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      Our daughter just turned two this year so we are really starting to

      decide what Christmas traditions we want to celebrate in our

      household. I usually pick a theme after Christmas is over for the

      next years Christmas (this year its-love, last year-peace, year

      before-joy). This theme allows me to choose things throughout the

      year and to shop the after Christmas markdowns. So for this year

      everything will be hearts, red and gold, and our handmade gifts for

      our over 150 friends, family neighbors, co-workers, and my daughter’s

      classmates will all be themed around “Love”.

      Decorating in our household is a first Saturday evening after

      Thanksgiving project. My husband pulls out the tree and sets it up we

      put on all our prior year ornaments and fill in with the balls in this

      years colors. I put up a ribbon (now two) that stretch down the

      hallway with all the prior Christmas’ cards on them. We decorate our

      house with greenery and warm blankets (we live in TX so it doesn’t get

      really cold till December if at all.) We change out our summer linens

      for our winter ones and try to put something “Christ” centered in

      every room, whether just an open bible , Christmas story books in the

      quiet rooms, the advent calendar in the dining room, or the nativity

      in the living room. We put mistletoe above our bed to remind us to

      love each other through the hectic holidays. I usually pull out the

      hot chocolate and apple cinnamon drink mixes for snuggle time each

      evening. I look forward to warm milk and cookie nights with my

      daughter this year. We will watch movies like Miracle on 34th St and

      such on Friday and Saturday evenings but the other nights we will read

      stories.

      We will go look at Christmas lights one evening the week before

      Christmas Eve. We also will do whatever church activities are going

      on that year. I would love to go caroling or at least go to the park

      where caroling is going on. We also have a baking night the weekend

      before Christmas for our neighbors and I liked that idea of a come and

      go party, but we usually just go door to door and meet and greet.

      Christmas songs fill our home for the week prior to Christmas or while

      we are doing activities together. I hope that we can have gingerbread

      houses and other Christmas crafts when the kids get older. We send

      Christmas newsletters to everyone in the family and close friends

      enclosed with their gift. We hand deliver as many as possible between

      Thanksgiving and Christmas.

      In our home Santa and Jesus switch priority. By that I mean Santa is

      a story we only hear on the night before Christmas. We tell the

      actual story of St Nick not the reindeer version. We encourage our

      kids to have giving hearts and to look for opportunities and needs in

      those around them. On Christmas day it is about giving not receiving.

      We go out to nursing homes, shelters, widows, orphans, etc and give

      them baskets of goodies we made the prior weekend. I hope our kids

      will play “Santa” for other people as they grow up. Presents within

      our family are one want, one need, one clothing, and one book and CD

      for each member and are opened the day after Christmas. Now our

      extended family almost always showers us with gifts so we do not feel

      our children go without. Also they do get stockings on the corners of

      their beds that they wake up to Christmas morning. I usually put

      small gifts I have found through the year in them. (Us adults and the

      pets get one too) This is opened Christmas morning. Our advent

      calendar has a scripture and a treat in each drawer opened the 24 days

      prior to Christmas. Well that is our Christmas in a nutshell.

      Speaking of which I would love to see the nutcracker ballet one day.

      -Jessica

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Budget101 Discussion List Archives Budget101 Discussion List Budget101.com : Re: What are some of your Christmas traditions.