growing up, having family traditions was something that was a norm in our house. my mom and dad always made sure we did something special for most occasions. whether that was listening to alice’s restaurant on thanksgiving, midnight mass and papa’s house on christmas eve, watching the little drummer boy and eating a big breakfast on christmas day, an easter get together (and getting baskets until we were much too old), or family dinners for birthdays. traditions have been a huge part of my life and those memories are so special.
now that i am a mom, traditions have taken on an entirely new meaning for me. they are so much more now that i can see them through my children’s eyes. i know what they meant to me throughout my childhood and, now that i’m grown and i see how fleeting time really is, i want to make those memories for my kids, too.
with social media, i feel like a total mom failure that i can’t do EVERY tradition/activity with my kids. seriously, there isn’t enough time to do it all. and, let me tell you, i have been struggling with that. i WANT to do it all. but, alas, i cannot. and that is okay. holiday traditions are something i always look forward to and the ones that i choose to do with my little family will be special because we are doing them as a family.
with that – there are a couple of traditions that i started with everett and, so far, they have carried into each year. our favorite is our ‘advent calendar’. i could NOT find one that i loved and wanted to buy, so i decided that we’d read a christmas book each night to count down the days until christmas. it’s so fun to pull our 25 books out of storage. i was wrapping them to let him open a new one each night, but this year not so much. i didn’t have time, so we are just reading them as they are stacked up in the bin…there’s always next year! (i’m saying this out loud but my mind is like ‘yeah, okay…’)
here are our 25 favorites. i think i will eventually swap out some of them out, but rett and elea are little enough to appreciate them still. if you have some classics, pass them along! i can always revamp our selection.
- The Elf on the Shelf
(this one is the first book slotted for december 1st because that’s when beck, our elf, appears! we read this periodically to remind everett that beck reports to santa…like he cares. #toddler)
- Just Right for Christmas
- The Pups Save Christmas (Paw Patrol, of course…)
- The Spirit of Christmas (one of our FAVES! well, mine at least. i cry every single time!)
- Frosty the Snowman
- Santa Claus (Funny Face book)
- Once Upon A Northpole Christmas
- Merry Christmas, Stinky Face
- Olive, the other reindeer
- The Polar Express (a classic)
- Nighty-Night Northpole (lights up!)
- The Biggest Christmas Tree Ever
- Pete the Cat Saves Christmas
- Little Blue Truck’s Christmas (also lights up!)
- God Gave Us Christmas
- Santa Is Coming To Missouri
- A Charlie Brown Christmas
- Snowmen at Christmas (sooo cute)
- Santa Is Coming To My House
- Olivia Helps with Christmas
- The Nutcracker
- How The Grinch Stole Christmas
- Merry Christmas, Curious George
- Twas The Night Before Christmas
(this is our most special book of all. it is a recordable book and my parents read the story to everett for his first christmas so we listen to it before we leave the house for our christmas eve festivities)
the christmas season is magical and there is NOTHING like seeing all of that wonder through your children’s eyes. it is simply the best thing in the world.