Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Holiday Traditions



Since having kids, the holidays have really come alive for me. Their excitement and joy is pure magic to watch. When we go for a Christmas tree, hang lights and decorate, their eyes are filled with amazement and wonder. It really is the best.

Now that Coco and Theo are getting older, I'm really excited about establishing our own family holiday traditions. Here are a few we're excited to incorporate this year.

The Elf on the Shelf

I actually can't think of anything more obnoxious than The Elf on the Shelf! And yet. It is exactly the sort of thing that will make five-year-old Coco go absolutely over the moon. And for that, it is worth it. I already told Coco that one of Santa's elves will be coming to live in our house between St. Nicolas Day and Christmas Eve. Her eyes got all wide. I explained that the elf will be watching to see if she's bad or good, just like the song. Then, on Christmas Eve, when Santa delivers her presents, the elf will go back to the North Pole. She actually gasped audibly and clasped her hands in front of her chest. Elves are available with light or dark skin (bravo!), as boys or girls. When I asked if she would rather have a boy elf or girl elf, she shouted, "GIRL!" Done.

St Nicholas Day

This year, we are going to celebrate St. Nicholas Day. Coco and Theo will each put a boot outside their bedroom door. Then, in the morning, they'll discover that their boot is filled with special treats like a chocolate orange, mandarins and cookies. They will also each get a pair of matching pyjamas! Last year, we got them matching pyjamas for the first time and it was the cutest thing ever. This year, I got them the sweetest pair from Baby Gap. I can't wait to see them wearing them all winter long!

Visiting Santa

Another fun tradition we started last year was visiting Santa and having photos done on his lap. At the mall in downtown Spokane, there is a gigantic tree at least two or three stories tall and Santa has a big throne-like velvet green chair flanked by giant candy canes at its base. I don't know how great Coco and Theo thought it was, but J and I thought it was great. Santa had a real beard and the photo was so adorable! Definitely something we'll do again this year.

What are your favorite holiday traditions? Do you feel like you enter the holiday season prepared, or is it a time of total overwhelm? ;) xo

6 comments:

  1. We love doing a storybook advent calendar (we wrap up 24 books with winter, solstice, and Christmas themes and open 1 each day). So much anticipation and fun without the consumerism (we use the same ones every year and many are from our childhood).

    We also do new pjs, but on Xmas eve. I always get Hatley ones. Great quality and always fun patterns (though I hate the gender stereotyping in how they list them and often buy "boy" ones for my girl as there is no difference in sizing or cut).

    Elf on the Shelf seems extra disturbing once you consider this view: https://www.google.nl/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2014/12/16/the-elf-on-the-shelf-is-preparing-your-child-to-live-in-a-future-police-state-professor-says/

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    1. SO creepy! I am back in the anti-Elf camp. Thank you!! :)

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  2. Too cute! We celebrate St Nicholas day too...he brings new pj's too and also a couple of new books for each of them (sometimes Christmas/Winter themed).
    :)

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    1. The book idea is perfect - totally natural with the pyjamas. :)

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  3. Ha, I also think Elf on a Shelf is not my favorite idea. Let me know how they like it. I bet they love it. We did not grow up with that so I'm hoping to give it a miss. And maybe they won't know it over here anyway?

    So far we are loving all the Christmas Markets, ice skating, and the Marlitram as our traditions so far. We are usually in South Africa or skiing here for Christmas. The girls "write" Santa their Christmas Wish Lists and I'm hoping that stays a nice tradition. It seems we have to move Christmas to the 24th here. Hopefully we can keep some of these new traditions.

    I grew up traveling for Christmas with my family as that was when we could all go somewhere together, so perhaps I'm keeping the traveling Christmas traditions?

    xx

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    1. In Zurich, Coco wasn't old enough yet for the Märlitram when we left...but we did ice skating, Christmas Markets, and we went to Conelli every year the day after Christmas. I miss that stuff! But I could never move Christmas to the 24th. Nope!! xo

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