Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Two of my Favorite Christmas Traditions!

Several years ago I was looking for something fun and exciting to do for Advent with my kids.  We started the Elf on the Shelf tradition – although our Elf is not mischievous at all, she just hides about the house, and my kids love to look for her.


They will write her little notes; they will draw her pictures, talk to her, and explain what has been going on in their lives.  It is actually quite precious to watch.

Our elf was named Tasha, during a Backyardigans phase my oldest was going through.  She named her Tasha, and it stuck.  Now the kids get so excited on November 30th every year, knowing that she will arrive on December 1st


I love this tradition because the kids wake up in such a good mood every morning.  Every morning they run downstairs to see the new location that she is hiding.  Emma and Jack wake up at different times, and typically Emma will find Tasha first, and then Jack will have an opportunity to look for her.  It was a little harder to keep Emma from spoiling it a couple years ago, but now she is old enough to know that Jack wants the chance to find her on his own.

Our second tradition that also starts on December 1st is our Advent Bag tradition. 

I’m sure you remember growing up and having those little Advent calendars with the doors and the little chocolate?  Well, my brother and I loved those growing up.  I knew that I wanted to do something for my own kids.  But, I wanted something a little different.

Then the idea of Advent Bags came to me.

What it is – there are 24 bags for each child.  In each bag there is a little treat, an activity or toy or craft, and the scripture reading for the day.

our first year of the Advent Bag tradition!

The first year my kids did this, they were incredibly excited.  And so was I!  I loved to watch their faces every morning when they ran down the stairs to see their bag.


Now, I tend to hit up the craft store and the Target Dollar Spot to get these little crafts and gifts to give to the kids.  It is something that I have so much fun putting together.  I obviously don’t have a ton of money to spend on this, but having a fun activity or craft or Matchbox car or jar of Play-Doh is something that works very well in my family.

It gives the kids something to do first thing in the morning, it also pretty much guarantees that they come down in a good mood – I know it’s crazy to think that children would wake up in a bad mood, but it happens here!  It also helps my mood, especially when the kids are up earlier than I hope.

Why did I start these traditions?  Well, it is because I think back so fondly on my own childhood Christmas traditions, and I want that for my kids as well.

I love how wonderful Christmas is.  Yes, there can be stress, there can be sadness; there can be craziness.  But, overall, I believe that Christmas is a season to be thankful, to look at our families and be thankful.  To give to others, and to be as positive a season as you can make it.

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?  Have you continued traditions from your childhood?

17 comments:

  1. I love these traditions. In my family we have many too and Christmas isn't Christmas without them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We always did advent calendars when I was little and it's been such fun to continue this tradition with my own! So fun! 💗

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such awesome traditions! Your kids look so happy!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh seeing their faces would be my favorite part too, love love love that!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love to play the Elf on the Shelf game with my son! I love the idea of Advent bags! That is a great idea and something I should totally do! Maybe since I'm late, I can do it for the "12 Days of Christmas."

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love your advent bag idea!

    ReplyDelete
  7. We do a advent for our tree with scriptures and we love it! One of our favorite traditions!

    ReplyDelete
  8. family traditions are the best! Kids tend to remember this kind of stuff moreso than anything else ;)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love traditions! I treasure mine from childhood and am instilling several in my kiddos as well!

    ReplyDelete
  10. What great traditions!!! We use to have an awesome advent calendar that you would read the story and than hang the ornament on the tree afterwards. Me and my sister loved it!!!! LifeAsLex

    ReplyDelete
  11. What great Christmas traditions!! I'm loving the Elf on The Shelf tradition!!! I want to get one for next year!!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is a great way to avoid the chocolate and sugar! Maybe even go one step further and make bags you can reuse each year?

    ReplyDelete
  13. We love our Elf! Sometimes he forgets to move but I'm hoping this year he'll remember every day!

    ReplyDelete
  14. What great traditions! I can't wait to do an advent calendar and Elf on a Shelf with my boys. This is the first year they are understanding Christmas a bit, so am thinking next year will be a better year to start our traditions too :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. We decorate outside and everyone gets a new ornament, my grandmother started this when I was born. I love seeing my son so happy to put his new ornament up.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Aww I love that your family has these traditions! My favorite Christmas tradition was baking on Christmas Eve with my grammy every year :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Love traditions. Ours is buying a real tree every year (picking one out) and decorating it. My oldest puts the topper/angel on. We have a few more enjoy.

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear from my readers and try to respond to all comments either here or through e-mail. Thank you for taking the time to comment!