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Our Christmas Traditions

In honor of the beginning of Advent (which was yesterday for my family), I am posting kid-friendly Christmas traditions all week this week.

I love traditions. I love predictability, knowing exactly how things are going to work. It’s just my personality.

When Grace was born, Joe and I began traditions for our little family.

I asked Joe what traditions we honor in our family, and he said, “I don’t know. We put a tree up.”


Gifts from Momma & Daddy

On Christmas Eve, our children get two presents from Joe and I. One of those presents is a new, special pair of Christmas pajamas. The other is a toy or game.

This year, Grace saw a laser light thing that she really really wanted, and we agreed to buy it for her as her Christmas Eve gift from us. She thought that was a nice idea, and she’s been using it every night since. The empty box will be wrapped under the tree. I hope it goes over well when Christmas Eve comes around.

3 Gifts from Santa

This tradition has changed each year, but we’ve finally settled on something that will stick.

I think.

For Grace’s first two Christmases, we attempted to stick to 5 gifts.

Does this look like 5 gifts to you?

Christmas Presents

This year, and in the years to come, Santa is going to bring 3 gifts. For real, 3 gifts, not 3 categories of gifts that I’ve deluded myself into believing are just 3 gifts.

Our rationale is that Jesus got 3 gifts on the first Christmas. If it was good enough for Him then, it’s good enough for us now.

It’s really hard for me to stick to 3 gifts, but it’s also liberating in that we don’t have to search and search for things.

Reindeer Food

This is a Christmas Eve tradition that we started thanks to some creative and wonderful preschool teachers. We’ve made and sprinkled reindeer food on Christmas Eve every year since.

Light a Candle

Does everyone do this on Christmas Eve? My mother always lit a candle on Christmas Eve night, so I do, too.

Advent Calendars

I love, love, love Advent calendars. We do several different things during Advent (that I’ll talk about the other four days this week), but we also use an Advent calendar that hangs near our front door. It’s a felt tree, and we hang little felt ornaments on it each day in December. Here are some other options:

Christmas Traditions

5 Days of Christmas Traditions

To celebrate the first week of Advent, I’ll be talking about Christmas traditions every day this week.

Monday – Our Christmas Traditions (that’s today!)

Tuesday – Jesse Tree

Wednesday – Advent Wreath

Thursday – Coloring the advent

Friday – Christmas countdown chain and other countdown ideas

Other blogs celebrating 5 Days of Christmas this week

All of these bloggers are participating in the 5 Days of Christmas this week. Go see what they’re doing:

A Slob Comes Clean – Getting Your Home Company Ready

Somewhat Crunchy – Christmas with Dairy Allergies

Spell Outloud – Children’s Books

Mama’s Learning Corner – Children’s Crafts

Many Little Blessings – Edible Gifts

Sunflower Schoolhouse – Decorations

An Oregon Cottage – Christmas Cookies

Catholic Icing – Wishing Jesus Happy Birthday

The Traveling Praters – Traveling

The Homeschool Classroom – Gifts Kids Can Make

Mama’s Laundry Talk
– Laundry Gifts

© 2011 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

4 thoughts on “Our Christmas Traditions”

  1. I loved the post. It is so nice to think back and remember Christmases past.

    When I was growing up we opened our gifts on Christmas Eve (only because my parents hated getting up early), but now that my sister and I are both married and have families of our own, the tradition has changed. My sister’s husband’s family is large and every year they alternate which day they get together (Christmas Eve/Christmas Day), so that means we have to alternate which day we see them. This is making it harder to create special traditions for our own family, but we are doing our best.

    One of our favorite traditions is opening our stockings first thing Christmas morning and then having a big breakfast of sausages and pancakes. The kids stockings have some traditional items in them too which they look forward to.


  2. Our tradition is a little bit similar, yet different. We observe Advent and Jesse Tree, of course. We also observe Jesus’ Festival of Lights. Each day we discuss the gift of the day (Togetherness, Comfort, Generosity, etc.) and on the 6th day of Hanukkah, (Gift of Comfort) we all get new jammies. On Christmas eve, the children get to open their one gift they’ve been drooling over. Yes, one and on Christmas morning, they get to dig into all the candy, hair accessories, etc in their stocking. Then we move the wise men closer and closer to the baby Jesus over the course of 12 days and on Epiphany, we give each other three gifts- One to represent myrrh, one to represent gold, and one to represent frankincense.

    I do take advantage of all the great prices on toys, clothes, etc and save them for the children’s birthdays…. that’s when we go all out showering them with a lot of gifts because their birthdays is all about them. Christmas/Epiphany isn’t about them, it’s about Jesus Christ.

  3. We too do the three presents on Christmas from Santa! It does get a little harder when they are older, vs younger. And we do fostering and those children get showered with gifts, so I only put three out from Santa. My kids do not make long list, they zero in on the things they really want or would like. And this year, my 5 year old really wanted an American Girl doll. We decided she was to young to care for an expensive doll like that, and told her that Santa sent us a note and said to ask him in two years. Whew…I then learned she only wants girly things for Christmas (house full of boys) . Thanks for sharing!

  4. I started our Christmas tradition when my babies were 1, 2, and 5, when we woke up on Dec. 26, and realized my kids wanted more, and my husband and I, along with the rest of our family, spent way to much money, and we still weren’t satisfied. Something was missing and we had missed the entire reason for celebrating Christmas. We are Christians, and Christ’s birth is a big celebration in our faith.
    I decided to wrap a large box with snowflake paper and then filled the box with 24 small items. Each item corresopnded with each day leading up to Christmas morning. For instance, on Dec. 3, we opened the Dec. 3 package and pulled out a balloon and blew it up, then let the air out. I then talked to my kids about the Holy Spirit. I explained that, like the air in the balloon which we could not see, we cannot see the holy Sprit, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I went on to write short devotions for each day leading up to Christmas morning. We have done this for many years and I’m happy to say, my kids are now focused on the true meaning of Christmas. This was something fun for the kids, as they were opening a small gift and they were surprised every year when they saw what was inside. We called our box, The Good News Box. It was never a chore to them and as the years went on, to my surprise, they looked forward to opening it every year. I had accidentally created a family tradition, that my family adores and looks forward to. I did want to share this idea with anyone who was in the same situation as I was when I had young children.
    Two years ago, before my mom passed away, she asked me to write about our family tradition so that others who wanted to make Christmas more about Jesus, would get some good ideas. I know my mom is smiling about this and I felt like I needed to share this with you. I hope you have a blessed day

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