Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Christmas Traditions {after Santa has left the building}

Christmas is a stressful time of year. My youngest child (who is 10) was told the secret of Santa this year. I think he knew already, but I just couldn't do one more Christmas buying two sets of presents, sneaking around, trying to wrap them in secret, trying to find hiding places, and then staying up way to late on Christmas Eve. So hubby and I let him in on the secret this year. He was a little sad, but once he found out he will be getting more quality presents instead of quantity of presents, he was completely over it.

So how do you make Christmas more special once Santa has decided to no longer visit your house? Our house has come up with two new traditions, thanks to fellow bloggers who never had Santa visit their children in the first place.

First new Tradition: The children will only be receiving four actual presents under the tree:

  • Something you want
  • Something you need
  • Something you wear
  • Something you read
My oldest son completely freaked out with this one. He actually wrote on Twitter that I had just ruined his Christmas! But after I explained a little more he understood. They will be getting these four base presents. They will still get new pj's on Christmas Eve, and actually I am going to make them all a new pillow case to use as wrapping paper for them too. They will still get small, needed, items in their stockings ie undies, socks, cologne, ear buds and such. And we are drawing names among the family so that the kids only need to purchase one present ($20-25) with their own money instead of four. So actually they will be getting more than four, but he didn't give me any time to explain.

Second new Tradition: 12 Days {Leading up to} Christmas

In the 12 days leading up to Christmas, we as a family, will be doing nice things for others. Our 12 categories are: 
  • For our community
  • For people who teach us
  • For children
  • For animals
  • For those who protect us
  • For a complete stranger
  • For the elderly/vets
  • For a neighbor
  • For a family member we don’t see much
  • For the homeless/family in need
  • For somebody outside of the United States
  • For our church

Everybody liked this idea and we started brainstorming ideas right away. I started working on this list on November 16th and already have a few of our dates scheduled. You might need to start this one early to get dates and times to match up. We have three of us with jobs, three in religion classes and 2 in after school sports, so there is major organization and scheduling involved in this mission. 

So far we have scheduled, Feed My Starving Children, ringing bells for the Salvation Army, making oven mitts and place mats for Meals-on-Wheels, collecting supplies for a local youth homeless shelter, volunteering at our church's Christmas breakfast, making cookies for the local Sheriff's office and something for the teaching staff at one of the kids schools. Still working on exactly what to give the teachers...

I will hopefully be able to snap pictures along the way of our 12 Days adventure and try to post the specifics of each day here. Some will be more of a secret, like doing something for a stranger, while others will be easy to take pictures of like Feed my Starving Children. 

So, stay tuned right here to follow along, and I will be brutally honest with you about how they all turned out and the childrens reactions to each one of them. I am actually worried about bell ringing when it will most likely be at or below zero degrees here! Might need to edit some of that running commentary.

 I am sharing this post with all of these lovely bloggers.

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