But, though some traditions didn't "stick"...others did! And though not all were thought of or started at Katie's birth back in 2006, several have been added since that we have all grown to know and love! So, I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite Christmas Traditions for our family with you...you know, in case you're looking for inspiration or just a new tradition to add for your family.
1. Annual Christmas Ornaments -- My mom actually started this with me when I was in junior high school, so I chose to share this same tradition with my family, starting when Mark and I were married. Each year, we pick out a new Christmas ornament for each member of our family that reminds us of that year or what they were interested in, etc. I always write the year and initials (if it isn't absolutely obvious as to who it belongs to) on the ornament. And, we always enjoy reminiscing of the reasoning behind the ornaments chosen for each person, as we put them on the tree each year. One day, when my children have their own home, they will be gifted with a box of their own ornaments to begin their own tree decorations and tradition for their family.
2. Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read -- This has been a more recent addition to our family's traditions for Christmas, but it has been one of my favorites!! It is so easy to get carried away with making sure the kids have "lots" to open for Christmas...I've been guilty of it myself. It's also easy to over-do the budget without even realizing it. Not to mention how easy it is to just buy without really putting thought into the gift/person. SO, this has helped me to stay more focused on what's important. It limits the kids gifts to 4 things (plus their one ornament for the year), and it's not all toys...nor is it all clothes! It's a great mixture of gifts, both wanted and useful. I do have to put more thought into the gifts, because I can't just "add another gift" to the mix if I found something I liked more. I absolutely LOVE this idea. It worked great last year, and I'm looking forward to it and the surprise reactions from the kids this Christmas, as well!
We have other traditions...reading the Christmas story as a family specifically on Christmas, baking Christmas goodies for gifts, decorating the house together, family gatherings, gift shopping for family, etc., but the above two are by far my favorites -- two that I hope the children will look back and remember as they get older, and want to pass them down to their own families one day.
What are YOUR favorite Christmas traditions for the family? I'd love to hear.