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Beginning Christmas Traditions

Beginning Christmas Traditions

I love Christmas! All month long I squeeze in as many fun traditions as possible. I love hearing my older 2 boys talking about our little Christmas traditions and asking when we are going to do them. My oldest, now 7 and my middle son, 5 have been asking the same questions since Thanksgiving. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve heard, “Can we make salt dough?”, “Are we making gingerbread houses today?”, or “Is it time to make sugar cookies?”

No matter how many times I hear it I just don’t get tired of these questions. They simply tell me that my kids are enjoying and remembering the little Christmas traditions we have started with them in the past few years.

Today I want to share with you some of our favorite Christmas traditions that we enjoy leading up to Christmas.

Our Christmas Countdown

When I was little one of my favorite Christmas memories was running to our advent calendar every morning and taking turns with my siblings to untie our candy canes and see how many more days until Christmas! Every year I can remember, our advent calendar hung in our home at Christmastime.

 I knew when my boys were just babies that I wanted to find something that we could do every year for our Christmas Countdown. Last year I found something I love that I plan on using for a long time! I stumbled across the blog “Powerful Mothering” and her post with a free printable of a Christmas DIY Box Advent calendar. It was easy to make and so much fun!

Click on the link below to go to “Powerful Mothering” and get this for yourself!

http://www.powerfulmothering.com/diy-boxes-advent-calendar-with-free-printable/

Last year I printed, put the boxes together and filled each box with a different surprises. It makes a really cute decoration and my kids love it!! I was able to box them up, store them and use them again this year! The boys started asking to do the boxes again right after thanksgiving! This year instead of just treats, I filled the boxes with a variety of things. I printed off a christmas joke for everyday. We have so much fun telling each other jokes every morning! Then I added, candy to some boxes, and little prizes (christmas poppers, stickers, ornaments) to others.

Also, I planned when we would do certain activities or other traditions, wrote them down on a slip of paper and put them in other boxes. The boys get just as excited about opening a box that says they will get to do christmas craft or activity, as they do about one that has candy or small toy in it!

Gingerbread House Construction!

One of our most messy and favorite traditions is building gingerbread houses together! The past 4 years I have bought a simple gingerbread building kit! I have tried more “homemade” gingerbread houses, but have decided it is a lot more fun and less stressful to just buy a kit. They hold together a lot better and it’s a lot easier for the kids! We end up with icing everywhere and I think the kids eat more than they actually put on the houses, but we have a great time and have made some great memories!

My favorites kits are like this one so we each can build a small house and make a little village together!

Wilton Ginger Bread Mini Village Kit

Christmas Ornament Crafts

Each year I also plan a variety of christmas ornament crafts for the boys and I to make together. We usually make candy canes with beads and pipe cleaners, and a variety of other paper craft ornaments. But by far, my kids favorite is making ornaments with salt dough! Here is the recipe I like to use that I found on hubpages.com.

http://hubpages.com/holidays/Salt-Dough-Ornament-Recipe-for-Crafts-With-Tips-and-Tricks-and-Easy-to-Follow-Instructions

Salt dough is really easy to make! All you need is some salt, flour, and water  for the dough. Then, just get out your favorite christmas cookie cutters and your rolling pin to roll out the dough and cut them into shapes. After you bake it or let it dry, just get out some paints and decorate them.

The boys have loved seeing their creations hanging on the tree each year! They also enjoy picking out some of their favorites to give as gifts to their Nana and Papa, and Grandma and Grandpa!

These are just a few of our favorite Christmas Traditions! I could go on and on with more, but I would love to hear some of your favorite traditions! If you have a favorite tradition, a christmas craft, activity or favorite recipe that you and your family looks forward to each year I would love it if you would share it below!

I can’t wait to hear what family traditions you enjoy each year for Christmas!

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