This year, more than any year in the past, I have given a great deal of thought about Christmas traditions. It’s because it feels more like the beginning to our family…like before it wasn’t as important to make the effort. But now with Will in the mix, we know that he might not remember the actual event but he will see the photos and know that this is what we have always done and will always do. And type triple-A in me loves having a plan for such a hectic time of year.
So what are our traditions going to be? Well, here are some of the things that we have done in the spirit of Christmas (and some that we plan on doing)…although we do reserve the right to add things to our list 🙂 Afterall…nothing says Merry Christmas like a little additional stress and activity, right?!
The first thing on our Christmas tradition list is obviously seeing the big man himself. The man of the hour. The Nick of the Saints. The Kris of the Kringles. Ho ho ho. Will told him what was on his list. I didn’t exactly hear what it was…but I think it was a “brlmmagh”….I think they carry that at Walmart 🙂
The next on our list is more of a general to-do item…it’s a typical ‘christmas activity’. Anything can qualify…ice skating, seeing christmas lights, sledding (not that we get a whole lotta snow here in GA). This year we decided that a carriage ride was just the thing to get us in the mood.
I also decided that I wanted a little momento each year…something for me. something to remember the year by. something to look back and see what the big event was that year. And this year…it was him:
Since we are using our advent calendar again this year, we added a little more substance to it….this time we read the Christmas Story…once a week…for all four weeks. And we gather around the tree and play Charlie Brown’s Christmas music and remember….we remember how it all began with a precious baby boy.
This one might be a little different…but we wanted to create a sweet little tradition that we could take a photo of and combine into a photobook year after year. In the end, nothing is simpler than a christmas kiss.
Of course, we plan on attending the christmas eve service at our church. Both of our families have done this for years and years and we plan on carrying on the tradition.
This last one is actually Jeremy’s idea…he came outta the blue and said “How bout on Christmas morning I make waffles? It can be a thing I do every year.” LOVE. Especially since we will probably be in different places each christmas…but no matter where we are, Jer can whip up some carby deliciousness for the whole fam.
Speaking of christmas breakfast, one of my favorite holiday traditions growing up was something that my family did when we moved here to Atlanta. We would wake up, start cookin, and then go serve the food to the homeless downtown. Since the soup kitchens were closed, we got to meet hundreds of hungry individuals that taught us how to really appreciate any little gift. By the time we got home, we all were so humbled by the activity that presents literally made us cry. And I was lucky enough to introduce Jeremy to the experience…he’s the only one that my family ever invited to come along…so he knows how important traditions (and serving others) is to me and my family.
So how bout you? Any traditions? Any new ones? Old ones? photo or ornament or activity traditions? I’d love to hear em…there’s always room on our list 🙂
We do all the same traditions as you (I think I will be adding waffles this year). 🙂
We also started doing something that we gifted Madison with last year. I think it will be a great gift for will this year. I bought christopher pop in kins on amazon. It is just like elf on the shelf, I just think Christopher is cuter:) I am so glad we added him to our traditions, my daughter loves to find the elf everyday. There’s a book that comes with him to explain his story, he is a
magically elf that you hide until Christmas.
Growing up with 3 siblings, we were always up at the crack of dawn trying to wake my parents on Christmas. My mom decided when we were very young that Santa would fill the stockings and puts them at the foot of our beds, so that we would have something to do when we woke up, as opposed to waking my parents at 3 am. I can vividly remember sharing a room with my sisters and kicking my stocking in the middle of the night in my sleep. It was exhilirating!!! We would scream and wake each other and check out our stockings while we waited for for A-OK from my parents. There is nothing in the world like waking up to a stocking full of goodies at your feet…. and My parents would snuggle in bed and listen to the squeals.
I will definitley keep this tradition for my son… but not till next year- stocking full of goodies in a crib has disaster written all over it.
My husband and I are working on this. Growing up my family had alot of ‘traditions’. I dont think at the time we even knew thats what they were…just stuff that always seemed to get done. We ALWAYS put the tree up Thanksgiving night…pulled ‘er right out of the old box as soon as dinner was cleared. Now I do ‘respect the turkey’ and wait until the day AFTER…but its something I do every year. It doesnt seem that my husbands family had any special traditions, so he and I hare trying to carve out our own. Love the pic of you the BF and Will. so cute!
We always had waffles Christmas morning too! Topped with whipped cream, strawberries, cherries, sprinkles, etc.
Eden's Mama says
I love Christmas tradtions! This is our first Christmas as a 3-some! Our baby girl is 9.5 months and I feel the same as you re the tradtions, so this is what we are doing this year and now on…
I purchased a nice hardback copy of T’was the night before Christmas, and I plan on reading this as a family on Christmas Eve each year. Christmas morning for breakfast we are making Matt’s grandmothers cinnamon rolls and I am also doing the ornament thing.
Unfortunatly I am a bit late on having E see Santa, we live in the United Kingdom and I struggled to find where the big man hangs out around here (Matt is in the US Airforce).
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Love your tradition of feeding the hungry – that brought tears to my eyes!
Where did you buy Will’s snowflake ornament!?! I love it!
I came across this and had to show you, lol.
Congrats on your home too!!
Also, where did you get that snow flake ornament and your white purse? Thank you!
Here is one that we just LOVE doing. Every year we sent a Christmas picture with our cards/letters. And every year I frame that picture in a fun frame … some Christmassy and some not. And every year we display our collection of yearly photos frames.
We’ve been married 30 years now. And our pictures span the entire lives of our three grown sons (all in their 20s and all living elsewhere and still single). It is the singlemost favorite decoration and tradition I have. The pictures are all over the living area of our home. Not just in one spot. And when we have company over it is where everyone gathers.
You may not have a huge selection now … but you will in no time at all. It is SO fun. Have a wonderful Merry CHRISTmas!
We always get a new pair of pj’s on Christmas eve, and then my sisters and bother and I race to see who can put it on the fastest! Even though we are all getting older, it is still fun and we can’t wait to get home from our family Christmas eve party and get our new pj’s!
andrea p says
I love your Will snowflake ornament! Where did you get it?
Are you planning to get an ornament each year? Do you write the year on the back?
Praying all goes well with your new house….such an exciting time for you & your family & I am so glad to read all about it 🙂
Carmel @ ourfifthhouse says
This is one of our traditions that I wanted to share with you 🙂
These are great…and it’s realistic to expect that you’d actually be able to do these every year (even when there are lotsa Bower Babies underfoot!).
P.S. I read your post about blog bullying the other day; good for you! I was just livid at those mean-girlish people. I’ve been reading your blog for awhile, and of course I don’t want to do every single decorating thing you do (almost everything, though), but I am so grateful that you open up your home and family for us to see. It’s extremely personal, yet you invite all of us strangers in. So, anyway, those people are probably bored and whiny…who cares what they say. I love your wood nursery wall, and I love seeing every last pic of your beautiful baby. Keep it all coming.
we get pj’s (or sleeping related items like fuzzy socks or robes) that we open on Christmas Eve – after the Clam Chowder dinner & the Christmas story reading.
I like that you read the Christmas story every week – I think it keeps the reason for the season fresh in every one’s mind.
Kera Butler says
I like displaying each year’s Christmas pictures! cute idea!
Kera Butler says
I just love hearing other people’s traditions. That is such a sweet way to show the true meaning of Christmas by serving!
I am a sucker for traditions. Here are some from our family.
We always make the exact same goodies every year: Home made marshmallows , toffee, divinity, and peanut butter fudge.
When we display our nativity scene, we read a bible verse that goes along with each figure.
My husband has given me the Willow Tree figurine with the year on it and a snowman of some sort.
This is one from my husband’s family, it’s cute but we’ve changed it a little. He is the 3rd of 5 boys and every Christmas eve their dad would read “The Night Before Christmas” and every time he read something wrong the boys got to slug him (lightly). My husband loves this…..but we give Daddy a good tickle instead of a punch. haha.
We have a pretty bell that we ring Christmas morning and we sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus before we start opening presents. I have a friend who goes one step farther and actually makes a birthday cake for Jesus. In my opinion I think these are great because little kids really understand those types of things.
Another tradition from my hubby’s family. Each of the boys got a box of their favorite cereal wrapped up. Haha but I like your waffle idea.
This isn’t a family tradition but a group of us girls from my church get together and do an ornament swap and eat treats.
Oh and we ALWAYS watch The Santa Clause with Tim Allen.
My Mum always used to give us a little gift on Christmas eve, sometimes Pajamas, sometimes a perfume or something, once yeah i even got one of them tin soldier Nut cracker things (?)
My favourite gift was a pair of gold dressing up shoes when i was about 4 yrs old., i clip clopped all over the place all xmas day! haha ♥
Mary Ann says
Reading your blog makes me happy. 🙂
The ornament was actually found at Hobby Lobby about a month or two ago. And yes…we plan on getting an ornament each year. I haven’t decided if I’ll write the year on the back or just find another way to distinguish it…we’ll see 🙂
xo – kb
The ornament was from Hobby Lobby…I think it was only a couple dollars (with 50% off discount). All the good ones go soon…so I try to hit it up early October to see what goodies they have 🙂
My white purse is actually more cream…and it is from Target.
xo – kb
Hey Ali –
Hobby Lobby! Isn’t it cute? I thought (besides the ribbon) that it looked like something Pottery Barn would sell 🙂
xo – kb
That is such a good idea!!! Every Christmas my siblings and I were up at 5 am trying to wake our parents up, I’m sure they loved that!
We have a few traditions but my FAVORITE has always been having my girl cousins and aunts come over the Sunday before Christmas and spend the day baking every kind of cookie imaginable while listening to Christmas music. 🙂
Katie, http://www.prudentbaby.com has an entire list of bacon gifts! yum
Liz H says
My family is BIG on traditions! One of my favorites, and one now that I’m doing with my daughter, is each year my parents bought each one of their kids (there are six of us) an ornament, and placed it in a box just for us. Then every year we had a family dinner at the beginning of December, start a fire, put on Christmas music, and decorate the tree all together. Each one of us got to put our own ornaments on the tree first then we put all of the ‘family’ ornaments on together. When we were old enough to have our own place and our own tree away from my parents house, we were given our box of ornaments – which also included any we had made growing up. Even now that we’re all grown and have families of our own, my parents wait till we can come back into town so we can decorate the tree together.
Thanks for the letting me know where you got Will’s snowflake ornament! It is very PB like! 🙂 I’m guessing my Hobby Lobby is out of it! I love Hobby Lobby! Next year I’ll start looking earlier! 🙂
I was so lucky this year with my blesssings: And it sounds better than the post 🙂 Love you guys!
Congrats on the house Katie! Love the family tradtions. 🙂
If your husband is in the US Airforce, try going to the base, if you’re close to it. When I lived overseas, we couldn’t find anywhere to go trick-or-treating (we lived off base) until I talked to my friend who lived on base. They’ll probably have Santa there too.
Also, go to Harrods and Selfridges in London if you can. They had a whole Christmas scene you could walk through with Santa at the end. Of course, I lived there 15 years ago so my information is a tad out of date!
We read a new Christmas story every night of December (collected over the years) and as my kiddos got older they take turns reading for the family. We always go the candle light service on the 24th and after the kids would open homemade jammies from my mother in law (these were the only Christmasy things done over the years on Christmas Eve since it’s also my daughters birthday and we have always tried to give her 100% birthday) On Christmas night the kids sleep on our bedroom floor and everyone goes out TOGETHER. We take out our egg casserole and our french toast casserole and put the coffee on. The kids have hot cocoa and one by one we open presents. We take our time and really give thanks to each person in our family. The rest of the day is hanging out, eating and figuring out gadgets. There isn’t any cooking after the casseroles and we just eat left overs or sandwiches. It’s relaxing and fun.
I love Christmas traditions! And we have LOTS! My favorites are:
Baking and decorating Christmas cookies about a week before Christmas. And the kids pick their favorite that we put in the freezer and take out Christmas Eve before bed for Santa.
Christmas morning I love getting a picture of my kids faces as soon as they come down the stairs and see all the presents. Then they open their stockings at the kitchen table while we make a big breakfast.
When we sing carols by the tree, to be silly we change the first letter of every word to a “B”…Be Bish Bou a Berry Bistmas! (were corny like that)
For Christmas Eve dinner we have yummy party foods that we snack on throughout the night. The kids open their gifts from family members and they each get new jammies and a book to read that night from us. They used to get stuffed animals as well, but this is the first year were stopping that tradition because their furry friends are overpopulating the house!
Perhaps my favorite tradition of all was started when my husband and I were just 16. Christmas night we see a movie and go to a Chinese buffet.
We started a new tradition this year with the Advent calendar but I don’t know if Im going to continue it next year or not.
All of your traditions sound really great. Your really going to enjoy Christmas with your little one, it’s such a blessing!
I’m loving your 12 Days of Christmas font. Where did you get it?
BTW – your blog is so awesome! I love reading it every day. Great tips, great info, and cute family! God has blessed you! I would love to be as creative as I see you are on your blog. It’s very inspirational.
The font is called Budmo Jiggler and I think I got it off dafonts. I think.
xo – kb
Sorry to ask so late but can you tell us what settings you used on your camera to take the picture of your bf and will in front of the tree. How did you get them in the dark and still get the tree lit up? Thank you!
It’s just a matter of setting your camera to manual mode. Then meter your light settings based on the tree…once you have that done, have your camera focus on the foreground people…(the camera will be all like WHOA THIS IS TOO DARK but tell the camera to shut up and continue on) and then you just click away. You should end up with a pretty profile shot 🙂
xo – kb
I love having traditions. We are taking some for our families and making some new ones.
– Going to the Christmas tree farm and cutting down our tree
– My sister and I go Black Friday shopping together
– Christmas Eve Candle light service at our church
– We get a family ornament each year to signify the year.
– Also, we get our son his own ornament each year. When he moves out he will take those with him.
– On Christmas eve opening one present – always pjs.
– My husband and I setting up a toy or two Christmas Eve night so it is ready to be played with in the morning.
I am way behind in my reading so am late in commenting but I love your traditions! It’s our baby’s first Christmas too and I find myself being careful in our planning because I also want to set and start some family traditions this year. It’s also fun combining some of mine and my Hubby’s family traditions. What a great time of the year!