What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?

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Ellie - posted on 11/26/2011

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A Christmas Tradition
Every year I make a stencil out of paper to look like a very large boot. On Christmas night after our kids are asleep and all the Santa work is done, I make boot prints leading out of the fireplace. I put the boot stencil on the ground and sprinkle baking soda through a sieve lightly. Lifting up the stencil, I add another boot in a stepping pattern from the fireplace to the Christmas tree. As the prints get farther from the fireplace, I lighten the look of the "fireplace ash" until it is barely there. After I have all the boot prints set, I also add a few pieces of the actual coal ash from our fireplace to the baking soda prints to give a "real" look. This tradition was started the year my second child was born. Teale was in the NICU recovering from her traumatic birth and gastroschisis repair after being born on December 9th, 1998. I was looking for a little extra "magic" as the month had been so difficult on our family. We practically lived at the NiCU that year. Our son, Beau, had turned three in August, 1998. Although I was excited for Christmas with him, I knew it would be tough to wake up Christmas morning without my Teale at home also. Somehow this year seemed like the perfect magical year with Beau. He was old enough to really understand the traditions, the facts around Christmas and the magic. He was so excited to "catch" Santa and was sure he would. I looked forward to seeing his face in the morning when he realized he had missed the "Big Guy." We continue this tradition today and as each child becomes more savvy, I wonder what they think. But the truth is, Teale will probably always believe. Years after her little sister, Gwenn, has discovered the truth, Teale will be talking about Santa coming. So every Christmas eve, after all the gifts are set under the tree and the stockings are filled, I make the boot prints and go to bed dreaming of the magic of the season.

Triny - posted on 11/19/2009

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Ryann,
My children are young adults. I can't wait for grandkids. Enjoy your little boy because they grow up very fast. You will create your own holiday traditions as your son grows and if you have more children. Happy Holidays and keep safe.

Ryann - posted on 11/18/2009

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I am so ready for the Holidays! My 5yr old is really getting into the whole Thanksgiving and Christmas/Santa thing! He is so excited that we are having everyone at our house this year! As far as Christmas, He's really curious and asks alot of questions, but what is really cool, is that he is so self-less! At 5, I know, right! He wants to make sure that Santa gives toys to ALL kids. So I am going to take him to the mall to pick some names off of the tree. Sadly, what used to be a very large family has dwindled down to almost nothing, so it's going to take some doing to re-create some of those Holiday traditions for my son and nephew. Wish me luck!!

Triny - posted on 11/17/2009

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My favorite holiday tradition is having a large breakfast on Christmas morning after we open the gifts and stay in our pajamas and watch movies all day long relaxing.

Brandi - posted on 11/16/2009

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My kids are really young, and I'm still trying to establish some of our very own traditions. For thanksgiving, I plan this year to start a Gratitude tree. Before our thanksgiving dinner, I plan to have a tree (made of branches in a vase with stones or something of the like) and some construction paper leaves with strings on them sitting on the appetizer table. then while my family enjoys appetizers, they can write something(s) they are thankful for and put them on the tree. then before dinner, We can sit together and read what everyone has to be thankful for. Every year a couple of weeks before Christmas, we go and pick out our Christmas tree (never artificial) then we put it up and decorate it. I LOVE THAT!!!!! My daughter and i bake Christmas cookies (we like to try at least one different one each year). SHE LOVES THIS!!!!!! Our family is German, so we have a German tradition that we do on Christmas morning. We "Hide" a pickle ornament in the tree and whichever child finds it, receives a special gift. I try to make sure that I hide it so that I know which kid will find it, then I pick up a gift I know that child will love (just something small) It's sorta fun, but my kids are a little young to get the concept. I hope that in 25 years when they are all grown and out of the house that they still come home looking for the pickle. Shortly after thanksgiving, I get out all the Christmas decorations and "Doll up" the house. Maybe I go a little overboard and it looks a little tacky, but I think the kids like it. I hang lights on the staircase, we hang stockings. I put garland. I think that kids rarely remember anything they ever get for Christmas, but they never forget the effort mom went through to make the house feel like a home and how festive mom always made everything. I also try to teach my kids charity. Sometime between thanksgiving and Christmas, I sit together with the kids and we go through their toys one by one and decide which ones are broken and need to be thrown away, which ones are in good condition, but they just don't play with, and we donate those toys to the local thrift store so that other children, who's mommies and daddies can't afford some of the nice toys that our kids are so fortunate to have can purchase some lightly used toys for their kids. My daughter who is 3 loves this and usually is very excited to be giving her toys to "the other children" This serves another purpose for mommy. I get to clear out some of the extra stuff and it gives me some ideas as to what my kids might really want for Christmas. My kids also receive a brand new pair of PJs on Christmas eve from mommy and daddy (which aside from the stuff in their stockings is really the only thing we get them, as Santa leaves everything else). Some of these traditions are ones carried from my own childhood and others are ones that I have started for my kids, to set our family apart from my family.

Tiare - posted on 11/16/2009

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every year we take a drive to look at christmas lights and we ALWAYS get a milkshake on the way and listen to christmas music and act as if we are playing instruments and singing (way to) loudly! it is a BLAST! even at my age(30lol!)also, i put all MY gifts to my son out under the tree and on christmas eve we stay up til midnight( or as late as he can) and then he can open them but then its bedtime cause santa has to come and leave his gifts! so the next morning when he wakes up and sees the extra gifts he gets super excited that santa came! its really cute to see them believe! also, its a tradition in my family that only people who believe in santa get gifts (and yes that goes for the older ones too! LOL)! we know they dont believe but they must never tell the us they dont believe! aslo, we make cookies for santa, not just buy them, my son loves to decorate them for him and leave milk and carrots for the reindeers! and everyone has to help with the tree otherwise its bad luck! if i think of anything else i will let you know!

Laurie - posted on 11/16/2009

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I am looking forward to starting some traditions with my new baby girl this Christmas. One we will start this year is to choose a star from the angel tree with a child the same age as my daughter and let my daughter pick out a gift. She won't know what we are doing yet but I look forward to the coming years when she will realize the importance of giving.

I am also going to give my daughter an ornament as a gift every year.

I also want to take her out for a walk in the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights after her usual bedtime.

I love the holidays and I am really looking forward to starting some traditions and just enjoying time with family.

Jacalyn - posted on 11/16/2009

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For Christmas me and a few girlfriends get all our kids together and put together different colored dough for the kids to make playdough cookies. Of course they always turn out rock hard and looking like they were from a Grateful dead concert but it is loads of fun and the grandparents love to recieve them.

Andrea - posted on 11/16/2009

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We have always opened gift at home with our parents and then went to my grandparents for the rest of the day.. this is something that i love doing with my own kids.. but now it is great grandparents.. It is great just spending time with family from all over.. My hubby has always had xmas on xmas eve so we got to his side on xmas eve..

Julia - posted on 11/16/2009

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A few of the traditions we have is as follows:



For Easter, we always do the Easter Story Cookie Recipe



For Christmas,

As far back as I can remember, my grandparents and even great grandparents would always have a package for all the grandchildren got to open. This was only for anyone under the age of 18.

Every year, it was always a new pair of pajama's. The idea behind it was so the next morning when the rest of the presents were opened, none of the grandkids were wearing old, worn out, faded or shabby looking pajamas for pictures. My great grandma usually always knitted everyone a pair of Christmas looking slipper socks and we got cute robes from the grandpa's and pajama pants for the boys,and night shirts for the girls.



We also always got a Christmas Bear with the year on it. We currently have a collection for the kids since 1997 since my daughter "Sweet Pea" was born.



My husband makes an awesome "holiday surprise" that is like a cobbler and his holiday "grog" that warms you up really good.







We've also watched The television Christmas classics , and many other Christmas related movies the week prior to Christmas.



We've also gotten the dated Christmas Bears every year since 1997.



We've also gotten the Advent Calendars.

Jennifer - posted on 11/16/2009

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In my house growing up the "Elve's" would come starting at midnight on December 1st all the way through Christmas Eve and decorate the house. On December 1st the "elves" would always leave an advent calendar. It would be hiden somewhere in the house for us to find. Then every morning following that the elves would leave another decoration, or a christmas suprise for us to find. In order for us to open our advent calendars we had to find what the elves left first. Then on Christmas Eve the "Big Elf" comes and leaves all the presents under the tree...

This was a tradition that my sister and i really enjoyed. My parents also really enjoyed watching us run through the house trying to find what the elves left. I look forward to doing this tradition with my son.

Sharon - posted on 11/16/2009

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Mostly - the gathering of family.



But there is also the eating, the 24 hours of "the christmas story", buying items for our local animal shelter for donation, picking out a star off the tree in walmart - it has a childs' gift wish on it, the kids shop really hard trying to find the perfect gift.

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