Christmas Traditions @ frazzled JOY

There’s just something about Christmas that brings along loads of family traditions. Everyone has theirs. Some are the same as yours, some are the same as mine, and some are totally unique. Nonetheless, they are there. Traditions are things done over and over again each year. To the point that if they are not done – people are disappointed…Ha!! So today, I’d love to share some of ours with you!
When the kids were younger there was much more anticipation and wonder of Christmas! They needed activities to fill the space in between, and to help keep them focused on the reason for the season rather than their long lists. So, we came up with a couple of fun things.
I collected Christmas books over the first few years (inexpensive paperback versions from scholastic book clubs). Each December I would wrap them up and the kiddos would them unwrap one book a night counting down to Christmas.
Speaking of countdowns, we most certainly made paper chains – sometimes we made just one and sometimes each kiddo had their own.
Making yummy treats for family also started when they were young. It started out as a fun activity – make cookies for the grandparents. The kids LOVED cutting out and decorating sugar cookies and the grandparents LOVED receiving them! Over the years this tradition has evolved to making several different yummy treats for the family.
Christmas candies and treats all wrapped up
Read more about these treats here.
It’s a fun, personal, and somewhat inexpensive gift for people who really don’t need anything. (this is one of those traditions that people would be disappointed if it didn’t happen) {and I’m not saying that to brag on my skills, they have actually told me this 😉 }
Upcycled tins for Christmas treats
See how I made some old tins new to package up our treats.
Another super fun tradition we started several years ago (which I believe is one many people do) is Christmas Eve PJ’s. After so many years of not so great looking Christmas morning pictures this was a game changer!
It goes well with other Christmas Eve traditions too. After attending the Christmas Eve service at our church,
we all come home, open our PJ’s, put them on, and set out to look at Christmas lights! There is a lovely drive-thru show near us that is a hit year after year. Oh, and of course there is the obligatory stop at 7-11 for hot chocolate. And yes, everyone gets out and goes inside in their PJ’s…everyone but mom that is.  😆 Oh the looks they have gotten!!
We have been pretty intentional over the years to keep the focus of Christmas on Christ. We have done several different advent activities that were more than just a countdown to the day, but rather a devotional each day. This Christmas tree one was one of my favorites. You can read more about that here.
On Christmas morning we take our time. There is no running in and opening presents. First there are happy birthday Jesus pancakes (made by dad). Then it’s Christmas carols at the piano. Next, we read the Christmas story from the Bible. And THEN we open presents. I know crazy right?? But, these are precious times my friend. (pics from when my babies were younger)
Reading the Christmas story from the Bible on Christmas morning is a coveted job
So, how about you?? What are your favorite traditions?? I’m always open to adding to, and I know as my big kids transition to adulthood these traditions will for sure ebb and flow. I love though that they hold tight to many of these. They are expected. My daughter especially is very attached. It warms this mama’s heart. 😉
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  1. I loved reading about your traditions Denise. The Christmas eve pjs is a favorite of ours too, and it’s so sweet that you all jump in the car, get your hot chocolate and look at the lights! Your Christmas morning is so special with the carols and reading the story! What a beautiful and loving family you have created. Enjoy this year with them. XO

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