Christmas Traditions as a Family of Three

by Michelle

Once we became a family of three, I was excited to start traditions with our daughter.  For Penelope's first Christmas, we started the tradition of having her gifts from Santa delivered in a Santa sack with her name on it and the presents inside are unwrapped.  I do love wrapping gifts, but not when they are odd shaped so the Santa sack was perfect for those hard to wrap gifts.  I purchased a Santa sack on (seems like it's no longer available) and then took it to a local embroidery shop in Arkansas to have Penelope's name added to it and here's a picture from her first Christmas with her Santa sack filled with toys!

Penelope loves books, so for her second Christmas, we started a tradition of having her unwrap a Christmas book every night before bedtime.  When we started this tradition, we didn't have very many Christmas books and I didn't want to spend tons of money buying new books, so I purchased a few at a local used bookstore and then borrowed some from the library.  We have a version of "The Night Before Christmas" that is child-friendly, so that one is opened on Christmas Eve along with new pajamas for all three of us to wear that night to bed.  The pajama tradition is one that I got from my in-laws in Ohio that my husband and I continued once we were married.  This year the 23 books wrapped in Christmas paper are in a wood crate that I painted and distressed.  Starting on December 1st, Penelope will pick and unwrap a book at bedtime leading up to Christmas Eve. 

Here are a couple of our favorites from the past two years:

Thanks to after Christmas sales and used bookstores, we have more than enough Christmas books but I will continue to add to our collection as her reading level begins to grow.  Here are two books that are new for us this year:

As I look back on my childhood at Christmas time, the one thing that got me into the Christmas spirit was baking and decorating sugar cookies.  Last year was the first time for Penelope to get in on some of the action and I look forward to her helping decorate cookies with me again this year.  Last year life was crazy with moving into our rental house, so I purchased pre-cut sugar cookie dough from GFS and just baked them.  They were very tasty and I'll be getting them again this year since I'm not sure when our kitchen will be fully functioning prior to Christmas.  Penelope didn't have any interest in icing the cookies.  Instead, she enjoyed adding the various sprinkles on top.  Isn't she a cute little cookie decorator?

Have you started any new traditions with your kids or have you continued a family tradition from your childhood?