I try to keep the Christmas traditions simple and fun. I don't go crazy making crafts or spending money on decorations, and I stay away from websites and blogs that are overloaded with holiday glitz. It's too overwhelming and detracts from the purpose, in my opinion. I mostly just want our boys to get ready for Christmas by being reminded of what it means and how we celebrate it. Here's a few things we are doing:
I really like the advent calendar, which can be used in so many ways as a Christmas-countdown. Last year we pasted an ornament on a paper Christmas tree every day til Christmas! The boys took turns with the glue,, which I think was their favorite part. This year I toned it up a bit by making an advent calendar out of toilet paper rolls. (Odin painted every single one of these, by the way!)
We are stringing them up in our doorway and taking one tp roll down everyday til Christmas, starting on Monday the 5th...because I'm a little behind, hehe. (could that be a pun?)
Inside each tp roll is a scripture, and a thought or action for the day that will remind them of what Christmas is all about. I got the scriptures from here, originally from the LDS Friend magazine.
Another thing we are doing is a "Giving Jar". We put coins into a jar to keep in the car. It is to be used to give away to anyone we see who might be in need. The other day we spent 4 dollars buying ice for a family that was living out of their car and didn't have enough money to keep their groceries cold. They were very grateful and the boys are learning what it means to give.
I also made a giant "Nice tree" out of green construction paper, with a picture of Jesus on the star. Every time someone does something nice for someone else we write it down on a paper ornament and glue it onto the tree. I think it will be fun to read them all on Christmas day and see all the nice things we did this month for each other.
For Christmas decorations we are making construction paper decor, snowflakes to hang, and printing coloring pages of the story of Christs birth. On Christmas Eve we will use our pictures to tell the story of Jesus' birth. We did this last year at Grandma Sandy's house and it was really fun for the kids to be involved.
We have other traditions and are constantly adding more.I hope you are having fun and feeling the spirit of Christmas as you're getting ready for the big day! If you're like me and you like to stay stress-free over the holidays, I bet simple and fun is happening at your house, too. Enjoy!