Our Christmas Wish List
What is your holiday wish for your family?
Our wish is for everyone to be healthy and happy. It sounds cliche, but it is true, and really, what more could anyone want?
What is your Christmas morning tradition?
Learning Table Dad is usually the first “kid” up and starts making noise so a real kid will get up and start the fray. We hang out around the tree all morning until the grandparents come over for a big lunch. As a kid, I spent many Christmases traveling to visit relatives since my dad was in the Navy and we always lived far away, so now I like to stay at home and let my kids keep their jammies on all day.
How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?
I’m doing a December Daily album for the third time using only supplies I already had on-hand. My kids and I make ornaments using craft supplies from our stash, and we enjoy riding around looking at Christmas lights. We try to keep the holidays simple and focus on family-time instead of shopping.
Through the season, we focus on “today”–trying to escape the feeling of “just one more thing.” Just one more thing to play, buy, clean, make, do,etc.Today–focusing on enjoying the moment and soaking it all in.
Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip?
We would head to the mountains to a cozy cabin with a view.
What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?
We always do an advent calendar with the boys, and we have blueberry muffins for Christmas breakfast and then a big family lunch.
I made an advent calendar for my boys a few years ago, and it has become our countdown tradition. It has 25 little drawers ready to fill.
One year, I filled them with candy, one year I filled them with tiny plastic birds, one year was tiny ornaments, and last year was little strips of paper with activities written on them. The activities were a big hit last year, so I’ll most likely go that route again. And, the drawers don’t all have to be filled too far in advance, so I can add or switch up activities based on our schedule.
Here are some of last year’s ideas:
- Go see Santa.
- Make cat toys using pom-poms, bells, and elastic string for the kitties’ Christmas.
- Decorate the gingerbread house.
- Make gingerbread men.
- Pack a box to donate to a child in need, and drop it off.
- Make ornaments — we did several different ones on different days, using cardstock, stamps, and glitter glue; painting wooden shapes; Styrofoam ball snowmen.
- Drop some change in the Salvation Army bucket.
- Volunteer at our local charity filling Christmas gift bags for kids in the area.
- Pack and mail a soldier care package.
- Go see Christmas lights.
- Make place cards for the family Christmas party.
- Learn Christmas songs on the guitar and drums to play at the family Christmas party.
- Have a family movie night with one of our favorite Christmas DVDs and plenty of popcorn.
- Read a favorite Christmas book together.
- Make cards for nursing home residents.
- Roll pine cones in peanut butter and bird seed and decorate a wildlife tree outside.
- Make Christmas gift tags using pieces cut from last year’s Christmas cards and using a hole punch to make a hole to thread a piece of ribbon through.
- Make peppermint bark.
- Make ornaments using natural materials found outside.
- Go to a parade!
- Decorate paper bag luminaries.
- Make cookies for Santa.
- Read the Christmas story from Scripture.