so we’ve usually attended one of the earlier services, but starting this year we will be home for Christmas (since we have a little guy of our own), and we will be attending a service on Christmas Eve. We will go to dinner afterwards. I’d like to start making this our tradition. I love being at church on Christmas Eve. It just seems even more special.
3. Take a drive to look at Christmas lights. We are actually planning on checking out the Festival of Lights at Oak Mountain State Park, which is right down the road from us and supposedly pretty great. Since AW is still rear facing in his car seat, I’m hoping this will be an environment where he can just sit in my lap as we (very slowly) drive through the display.
4. Baking Christmas cookies from scratch. I always did this with my grandmother and it’s a wonderful memory I now have, and that I hope to share with my children.
5. Open a “family gift” on Christmas morning. Something we can enjoy as family, whether that be a board game, a trip to the aquarium or zoo, a weekend trip to some where fun, gift certificate for bowling or a movie, a new tent for a backyard campout…anything we can do together!
6. Special Christmas morning breakfast. I imagine this will be my grandmother’s Christmas bread that we’ve enjoyed for years, and I am still trying to perfect the recipe, but it’s really just the perfect breakfast for when we wake up. Paired with lots of butter, coffee and fresh orange juice…it’s just divine. I hope Asher Wade loves it as much as we do.
7. Go visit Santa of course!
8. Read the story of Jesus’s birth before breakfast on Christmas morning. Just a nice way to start the day off by bringing everything back to the reason for the season.
9. Christmas countdown with a treat for each day. I kind of dropped the ball on starting this December 1st, but I guess we would could still start, or just wait till next year when he “gets” it more. I want to order a cute advent pocket calendar (something like this one) and stick a treat in each pocket for each day. Each morning he can check the day’s pocket. This is something fun that lasts the whole month!
10. Pick a night and sleep under the Christmas tree. I’m not sure if this will work this year (my guess is no), but maybe we can start it next year? My brother and I always did this and it was so much fun. I thought we would snuggle up, eat some snacks, drink hot cocoa and watch a Christmas movie until he falls asleep under the twinkling lights.
11. Give back in some way. This may be by wrapping gifts at the mall with proceeds going to a specific charity, or delivering toys to a children’s home, or serving a hot meal at a local shelter, or handing out warm blankets to the homeless people in our city. I personally like the idea of collecting toys (some used and some newly purchased) and bringing them to a family in need so that their children can enjoy opening presents on Christmas morning. I feel like this is a way that we can involve Asher Wade at an early age and hopefully encourage a giving spirit and heart.
What traditions do y’all have for Christmas? I’d love to get some more ideas!!