Thursday, December 11, 2014

Jessica's Favorite Christmas Traditions

One of the best parts about Christmas is spending time with our families and celebrating all of our traditions together.  These are my family's favorite ones...what are yours? 


1.  Christmas Tree Traditions.  My family always strung popcorn to use as garland around the tree, and Jim's family always put red bows all over the tree...so we do both.  Although with a 2 year old little boy who eats everything in sight, we have opted to wait a few years to put popcorn on the tree again!

Favorite Family Christmas Traditions - Christmas Tree Traditions - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com

Another tradition I love is our ornaments.  All of ours are ones we've picked up on vacations or are handmade or were given to us as gifts.  I love it because every ornament has a special meaning or memory.  It's like flipping through the pages of a scrapbook when we decorate our tree.

 
2.  Gingerbread Houses.  Nearly every year, my family has an epic gingerbread house making day.

Favorite Family Christmas Traditions - Gingerbread House Making Party - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com

We come up with our ideas months in advance, draw up design plans, and keep it all hush hush - heaven forbid someone steal your idea!

Favorite Family Christmas Traditions - Gingerbread House Making Party - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com

Over the years, we've had some seriously good creations.  We've made Bag End from the Lord of the Rings (complete with Gandalf and staff ;)...

Favorite Family Christmas Traditions - Gingerbread House Making Party - Bag End The Lord of the Rings The Hobbit - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com

Favorite Family Christmas Traditions - Gingerbread House Making Party - Bag End The Lord of the Rings The Hobbit - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com
 
Snoopy's dog house (complete with the Charlie Brown Christmas tree ;)...

Favorite Family Christmas Traditions - Gingerbread House Making Party - Snoopy's Dog House Charlie Brown Christmas Tree - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com

the Colts football stadium (complete with Super Bowl Champions banners ;)...

Favorite Family Christmas Traditions - Gingerbread House Making Party - Lucas Oil Stadium Go Colts - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com
 
the Nativity scene, a covered bridge, Spongebob's Pineapple under the sea, a sandcastle, and so on...

Favorite Family Christmas Traditions - Gingerbread House Making Party - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


And then we take ridiculous and silly family pictures we take afterwards...

Favorite Family Christmas Traditions - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com
Somehow our brother Matt always ends up at the bottom of the pile...

Favorite Family Christmas Traditions - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com
And now the kids end up under him...

Favorite Family Christmas Traditions - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com
We only like each other just a little if you couldn't tell ;)

I love seeing how our family grows every year!


3.  Celebrating Advent.  The kids have a cloth countdown calendar where they add a new character to the Nativity scene each day until Christmas.  They also have a Felt Nativity to play with that I made for them.  We light the candles on the Advent wreath every Sunday at dinner.  And this was my first year to use the Blessed is She's Advent Reflection Journal to prepare myself for Jesus's coming this Christmas...and it's been excellent.  I love it.

Favorite Family Christmas Traditions - Celebrating Advent with the Saints - St. Nicholas Day Traditions - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com
St. Nicholas Day!

We also celebrate several of the saint's feast days in December:  St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6) with treats in our shoes, St. Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec. 9 and 12) with watching and acting out their story and eating Mexican food, and St. Lucy (Dec. 13) with driving around looking at Christmas lights (the name Lucy means "light"). 

Favorite Family Christmas Traditions - Celebrating Advent with the Saints - St. Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe Traditions - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com
Our Lady of "Guada-loopy" as she says ;)
And speaking of that...


4.  Christmas Lights.  There are several places in town that have huge Christmas light displays...several of them coordinated with music too.  There's something about Christmas lights that are so magical!  Plus, I love hearing the kids squeal with excitement when they see them!


5.  Christmas Morning.  Last, but not least!  My favorite Christmas Day traditions are sitting at the top of the steps to read the Nativity story and then sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.  He is the whole reason we celebrate Christmas, so we start off the day focusing on Him and His Birth!

Favorite Family Christmas Traditions - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com
Reading the Nativity story on Christmas morning


So what are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?  We hope you are having a blessed holiday season so far!  Can't believe it - less than 2 weeks to go now!!!


Favorite Family Christmas Traditions - Gingerbread House Making Party - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com

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Sharing my Thoughts for Thursday with Natalie and Annie,
5 on Friday/Friday Faves along with DarciNatashaChristinaApril
KarliAmyAndreaErika, and Narci,
Week's End with Elizabeth, and
Cait, Katie, Annie, and Lisa for their Holiday Link Up

26 comments:

  1. I love your tree!! I laughed about leaving the popcorn garland off this year :) Everything looks tasty to a toddler. Your gingerbread house contest looks like so much fun. I'm hoping to make our annual gingerbread house this weekend, go for a drive to see the lights and make sugar cookies for the neighbors. Merry Christmas!!

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    1. Haha, we even laughed just discussing the popcorn garland! That sounds fabulous! I hope you post some pics of your gingerbread house creations. I love seeing what others come up with! It's such a fun tradition. We are going to drive around looking at lights tonight. The kids are really getting into Christmas this year - it's been so fun seeing the magic of it all through their eyes. I bet Olive is the same way this year! Merry Christmas to you guys too! -Jess

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  2. Your traditions are awesome and WOW the creativity with the gingerbread houses--I'm totally impressed!! :)

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    1. Thank you so much! It's one of our favorite traditions, and everyone is always so proud of their creation! Merry Christmas!!! -Jess

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  3. Those gingerbread houses are A.MAZE.ING! I want to make them from "scratch" {aka not buy the pre-put together ones} this year, but gosh, I don't think we could pull off anything like your family. :-)

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    1. Haha, well, the first few years, we started small, and then, it just turned into a huge competition! We make ours from "scratch" although we use graham crackers instead of gingerbread. If you need a recipe for the icing "glue", let me know! Ours works really well! Have fun making yours! You'll have to send us a pic! I love seeing what others come up with! Merry Christmas! -Jess

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  4. How awesome is it that you combine you and your husbands tradition when it comes to decorating the tree. It looks beautiful by the way!
    Sydney
    http://raisingsoutherngrace.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you so much! I love that we can then pass this down to our kids. Christmas is such a beautiful time! Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!! -Jess

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  5. I just stumbled across your blog on Five on Friday and I'm so glad I did! We are a transracial family too! I am in a bit of a rush but hope to come back later and read more about you guys! I always love reading the blogs of other families like ours.
    Erin - http://nobohnsaboutit.com

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    1. Hey, Erin! I'm so glad you found our blog! I checked out your blog, and your kids are beautiful. I'll be keeping up with your family through your blog and social media for sure. I love reading blogs with transracial adoption too. It's so great to see more families like ours! We are actually in the process to adopt again right now. Please keep the birthmother, baby, the agency, and us in prayer! Merry Merry Christmas to you and your family! -Jess

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  6. Replies
    1. Thank you! It's always so fun! Merry Christmas to you and your family! -Jess

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  7. Oh I absolutely love Christmas traditions! My sister and I have a gingerbread decorating contest every year! I think I normally win :) Visiting from Friday link parties. www.ladybug-blessings.com

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    1. I normally win ours too (but don't tell Katie ;) I hope you post some pics of your creations! I love seeing what others come up with! Merry Christmas! -Jess

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    1. Thanks! It's been so fun combining each of our family's traditions into our own little family's ones! Merry Christmas! -Jess

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  9. Stopping by from the link up. You have some great traditions. We make gingerbread house each year, your family's houses are AMAZING!! WOW!!!
    Happy Friday!

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    1. Isn't it the best tradition? Have fun making yours this year! Have a wonderful Christmas with your family! -Jess

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  10. Those gingerbread houses are intense - what a fun tradition!

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    1. They truly are. And I'm sure you can imagine all the friendly sibling smack talk that gets said at the table when they're making them. You just can't beat this Christmas tradition! Merry Christmas to you and your family! -Jess

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  11. Wow, those gingerbread houses!! I kinda want to join your family, but there's no way I could measure up. I like the picture with pretty much everyone in Notre Dame shirts!

    We're still starting some traditions, since my husband doesn't care and my family just sorta ebbed and flowed and nothing really ever stuck for too long.

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    1. Haha, I think Notre Dame had a bowl game that day, and that's why we're all in Notre Dame! (I believe we won that bowl too ;)

      Now that your daughter is getting old enough, you could really start some this year and next. There are so many fun things you can do at home! My daughter is really getting into it this year - it is so fun!

      And congrats on another girl! I think I saw you were having another girl, right? lol

      Merry Christmas!

      Jess

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  12. oh my gosh those ginger bread houses, amazing! and how fun. You guys seem like you have an awesome, fun family. Stopping by from the link up. :) Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thank you! We really do have so much fun together! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season with your family! -Jess

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  13. Seriously impressed with your families gingerbread house skills!!! That looks like such a fun day! And such a great idea to sing Happy Birthday on Christmas morning - love that :)

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    1. Thanks! We always have a blast working on them together. Singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus was one of my family's traditions...I love passing on these to my kids now! Merry Merry Christmas to you guys! -Jess

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I love reading your comments - it makes my day! :) Thanks for dropping by!

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