I have always been a lover of all things Christmas. It is the most exciting time of the year for me. Even before I was a Believer, it was the holiday I looked forward to January through November.
Now, as a mom, I have a whole new outlook on this amazing holiday. We take in all the local events, share the story of Jesus and enjoy shopping for gifts. Our three-year-old is beginning to love the season, too!
Here are a few traditions we hold dear to our hearts, and I hope it helps inspire you to build memories with your kiddos.
Three years ago we began our activity advent calendar. For 25 days, I handpick a mix of things for my toddler to enjoy and take part in during the most wonderful time of year. Our Christmas activities include local events, movie nights, crafts and three new books.
We do a lot of threes in my family this time of year! I pick three books to wrap and strategically (aka when nothing else is going on OR a Monday!) add them to our advent calendar. I am always on a hunt for good quality Christmas books. I love a mix of fun (this year we added How The Grinch Stole Christmas), a Santa-related book (this year it’s The Night Before Christmas) and we always include a Christ-centered book.
Last year, and still to this day, my favorite book is God Gave Us Christmas.
I love it so much because it boldly addresses God and Santa. In the book, the little cub curiously asks his mama, “Is God more important than Santa?” The two embark on an adventure that shows little cub that God gave us the gift of Christmas.
Yup, it is good. And so perfect for preschoolers! I highly, highly recommend adding this to your Christmas collection (if you celebrate Santa, too).
We also gift each other three presents – my husband, myself and BabyCoolJ – each get three gifts inspired by the Three Wise Men (plus a few stocking stuffers from Santa). We keep it really simple because he receives so much from family, but that brings me to another one of my favorite traditions.
In anticipation of our child’s gifts, we begin to collect his toys to donate. In addition to those items, we also pick a child from our church’s Angel Tree to give gifts to. Last year we picked two children that had clothing on their wish lists (it pulled on our heart strings so much) and this year we picked a boy that is the same age as BabyCoolJ. He doesn’t fully grasp it, but we go shopping together, put the child’s three gifts in a box and talk through what we are doing as a family. I pray that seeing this year-after-year it will give him a heart to serve and give back to those in need.
Another activity we do (like I said, I like to do all the things!) is The Star from Afar. Similar to Elf of the Shelf, it is a daily activity of finding the Star of David. It moves closer and closer to the manger from December 1 to December 25. Every morning my toddler looks for the star and moves the Wise Men to it with its final destination to the Nativity on Christmas Day.
Also on Christmas Day, we close up our advent activity calendar with a celebration for Jesus’ birthday. When we wake up, in our comfy PJ’s, we bake a cake for Jesus. We are at my parent’s house and now that BabyCoolJ is “helpful” and loves being involved, I imagine we will take their kitchen over that morning!
Just a few more days until Christmas and we will continue taking in all the things until the big day. What are some of your Christmas traditions?
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