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Friday, December 4, 2009


Our family has many holiday traditions that we enjoy during the Christmas season.  Let me share a few with you….

Of course there’s holiday baking which I will cover at next week’s Friday post!  These were some spritz and gingerbread cookies from last year!

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This year I bought an Advent calender shaped like a church.  Each day one of the children gets a small gift in the spot numbered for that day.  We put small stickers on each number so they would know when it’s their turn.  At some point during the day or night, a Christmas Elf puts the surprise in the box.  I think the elf is smart enough to realize that he/she can’t fill the whole 25 days at once or they would have all been opened on December 1st!

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We also celebrate the coming of Jesus’ birth with this soft wall hanging advent calender.  Each day Ricky and Greta take turns putting up another item from the pockets below.  On Christmas Day, Baby Jesus is placed in the manger!

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Another fun tradition we started years ago with my sister and her children is a birthday party for Jesus.  We always do one fun activity, which has included: making picture ornaments, making gingerbread houses, going skating, and last year we all went to Nickolodeon Universe and got unlimited wristbands to go on rides all day.  We always end the party with a birthday cake decorated with the nativity scene and a reading of the Bible’s story of Jesus birth.  We let the kids take turns reading.  It is truly a wonderful time with my 5 kids and my sister’s 5!!!  We’ve even had Santa make a surprise appearance a few times!

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And of course, there’s tons of decorating!  When Taylor was a baby I placed a small tree filled with angels in her bedroom.  Since then, each child has wanted their own small tree.  As many of you realize as your kids get older, they have tons of hand-made ornaments.  It was getting to be too much for our big tree so now they each decorate their bedroom trees with ornaments they have made or received  throughout the years.

Each tree shows their personalities too:

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Peter and Ricky’s tree is simply decorated and includes sports ornaments.

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Greta is still my princess.  Her tree already has gifts under it that she has bought or made for her family!

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Hannah’s tree is glitzy and decorated in pinks and chocolate brown just like her bedroom is painted!

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Of course our tree in the family room is not to be outdone!

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Okay, I’m only kidding!  This huge 2 or 3-story tree is at the Mall of America!  I haven’t got around to finishing the decorating on our family tree yet!

And speaking of the Mall of America,  Taylor has the day off of high school after finals week so she, Peter and I are off to see Santa!

To see more FFF, stop on over to Hannah’s blog!


Kim & Dave said...

What a great idea to give each of the kids their own tree!!!

I might need to start that tradition, too!

& the get-together with your sister sounds so fun!!!

We should make Gingerbread houses with my sister & her kids, too, although ours would only total 6 kids!

Unknown said...

You have some great traditions!!!

i love the little personal trees..i was going to be very jealous if that jumbo tree was yours!!!

Gardenia said...

love all your traditions. I really like that wall hanging advent calendar where the manger gets filled up day by day. did your crafty self make it??

Emily said...

Wonderful traditions! LOVE 'em!

Melinda said...

The little advent church is so cute!! Love all your trees too!

One Busy Momma said...

Great traditions!!!!
Love the personal trees!!!! That's awesome!
Beautiful cookies!!! very talented kids with the decorating!

Love your advent calendars also!!!

Hannah said...

My kids each get their own tree too. So fun :)

You have some really fun traditions. I love the party idea!