Christmas has always been my favorite holiday even as a little girl, I would start playing Christmas music in the summer. Once I became a mom, Christmas got even better. There is nothing more magical than watching your children experience all the traditions of Christmas. We do keep many traditional Christian based traditions but I have added a few upcycled Christmas traditions my kids love…and no elf on the shelf is not one of them!
This post isn’t centered around Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas but the majority of our traditions are centered around my children learning that Christmas is more than just unwrapping gifts. Advent is a favorite of mine so of course it is only necessary that I carried this tradition on with my children. Every Sunday evening (sometimes Monday…maybe Tuesday…at least we do it, right?) we sit around the table and light our advent candle. I wanted a more modern advent candle wreath to match our home decor so I bought this one from Amazon. We also practice with 5 candles instead of 4…the white one you light on Christmas Day. I have gathered some resources over the years that help explain advent to children.
On top of Advent, we always attend Christmas Eve mass. I loved getting dressed up in a pretty fancy dress when I was a little girl so I love to coordinate the kids and get them fancy dresses that they don’t usually get to wear except for at Easter. This year I’m going with traditional colors and love that red and green are back in style for Christmas time.
We start off the evening of November 30th by each kid opening a box from us. Inside the box is a set of Christmas pajamas, popcorn, hot chocolate packs, a DVD, and a note from mom and dad. We all go change into our pajamas, pop the popcorn, and watch one of their DVDs. I try to make each DVD Christmas themed but it gets more and more difficult over the years. We wake up on December 1st wearing our Christmas pajamas and fully refreshed after spending a night cuddled up with each other. Our note is very sweet and simple telling each child what we find most special about them. This year I purchased these pajamas and I love them!
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25 wrapped Christmas books.
Yes, I wrap 25 Christmas books usually in November. I have added to the collection and removed some over the years but I try to get a combination of traditional Christmas books and then some more modern books like Mickey Mouse Christmas. My kids look forward to this every night. All of us sit as a family and ready our Christmas books. Usborne books are my favorite.
25 Random Acts of Kindness
Several years ago I bought an advent barn similar to this one. In each day drawer I have a slip of 1 act of kindness for that day. The joy and excitement the kids have when it’s time to see what fun kind act they can do that day is amazing to watch.
Here is the 25 acts of kindness we use for ages 4 and under. Some of these have to be pre-planned our your part and others they can do throughout their day.
- Take a treat or coffee basket to teachers.
- Open the door for someone.
- Take a treat (lotion) to the nursing home.
- Give garbage men candy (we left them on our trash cans with a nice note crafted by the kids)
- Help grandma and grandpa with a chore.
- Take food/supplies to animal shelter.
- Pay for someone in line behind us or let the kids choose someone.
- Shovel neighbor’s driveway with dad’s help.
- Take Father (Priest) a small gift.
- Leave the mailman a gift.
- Give food to the food bank. I let the kids pick food out to give to them.
- Thank you note to VFW for their service.
- Send a hug to someone far away. (I traced their arms spread open and we mailed it to our far away family.)
- Pick an angle off the Salvation Army tree.
- Take hot chocolate to Salvation Army bell ringer.
- Deliver a goodies basket to our neighbors on Christmas Eve.
- Smile at someone and ask them how their day is.
- Leave cash in a toy aisle with a special Bible verse on it.
- Leave quarters in the quarter toy machines.
- Send small flower bouquets to random families with a “pay it forward” note attached.
- Take DVD popcorn basket to a childrens/womens/mens homeless shelter.
- Take donuts to health department staff.
- Help grandma take baskets to needy families in church.
- Do something nice for your brother/sister.
- Say Thank You to everyone on Christmas Day.
Brrrr….so cold mom!
We purchase the majority of our crafts on Amazon. We have an Amazon Prime account so we get FREE 2-DAY SHIPPING on everything. It’s especially handy during the holidays purchasing gifts, never leaving your home, and did I mention free shipping!