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One of the things that makes me most excited about having my own family is the ability to create or play out some of my childhood holiday fantasies. Some are ones that I dreamed in my head and some are ones I saw played out in other friend’s homes over the holidays.

I know the holidays can be depressing for those of us who came from less than idyllic childhoods. But you don’t have to be stuck in your past. You can create your present and future childhood traditions. That is what I like to do and its surprisingly easy. There is no Family Tradition patrol who is going to come over to your house and call you out. Just decide what your tradition is going to be and POOF—you have a family tradition!

If you are blessed to have little ones it is especially easy because they pretty much believe everything you say. (I just love that!) So, when they ask, “What is this Mom?” All you have to do is say, “This is a Christmas tradition in our home.” Who knew it was so easy to make your dreams and fantasies come true?

As Christians we celebrate CHRISTmas. No Happy Holidays here, sorry. I’ve been through too much political correctness with my blended family to last me a lifetime and now I’m (finally) embracing CHRISTmas with my husband and children.

Inspired by one of our favorite people, The Sneaker Teacher, or Kiki as our boys used to call her, I am officially announcing our Advent House tradition effective December 1, 2009. If you don’t have one, feel free to make ours your own. We purchased the above Advent House several years ago from Pottery Barn Kids and I’m embarrassed to say have never used it, until now!

Here is what I’ve included in some of our windows and doors:

- Read T’was the night before Christmas

- Read Rudolph the Red nose reindeer

- Watch an animated Christmas movie together for Family Movie night

- Play a board game together

- Roast marshmallows together

- Go shopping together for others & donate the toys to charity

- Decorate our Christmas tree

- Take a family portrait

-Invite friends to join us at the Church Christmas party

- Make ornaments for the tree

- Set up the nativity set

- Decorate the yard with Christmas lights together

- Watch an animated video about the birth of Jesus

- Family Game night—everyone picks a game!

- Make cookies together

- (Candy Canes)

- Make S’mores

- Buy or make a birthday cake for Jesus

Do you have any ideas for other activities I can add to our Advent House?

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  1. Yay! Glad you are going to start this tradition. I am sure the kids will love it! Maybe the boys can make a paper chain and write down nice things to do for YOU throughout the holiday season :0) good handwriting practice!


  2. One of my children's favorite advent activities is to tell them the story of their birth. We talk about how they have change our life. Then we get to share with them how the birth of Jesus has changed our lives. Our oldest are now able to participate in this discussion.

    Some other activities that we place in our advent: We make a crown one night. We bundle up and go out and look at the stars, trying to find the brightest Christmas star possible and imagine what is would be like to hear from the angels. My children LOVE this activity and look forward to this evening every year.

  3. I love creating traditions and memories for my kids. I am doing all the things that I wish my parents did when I was young. It is so cool.

  4. Those sound like some great ideas to me!

    Hmmm… I finally bought one of those advent houses last year. The only thing I planned to do was put a couple pieces of chocolate in each door… but I like your idea MUCH better!

    I guess this means that since tomorrow is Dec 1, I need to find where I put that thing. At least our Christmas boxes are color coded– they are either red or have a red lid, so it's easier to find in the attic.

  5. I agree. It's never too late to have a wonderful childhood.

  6. I love that you make a birthday cake for Jesus- we do, too! And have to sing to him on Christmas.

    Great ideas- I usually just see candy or something like that in an advent calendar. I really like the idea of having there be something to do.

    How about making reindeer dust? Mix oats and glitter together- it's to sprinkle in the yard on Christmas Eve so that Santa's reindeer can spot your house and it's a snack for them while Santa visits.

  7. I've had my eye on that Advent House from PBK for a while now. Love it! Your advent activities are great!

  8. I think you're brilliant! I love everything about this, especially what you have chosen to include.

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