|Snowmen Painted on Slate Mittens|
I have spent years cultivating a live in the moment mentality, enjoy the now, so for me, all of this early posting feels a little uncomfortable, a little forced. I really don't start decorating until the day after Thanksgiving, I don't craft until then either. I like the ambiance of the season all around me to get me in the mood!
I totally get it though, home décor and craft blogs are generally out there to inspire! People need time to gather ideas, pick projects and shop for supplies to have them ready in time to decorate for the actual holiday. It makes perfect sense to post early. I just haven't been able to do it...yet.
However, today I will try! Since our family does have a few Christmas traditions that need to be prepped and ready to go the minute the turkey leftovers are wrapped up, I'm ok with sharing a little Christmas now~ before Thanksgiving!
Elf On The Shelf...for the older crowd
Each Thanksgiving, Buddy reappears and we take turns hiding him at night. It has become a contest to see who can find the most creative and unusual space for him. I usually lose. I used up all my good ideas when the kids were small...but they are full of new ideas and it keeps a little bit of the Christmas magic alive in our home. Of course, there are days when instead of saying, "I found him!", you can hear me yelling, "Who did this to the elf?" But they are teens and if I want them to be engaged, I've got to take the good with the bad....and truth be told, those are the funniest mornings, but don't tell them that!
My mother bought me the most gorgeous Beyer's advent calendar years ago when the kids were young. It's shaped like a house with little doors in varying sizes, ready to be loaded with trinkets. I used to fill it up for almost nothing...I was able to make something like a bag of tiny erasers from the dollar store fill several spots and everyone was happy. No more. Unless I want to fill each day with candy (I don't) or junky garbage no one really wants (again, I don't), it has become impractically expensive to find twenty five days of meaningful or appropriate tokens.
The kids have also reached an age where our time with them is fleeting, we are always running in different directions. Family time has become very precious. In addition, as they have gotten older, they value the true meaning of the holiday. It's not just about the gifts. So this year, with the help of Pinterest, we are making our own advent calendar and we are going to fill each day with fun activities, things to do together, a Christmas wish list of sorts. I am actually really excited for this one! We are going to construct it Thanksgiving night, which leads me to our next tradition...creating!
We have always crafted at Christmastime and as a former preschool and primary teacher I had a million craft ideas at the ready. The kids always had their crafts and I had mine, but as they have grown, so have their skills.
We bake all season long and, therefore, we eat all season long! We make cookies and cakes, gingerbread houses and pies. The kids make their own chocolate pops, we dip Oreos, pretzels, lots of stuff. Some days we bake from the box, some days from scratch. We make elaborate treats from secret family recipes and basic cookies, like the ones above. We're not picky, there are no rules and as long as the homework is done and everyone helps clean up, the baking is on!
Of course, there are many more things we look forward to at holiday time, but these are a few of our favorites and the ones I need to make sure I am prepping for in November so I am ready when December 1st arrives ~ the most wonderful time of the year!
What are your favorite family traditions?
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