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What Simple Tradition Tickles Your Family?

“When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things, not the great occasions-give off the greatest glow of happiness.”  (Bob Hope)

Christma scene

My goal, this Christmas holiday season, is to focus on the simple, memory making activities that are short on expense, and long on memory making.  Sometimes it just takes a little perspective to just see how well off  we are.   Remember to slow down, enjoy the season, take lots of pictures and enjoy the memories.

Here are some fun and frugal activities to consider this holiday season:

1. Read one Christmas, holiday, or winter-themed book each day for the week leading up to Christmas. You could wrap the books up, in tissue and have one child unwrap one book per day starting around December 17th. The same books can be re-wrapped from year to year. This tradition can be expanded by borrowing library books or purchasing Christmas books at thrift stores.

Our favorite Christmas stories are

  • The Night Before Christmas
  • The Legend of the Candy Cane
  • The Story of Holly & Ivy
  • The Real 12 Days of Christmas- The story behind the Song and
  • A Little House Christmas Volume 11 which contains the Christmas stories from the original books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
  • My favorite Little House Picture Books with wintery and Christmas Themes are Christmas in the Big Woods, Sugar Snow, and Winter Days in the Big Woods. I think any of these books are available in the library.

2. Celebrating the season of Advent keeps us focused on the most important reasons we celebrate Christmas. A Family Advent presents guided heartfelt and thought-provoking devotionals with fun facts, journeys back in time, activities, and much more.

And until December 31, you can download a copy of A Family Advent absolutely FREE.

3. Attend a Christmas Cantata, Parades of Lights, or Christmas Eve Service in your community. Check your local paper for details. Then drive around the neighborhoods to view Christmas lights and well decorated homes on your way home. In our area, the addresses of the best lit homes are organized by neighborhoods and listed in the newspaper. When you get home have hot chocolate and home made cookies.

4. Have a family slumber party or movie marathon in the family room or living room. Pull out sleeping bags. blankets, afghans, pillows. Turn out the lights except for Christmas lights or candles. Enjoy popcorn or a snack with a Bible story, book or Christmas movie. Our favorite Christmas movies are:

  • The Nativity Story
  • Christmas with the Kranks
  • The Christmas Story.

5.  With small children you can make a paper chain with colored construction paper to count the days until Christmas. Alternate green and red construction paper. Take a link off the chain each night before bed time.  Here are some other great links to making your own economical and beautiful ornaments:

6. Set up a card table or coffee table to do a jigsaw puzzle together during the holidays. Work at it every now and then with family, relatives or neighbors until it’s done. Do a different puzzle every year. Inexpensive puzzles can be found in thrift stores.

7. Bake rolled out old fashioned sugar cookies cut into Christmas shapes and decorate. My children, now older, still enjoy making sugar cookies together every year without my help. OR make candy. Our favorites are fudge, peanut brittle, and toffee. OR make a Gingerbread House. Kits are inexpensive in craft stores. I usually buy one in the after Christmas sales for the next year.

8. Cut your own Christmas tree. In Colorado you can buy a permit to go to a designated place in the forest to cut a tree for $8.00. My children absolutely insist on having a real, live tree preferably one they cut themselves with Dad every year. The oldest is now 23!

9. Hold a Holiday Open House or invite some friends or family over for dinner. My favorite company recipe is Beef Burgundy. Your event can be simple and casual. Have everyone bring a dish or appetizer to share. Enjoy the company and tell about favorite family traditions or memories.

10.Make package opening time special by allowing only one gift to be opened at a time. Start by having the children give out their gifts first.

BONUS IDEA: Make a special Christmas breakfast with homemade Pecan Sticky Cinnamon Rolls. You won’t even need to get up early to do it. All the Christmas breakfast recipes and stress free instructions are complimentary.

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3 comments to What Simple Tradition Tickles Your Family?

  • kelly

    Thanks for all the wonderful ideas. We do many of them and our whole family enjoys our traditions. (hot cocoa, Christmas stories, homemade sugar cookies, and a ton more!) Is there a special code for the “a family advent” freebie? When I add it to the cart it is not free. Thanks so much, Kelly

  • Lori

    Thanks Kelly….I thought it was just me. Sounds like a wonderful freebie that I would love to have.

  • kelly

    oops, figured it out =0)

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