Sunday, December 20, 2009

{Gingerbread Houses and Christmas Traditions}

We almost skipped our annual tradition of making gingerbread houses....just too much going on and tons of parties (basketball, school, church, work, preschool, primary....). 'Tis the season to be crazy busy. But, I picked up two kits at Costco on Wednesday and we stayed up late on Saturday night to get them done. Carson did his almost entirely by himself this year. And, both Addy and Car, in their usual fashion, probably ate more candy than what made it onto their houses. Anyway it wouldn't be Christmas without these little houses in my kitchen...

We watched 'Home Alone' even later that night....and this is Ry with his classic 'Home Alone' face!

Aren't Christmas traditions the best? My kids especially look forward to a couple things each year....

Stockings! Going at least 3 generations strong...we sew a bell on your stocking for each Christmas you have celebrated. And since there are way too many for Trevor and I...we have bells numbering the Christmases we have spent together.

Christmas dishes and decor. My mom always decked the halls in serious fashion. She still spends the better part of a week getting the house all Christmasy. So I love doing that in my own home too. I have collected quite a few things over the years and was so thrilled a few years ago when I got my own set of Christmas dishes. The kids can't wait each year for Dad to get the boxes out of the garage with all our Christmas gear. I never thought they would love it as much as they do...but some lights, garland, and decorations galore add a lot of delight around here...And, it makes my house feel so bare when it all goes back to the garage in January.
Advent calendars. This is my favorite one, but we have 3 in the house. The kids know exactly which day is their turn to put up the new ornament.

Ornaments for the tree. The kids pick out one each year. And, we usually pick one up on special vacations too. My mom gave me all my ornaments from my childhood when I got married, and I want to do the same for my kids. Some of my favorite ornaments are ones I remember picking out or making as a child.

Here is Carson's this year:

And Ry's.

Christmas books! I buy a Christmas book each year (sometimes after Christmas on clearance). We have quite the collection now and the kids love to read these at night before bed.

New tradition for 2009: Elf on a Shelf. My mom gave us this darling book and elf this year shortly after is a fantastic story about an elf that your family adopts. He watches your behavior during the day (but can't talk to you) and then visits the North Pole at night to give Santa a report. He comes back and finds a different spot in your house to watch you the next day. You can whisper your Christmas wishes to the little elf too. My kids have loved our elf (aka "Charlie"). They can't wait to find him each morning.

We also have lots of traditions on Christmas and Christmas Eve too (coming soon!).
What are your favorite Christmas traditions?


Dan and Anne 10:26 AM  

I love all the decorations and your tree looks beautiful! I can't get over Ry's face, it's perfect! Love you guys... hope your Christmas is awesome!

Rachelle 2:08 PM  

I really like the elf on the shelf. I'll have to see if I can find that book over here. I also have to tell you that you have the most beautiful kids in the world. I LOVE the photo of Ry asleep under the Christmas tree, what an angel.

Rachelle 2:10 PM  

I forgot the mention, one of my favorite Christmas childrens story is "Red Ranger Came Calling" by Berkley Breathed (I don't know if I spelled that right) I recommend it if you don't already have it.

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