*Scroll to bottom for behind the scenes*
“BECAUSE OF OUR TRADITIONS EVERY ONE OF US KNOWS WHO WE ARE AND WHAT GOD EXPECTS US TO DO”
-Fiddler On The Roof
Kylie is old enough where Daniel and I want to start more Christmas traditions. We’re both far away from our families and becoming more and more our own little family. Since being married we kinda just relied on our familys’ traditions and activities to keep us entertained and occupied. But we decided that we also want to have some of our own things for our kids to grow up with. I’ve realized-especially the last couple of years-that you can either let the holidays pass by, enjoy bits and pieces of it when you aren’t stressing about your bank account taking a hit. Or you can engage yourselves and live the season to the fullest! And I can honestly say that doing activities with each other, starting new traditions, and decorating the home makes all the difference. It’s been a loong time since I’ve loved and enjoyed a Christmas season as much as I’m loving this one now. So I want to share some of our tradition ideas that we’ve come up with for our little family, and a couple of them we brought over from each of our families when we were kids.
Obviously you gotta have your Christmas jams. We’ve tweaked it a bit to where we start wearing them December 1 (or sometimes the day after Thanksgiving), that way we can enjoy them all throughout the Christmas season.
Christmas Book Countdown
This one by far has been one we ALL look forward to. We bought a bunch of Christmas books for the girls and I wrap them up and put them under the tree, and ever night (well not quite every night, that’s like $250 in books haha), we let the girls open one and read it as a family all cuddled up close in our jammies right before bed. Kylie gets excited about it every night and calls it “family time”
Polar Express Night
We did this last night and it went BETTER than I could have hoped.
We had Kylie open The Polar Express book. Curled up together and read it with only the white lights around the family room + some burning candles. We even conveniently had a little bell for Harley and Kylie to hold while the story was read. Then we watched the movie and drank hot chocolate.
The girls were much more into the book and movie than I thought they’d be. It made me so happy!
I found theee best gingerbread cookie recipe, you HAVE TO TRY THEM! (RECIPE) I’ll make a bunch then we’ll decorate them together (mainly eat them together) and we’ll try to find a family or individual to give some to. *side note I recently started making them with honey instead of sugar. GUILT FREE!
Light The World
This one has been a game changer for us. There’s a campaign going around. It’s 25 Days of service. Each day gives a specific kind of service for you to seek to do for someone else. On day one we made meals and looked for needy people to give them to. Day 2 we donated to foundations that provide water filters to 3rd world countries, another day I made more of an effort to listen to and be with my children. It’s things like that, and they’re so simple but make a difference in your life. You can go HERE to get the calendar, see the 1 minute daily clips, or read more about how to participate. Religious or not, this will only bring more happiness into your life…and who doesn’t want that?!
Behind The Scenes
I had plans for these pictures to be super candid. I would take them with bright lighting and I’d edit them to be bright and beautiful. The girls would be giggly, happy, and jumping on the bed and hugging and kissing yada yada yada. Well instead, it was pitch dark outside by the time we got around to taking them (because their pajamas were so dirty I had to wash them and forgot about switching them to the dryer in time to catch some daylight.) Kylie was fortunately happy, but WOULD NOT hold still for me to get a decent photo. And Harley is all puffy eyed because she was still and little sick AND she was soooo cranky (VERY UNLIKE HER) She would just randomly start crying for no reason (even when I was holding her) and refused to smile. Haha, So I settled for just a few cell phone snaps and didn’t push the girls into a full on shoot. And you know what, we had a great night as a family anyway.