Well before I was even dating Daddy-O, I purchased the book The 25 Days of Christmas by Rebecca Hayford Bauer (published September 1994). It has since been updated and re-titled Just 25 Days ‘Til Christmas: An Advent Celebration for the Entire Family. Each day has a short devotion, a song, suggested activities, and tips for making your holidays less hectic. The watercolor artwork is whimsical and fun. One of our family’s favorite features is the devotions incorporating the tradition of lighting the candles of Advent Wreath.
I cannot imagine celebrating the season without this book.
Growing up, our family had the usual traditions for Christmas like trimming the tree together, leaving cookies for Santa, and opening one gift on Christmas Eve. Now that I have my own family, it’s been fun continuing these and creating our own. Some we’ve consciously come up with, and others formed more organically.
We were pretty broke when the boy was a baby, so our Christmas Eve routine was simple (and cheap). Our trip to IHOP before going to Christmas Tree Lane started because we needed to kill time before the lights came on. Reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas while drinking hot chocolate (garnished with a candy cane) began in an effort to defrost after looking at the lights.
As Keith grew, we borrowed more traditions. A magazine article inspired the annual visits from the elf who brings new pjs on Christmas Eve. The kid looks great for gift-opening pictures in the morn. After talking to a coworker years ago, we began observing St. Nicholas Day on the 6th. The boy puts his boots out on the porch before bed on the 5th and finds them filled with treats and small gifts the next morning. We’ve always taught Keith the history of the real Santa, and he knows now that Santa’s a character who helps us celebrate Christmas. When gifts are involved, he’s willing to play along.
Here are some fun ideas.
- stringing popcorn and cranberries to make a tree garland (stale popcorn works best)
- caroling in your neighborhood or at nursing homes
- snuggling under a quilt while watching a Christmas special marathon
- researching your family history to see what special observances you might adopt
- saving Christmas cards to read aloud on Christmas Eve
What does your family enjoy doing?
Thanks to Urban Debris and Art-E-Cats for pointing me to some great free clip art!