Sunday, January 2, 2011

christmas season

i love hearing about family holiday traditions. facebook has made it easy to hear and see all the different family traditions that people create to make it a special time of year for their kids. now that our kids are two, i thought it was a good year to start our own traditions. we started with spending christmas morning at our own home. it's the first time in 33 years that i have not woken up at my parent's home on christmas morning. the kids really got into the whole santa claus thing so we thought it was time to let santa come to our own home. it was such a fun morning to say the least! we also added in the excitement of pop-in-kins (named christopher). this is the original version of elf on the shelf. this particular tradition was new to me but ceasar had heard about it and we thought it sounded like something our family would really get in to. ok, let me clarify, something that ceasar would really get in to. hiding an elf in different places every single night during the month of decemeber, getting to make up a story each and every day of how the elf made its way up high somewhere new each night, hiding and story telling… now that just has ceasar's name written all over it! if you don't know the story about christopher, you can read it here we really had a blast with it.

we also created a personalized advent calendar. i had someone make it on etsy and then i created individual family activities for each day. some were as simple as baking cookies, others were more heart felt such as making gifts for kids in need. i am not sure who liked this more, me or the kids because I looked forward to it each day. that's the funny thing about family traditions, like christopher and our advent calendar, sometimes the adults have just as much fun as the kids.

i have such great christmas memories from my childhood. whether it was church on christmas eve, putting out cookies for santa, opening pj's on christmas eve, oranges and nuts in our stockings or displaying gifts from santa claus in a magical way, my parents always worked really hard to create special memories for my sister and me. and the evidence of their success is how hard my sister and i both work to create traditions and memories for our own families.

it was such an amazing christmas season. i say "season" because i feel like we celebrated the whole month of december. on new year's day, we were taking down the tree and putting away all of our decorations. it's always a little bitter sweet. felton said to me "mommy, what are you doing?" i answered "honey, we are putting up the christmas decorations because christmas is over for this year." his response "i want to do it again!" kids are so awesome that way. i want to "do it again" too.

here are some pictures from our christmas season:

christmas down on the farm with the browns

opening gifts with cousin taylor

ho ho ho

tristen nervous to meet santa

breakfast with santa at school (felton is frozen and tristen won't make eye contact)

mimi with all the grandkids

poppi with all the grandkids

sweet love on christmas eve

christmas eve church service

the whole family on christmas eve

looking at what santa brought them:)

he is staring at his new toys!

princess with her new kitchen

loving his new train table

new kitchen!

opening stockings

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