Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How great is this idea (that I heard about at our ultrasound on Friday)?

Every year, Kim (the ultrasound technician) and her husband and two kids, spend a night camping out under their Christmas tree. She said it typically happens early-to-mid December — the night the tree goes up. Extra fun: while the kids take their nightly bath, Santa leaves new holiday pj's on their bed with a short note (Sleep tight! love, Santa)

I am so in love with this tradition. It's the exact sort of thing that makes Christmas magical. You just know if you managed this even a few years in a row it would be THE thing your kids remember about the holidays — how the whole family slept under the twinkly Christmas lights and Santa came early to leave some cozy pajamas. So great! I'm saving this idea for next year.

What about you Dear Readers? Any favorite traditions that your kids especially adore?

image from SMN's flickr stream

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Blogger Kirsty said...

I love it! Thanks for sharing! Wondering if it is a bad idea to do it tomorrow night...and risk cranky kids for Christmas Eve hmmm....

I posted about some of our traditions recently.

We also do the 12 days of Christmas anonymously every year. Doing "The Drop" complete with stealth car getaway every night is a great bonding experience.

Traditions=Magic :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 11:15:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

My boys dress up in elf costumes with hats and butterfly wings when it's time to decorate the tree. This is an important tradition for them!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 11:20:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Jennifer (@Greengotham) said...

Another holiday tradition is canceling unwanted catalogs for my family and others in my apartment building. We use Catalogchoice.org for canceling our unwanted catalogs. That way we save tons of paper, and preserve the spirit of the holidays.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 11:27:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Cissy said...

We just had our annual family progressive dinner, and I think if we didn't have my husband's siblings nearby, it would still be fun to do with friends. We have a little bit of dinner (drink, vegetables, soup, main dish, dessert) at each house, the cousins run around like crazy in each other's home for 15 or so minutes, and we get to see everyone's decorations. It's a whirlwind adventure that we look forward to every Christmas.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 12:59:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We don't put up our tree until Christmas Eve. That way we can make a big family-adventure-day of the whole process. While we're out buying the tree, Santa sneeks in and leaves the each of the kids a new ornament; one that reflects on something special from the past year. This year, baseballs and a school bus.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 1:29:00 AM EST  
Blogger Nadya said...

We've got a wonderful advent calender with 31 pockets for the whole December. The New Year is our main holiday in Russia. Xmas is celebrated on January, the 7th, and it's much less popular. The magic is supposed to come with the New Year, when a clock strikes twelve. So we have 31 days to wait instead of 24.
It is me who fills the pockets of a calender with gifts. I have two kids (15 and 12), and they always know whose turn is it to pick a gift today. The order of the gifts is random, but total sum every girl gets is the same. They LOVE this tradition! And it's the only thing to wake up in December for.
Thank you for your blog! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 3:57:00 AM EST  
Blogger Christy said...

We always made (graham cracker) gingerbread houses but we couldn't eat them until Christmas. As we got older we wised up and filled the insides with candy ("people"). The time spent building the houses together is still one of my favorite memories, and I plan to continue that with my own new family.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 9:36:00 AM EST  
Blogger Sarah Bradley said...

What a fantastic tradition! And, a perfect way to keep the Christmas spirit alive in children's hearts year after year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 9:45:00 AM EST  
Blogger a neske said...

When we set up our tree every year, it's the youngest's duty to set up the nativity scene underneath.

They can lay out the "stable" any way they want, but Baby Jesus remains hidden and out of the picture until Christmas morning.

On Christmas morning, it's the youngest's job to put out Baby Jesus before any presents are opened or food is devoured.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 9:56:00 AM EST  
Blogger Jenny B said...

My mother since my sisters and I were born, has given us an ornament on Christmas Eve. Each ornament reflects a place we had been that past year, a special event that occurred, always memorable. She would wrap them and place them on our dining table so we would open them before enjoying our Christmas Eve meal.

The idea was when we got married, she would send us off with our years of ornaments so that our own Christmas trees would be full of memories.

My daughter is 2 1/2 and I just wrapped her 3rd ornament to place in front of her dinner plate tomorrow night.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 10:31:00 AM EST  
Blogger Mama DB said...

Love, love, love that idea! I also really like Jenny B's tradition with the ornaments.

We have an "Elf on the Shelf" and the kids love to jump out of bed and see where it is at, every morning until he leaves us to go back to Santa on Christmas Eve. Even more than the kids enjoy finding it, my husband LOVES to think up new places to hid him every evening.

Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 11:48:00 AM EST  
Blogger Katie said...

We're camping out under the tree tonight. We open a game and a movie for the whole family every year and stay up all night playing, laughing, story telling, and eating everyone's favorite snacks. (Added bonus...every one is so tired from staying up late on the 23, that they fall fast asleep on the Christmas Eve.)

The Eve of Christmas Eve is our kick-off for Christmas. All shopping is done and the house is clean. We'll spend tomorrow having a fun family day...making gingerbread houses or sledding if there's enough snow.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 11:53:00 AM EST  
Blogger ShazBraz said...

Every year on Christmas Eve, we go out to look at Christmas lights. While we are gone, Santa sends his elves to check everything out and make sure the house is ready for Santa's visit...and they leave a board game or two under the tree for the kids to find when we return. We all get into our pj's and drink hot chocolate and play the new games until bedtime.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 1:00:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Emily said...

When we came home from church and Grandma's house on Christmas Eve, Mrs Claus would have stopped by and left new pajamas and a new Christmas book by the fireplace to read before bed. Later, my mom admitted that she got the idea for new pajamas so we'd look cute in the Christmas morning photos! I guess the huge, old t-shirts we'd normally wear were slightly less than photogenic?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 3:51:00 PM EST  
Blogger heather said...

For our daughter's first Christmas we drew around her hand onto a thick piece of paper and cut it out to make into an ornament. We now have four hands on the tree for each Christmas we've celebrated with her. So amazing how she has grown. I look forward to having many hands on our tree as we get older...and hopefully by next year we'll add a new set of hands! Eventually these little hands might get a tree their own.

Thursday, December 24, 2009 at 1:22:00 PM EST  
Blogger Heather said...

So fun to read this! My husband camped under his Christmas tree every year as a kid and even proposed to me at his family's tree on Christmas Eve. And my mom always gave us new pj's on Christmas eve - this is the perfect combination of the two traditions. Thanks for sharing!

Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 7:41:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Leisa Hammett said...

I so admired your abundant creativity and your ability to not sacrifice but rather really embellish and enrich you parenting and your children's lives. You live fully. It's beautiful. And, inspiring.

Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 12:34:00 PM EST  

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