Libby is hosting a Christmas Traditions linky party and I thought I'd join in for fun. I am a huge fan of traditions and love reading through everybody's and getting ideas.
When Rick and I got married 4 1/2 years ago, I knew I wanted to start some lasting traditions we could carry on through the years. Here are what we came up with:
1. Every year I wrap a Bible in plain brown paper and put it under the tree among all of the bright, ribbon and bow-clad gifts. It is a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas and how the biggest and best gift we have ever received arrived very modestly on a winter night 2000+ years ago. We unwrap it on Christmas Eve and read the story of Christ's birth out loud together. Harrison is way too young to understand the meaning of Christmas right now, but I know that this will be an important lesson to focus on Jesus and not just the fuss and excitement of Santa, gifts, and copious amounts of toys.
2. This tradition might sound silly or childish but is one of my favorites. On Christmas Eve we move our mattress into the living room and sleep next to the tree. I just love falling asleep and waking up to the twinkling of the lights. We are going to try it with Harrison this year. He's never slept in bed with us so I'm not really sure how it's going to go. He is the biggest tosser and turner so he might end up back in his crib...but eventually I think it will be fun to have one family slumber party night a year.
3. Each year on Christmas Eve Rick and I have exchanged Christmas PJs. Of course we added Harrison into the mix last year. I love pajamas, and they make for great Christmas morning family pictures!
|Our first Christmas as a family of 3|
4. We also exchange a Christmas ornament every year. I try to find one to symbolize something special that has happened that year. It's so much fun to trim the tree and look back at all the memories we've created.
5. Rick and I decided when we got married that we wouldn't exchange expensive gifts with each other and would instead take the money we would spend and donate it to our church or to a charity. It was a pretty easy decision considering when we were discussing it neither one of us could remember what we had gotten from the other the year before -- how sad! So we limit our gifts to 3 things: the two I already mentioned (PJs and an ornament) and one handmade gift. This is the fun one! It takes some creativity and planning and is so much more thoughtful than going out to the mall and dropping the big bucks on a gift (that we apparently won't remember the following year).
Our 3 item gift exchange has worked well with the exception of Year 2. Poor Rick. He remembered the handmade gift....but not so much the ornament or PJs. He opened my gift to him and just had this look of complete horror as he realized he had forgotten. He felt so bad that he went out the next day to get them. However, they were sold out of Christmas PJs and had to get me Easter jammies instead, complete with pink bunnies all over them. And I think it's safe to say that the ornaments were picked through, too, because the one I got was an angel with a broken wing. But it worked out well because the angel was a dog and looked like our dog, our incredibly mischievous dog, so it was actually perfect. I still laugh when I think back to that year...I don't think it could have worked out better!
Merry Christmas to everybody! I can't believe it's only 3 days away. Where has this year gone?