Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Traditions

This is a BUSY time of year, no arguments there I am sure. Every August I think Christmas is in 6 months and then boom it's here again! Last night I was all thoughtful like and enjoying an herbal bath, essentially soaking in a big cup of tea hehe. I was thinking about something my sister told me about called the 12 days of Christmas Pay It Forward movement (I think she saw it on Pay It Forward Radio's FaceBook page you should check it out) and I said I would join in too and try to do them all, I just need to plan. It got me thinking about last year and the 12 days of Christmas service  advent calendar that I made. I compiled a huge list of ideas to choose from, we probably ended up doing 8 of the 12 days of the advent calendar. What I learned from doing it last year was what we will realistically do and can do and I need to plan better!  As I was pondering all this I realized that both of the a fore mentioned 12 days of Christmas activities are focused mostly on non-family. Now there is nothing wrong with that but since it's especially busy this time of year and because of where we live and the realities of actually going outside the home everyday to do something I need to change it up. I also want to capitalize on the time I have with my family at home and it should also be a time of focusing on Christ in the home. A lot was done especially this summer that focused on people outside of our family and we had a blast doing it. However I really need to focus more on teaching my kids to love and serve each other, it starts in the home right! I am hoping this will help them focus on others inside our home. I am so tired of the I wants flying around my house! It's going to drive me mad, mad I tell you! Their being flung every where, landing in puddles on the floor, dripping from the sealing, piling up on the feel me?
12 Days of Christmas Service Advent Calendar

I am going to use the same advent calendar I made and used last year with just a different focus this year. I am  going to try and do all the ones from the Pay It Forward 12 Days of Christmas too I just have to plan and if I don't then it will be a bust. Really the whole idea behind this post is to get you thinking about your traditions and to PLAN. I am sitting down today and planning out all I want to accomplish this month. Making sure I have what I need and not over doing it which is entirely to easy to do. Make your list and then cut a 1/4 off of it then it should be attainable...or do you need to cut 1/3 off?

List of ideas for serving family
1) Have each child write a note to a sibling and hide it somewhere they WILL find it.
2) Pull the note out of the sock in the morning and tell the family that at dinner we will all take turns talking about our favorite things about each other. This would be a great time to talk about our favorite things about Christ too. 3) Find a way to serve a family member that day, kids could clean each others rooms :) 4) Take time with each kid individually to help them each make a craft for another family member(s). 5) Take kids to a store and have them buy a gift for someone else in the family. The idea is to get them thinking of others and caught up in the joy it brings. 6) Have each child take (a nice) object from there room and give it to a cousin or close friend. 7) Mental exercise, paint  a story for your kids with words about what their life would look like without all their wonderful family. Then have them brainstorm about why they are grateful for their family members and write down their answers. 8) Make New Year's cards for family members with a special note inside from them. 9) Make special treats for dad's and/or siblings lunch. 10) Now that most have video on their cell phones you can make a short video of each child (or whoever) leaving a message  for someone else about why they are loved and what makes them special.  11) Service coupon books, each person in the family lists ways they would like to be served and each person lists ways they can serve others. Then make simple coupon books for each family member. A good time to talk about how service isn't always convenient but is always worth it. 12) Have children read their favorite book to a younger sibling or make something with a younger sibling etc. If you have any ideas you would like to add to the list PLEASE e-mail them, leave a comment,or FB them to me and I will add them, I can even put your name by it if you want :)

This is one we have enjoyed all year and the fun part is we get to use the money in it to do some good this year :)

The Giving Jar

I found these traditions on Be-Inspired Mama she lists 30 ideas from different bloggers and these are my favorites. 
11. A Letter to Your Child “For my daughters first Christmas, my husband and I decided we would start a new tradition. We decided that we would individually write a letter to her each year on Christmas, save them all, and then give them to her when she turned 18. 14. Goodies for Service Workers “[We bake] goodies for the firemen and delivering them on Christmas Eve.” Valerie from  16. Kids Exchange Gifts “My boys give gifts to each other on Christmas Eve. We started the tradition when we had just two boys, and now that we have four, it’s even more fun!”  17. A Kid-17.Decorate Kids’ Tree “We purchase a tree just for the kids and then the kids make all the decorations."

A word on Christmas Shopping. Me and my sister both agree that shopping for presents on Amazon is the way to go. 1) It's much easier to over spend especially on impulse items at stores. With Amazon or any online store you can remove items up until the last moment, seeing the total makes it much easier to spend wisely. 2) Selection, my daughter is in to drawing and a ton of stuff comes up in the search on Amazon at Target etc it seems to be mostly be a narrow swath of toys. I got her a great drawing deal that I know I wouldn't see at Target or Marshall's etc. 3) Time saver! You can be done in one shebang! If you have Prime there is no shipping costs. No I am not getting paid to say this, wish I were ;)

Just to show you that Christmas tradition doesn't have to be all ooey gooey heart warming all the time...One year me and my SIL Emilee wrapped an alarm clock and set it for 2am. There were people sleeping everywhere it seemed like and wouldn't you know it the tree happened to be in the same room as 6 sleeping adults and several kids. We made sure to put it in the back of the massive pile of presents...oh it was hilarity when it went off. We just barely escaped with our lives but it was worth it. Now that my hubby's siblings like doing Christmas on their own me and my SIL were thinking we should send them all wrapped alarm clocks, GRIN :)

Alright your turn to spill your favorite Christmas Traditions! Share here or on my Face Book page. Hope this gets you thinking! Have a great week and don't over do it, remember KISS - Keep It Simple Silly:)

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