I know, It’s already December 11th and I’m a little late to the party, but that’s just how we roll in the Fernandez home! Here are some of the activities we have done and plan to do to celebrate the season.
- Gingerbread house
We just buy the pre-made kit at Target or wherever and have fun putting it together (and I try to keep the kids from eating all the decorations). Maybe when they are older we can construct our own custom build and make the gingerbread from scratch, but for now, this works for us!
- Shopping for family gifts
I have started a tradition where I will take each of the kids (for now, just the older two) out to either the dollar store or the dollar spot and have them thoughtfully pick out a gift for each of their siblings and mom and dad (sometimes their cousins as well). Then they get to pick out their own wrapping paper and we lock ourselves into my bedroom and wrap all the gifts together. Then on Christmas morning they get the joy of giving all of their gifts to the family. We struggle with a selfish, entitled attitude in our kids, but this is one way of trying to bring the joy of GIVING into their minds and hopefully hearts.
- Do an advent wreath
Two Sunday’s ago everyone was sick and we missed church, last week Fernando and I had our weekend away so we are TERRIBLY behind on our advent celebration, but I think we will be able to make it up. We are going to take our kids through the book Prepare Him Room and I am very excited about it!
- Play PURPOSEFUL Christmas Music
We’ve had a lot of fun signing along with the kids to Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree and Jingle Bells, but I slowly realized that a lot of the older, traditional songs that mean so much to me are completely foreign to our kids. I have been trying to play more purposeful Christmas music in the last few days, and will continue until the 25th.
- Visit THAT House on the Block
I’m sure every neighborhood has THAT house. The one that goes ALL out for Christmas. Our neighborhood is no different. Lights covering every square inch, giant cutouts of some of the kids favorite Disney characters, music playing and even a snow machine (for us in Miami this is pretty magical). We go every year and the kids love it.
- Do a Tree Lighting Ceremony
This is something that the kids will probably only enjoy for a few more years, so I don’t know that we will carry this tradition forever, but every evening, when it starts to get dark, we do a tree lighting ceremony, and whoever’s turn it is (the kids ALWAYS remember) they hum a little dramatic and festive music and then countdown “3, 2, 1!” and plug in the tree and we all cheer and clap. This happens EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. and I kind of love it and how excited the kids get about something as simple as a brightly lit tree.
- Buy Each Kid an Ornament
We’ve done this every year so far and the kids LOVE it. They have little collection at this point of their own ornaments and a tiny tree we have in their room. They decorate the tree themselves with their special ornaments and then we go and they get to pick a new one for this year. When they leave the house, they will get to take all of their ornaments with them. We have, however, limited the selection to non-breakable ornaments only.
So, there you have it, no Elf on the Shelf, no visiting Santa, not that any of that is wrong, I’ve just FINALLY come to the conclusion that it’s ok for me to not have to do EVERYTHING. We are being intentional and I love the intentional memories and traditions we are creating!
I’d love to hear, what intentional things are YOU doing with your kids this year?