A Family Christmas Tradition - December 1st Boxes

I just love family traditions. It's what makes people look back on the holidays and smile. I know for me, I don't have a very good memory and I can't remember specific things that happened, but when I think back on the holidays growing up, I know that we were together as a family and we were happy. This is my hope for my kids as they grow up. 

I remember baking Christmas cookies with my Daddy and as we got older that baking evolving into an entire family affair where we make buckets and buckets of Christmas goodies (something we still do to this day.) I remember arguing with my siblings over who would get to be "Santa" and pass all the presents around. I remember spending many Christmases with our family in Kentucky. We always loved going up there because we got to spend time with our cousins, who were pretty much the same age as me and my brother. 

Since having kids, David and I have made our own traditions. There are things that are always on our December to-do list, such as going to Santa's Village, baking cookies with Raley (maybe Audrey will be big enough to help next year), making Gingerbread houses, and cuddling by the light of the tree and watching a movie. These are things that I always look forward to and I hope that as the years go by, my kids will look forward to doing them as well. I hope that when they're older, they will think back and remember that we were together and we were happy.

A few years ago, when Raley was just over a year old, we decided to start a new family tradition of giving the kids one gift on the first of December. You may have heard of Christmas Eve boxes? I loved the idea, but I wanted us to be able to enjoy these gifts all month long as we get ready for Christmas. Each year we get them a Christmas movie, a book and each a pair of jammies. As they get older, they'll know what's in their December 1st boxes, but this year they were still surprised!
Audrey said "Wudolph! So cute!"

This year we are trying to keep the season more focused on Jesus so we found a book about Jesus' birth. I like this one because it has passages from Luke and Matthew about the birth of Christ. I also got a nativity sticker book from Usborne books. Our movie this year was Polar Express.

Raley wanted to read the book to Audrey. It was pretty adorable.
PJ's: Audrey| Raley
We read the book, popped some break and bake cookies in the oven, then spent the rest of the evening watching polar express, playing with the sticker book and eating cookies. I made some hot chocolate for Raley but she kept saying it was too hot, even though it was [at the most] lukewarm. She's so funny about temperature. Next time I'll make her chocolate milk and tell her it's cold hot chocolate!

Just a couple photos from years past - it's hard to believe that this is the 4th year that we've done this. They really do grow up way too fast!
2016: Raley 3, Audrey 11 months
2015: Raley 2
2014: Raley 1 (she's so tiny here!)

Do you have any special Christmas traditions that you did growing up? Do you have any new ones with your kids? 

You may also like:
Gift Ideas that are NOT Toys
Favorite Toys - Ages 4 and 1.5 (more gift ideas)
A Christ and Family Centered Christmas

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