Brighter days ahead

I have been so busy taking naps, eating the wonderful desserts that friends have been bringing us and trying to protect the baby from six little hands that constantly want to touch her nose and ears that I almost forgot to recognize that this is one of my favorite days of the year!

It’s the first day after the Winter Solstice. Starting today, we will be getting a little extra sunlight each day until June 22. After Christmas Day and the summer solstice — the longest day of the year — this has to be one of my favorite days.

Oh, I can be realistic and face the fact that spring doesn’t come to this part of the planet until late May. But at least the promise of more sunlight gives one hope, doesn’t it?

I can’t believe we still have two full days before Christmas. The reason I can’t believe it is because I have barely done any shopping (I actually only left the house one time and only ventured in to two stores), and yet I feel like I’m ready for Christmas. Online shopping has been my friend.

I’m excited to be at home this year snuggled together with a new baby and our family. I’m looking forward to seeing our kids unwrap their gifts. And although I wish we could be with our extended family, I’m excited to be here, doing things at our own pace.

We have started a few traditions with our immediate family, but I would really love to start a few more. Would you take a minute and tell me in the comments section about your favorite family tradition at Christmas?

Here are a few things that we try to do:

We add handprints to our Christmas tree skirt. I’m having a dilemma though, because our skirt is almost full. I could squeeze this year’s handprints on, but I’m thinking I should start a new tree skirt now that we have a new family member.

On Christmas Eve, we get out our Playmobil nativity set, and the kids act out the Christmas story. We also read through all of the pages of our Advent book.

We don’t make a big deal about Santa at our house, but we do put out a cookie and cup of milk for him. I love seeing the reaction on the kids’ faces when they see the half-eaten cookie on Christmas morning.

We open gifts first thing in the morning. When I was a kid, my parents would let us get up at 4 a.m. to open gifts. We usually wait until 6:30 or 7 a.m., but we definitely do it first thing.

I also like to have cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I need to find a good recipe to make them from scratch.

Since it’s just our family here on Christmas Day, I’m trying to decide what type of meal I should make. I’m also starting to think about what we should do on Christmas Eve.

What are your family traditions? I would love some creative ideas!

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  1. It is hard in our house to have every year traditions…so we have every-other year ones! One year we will wait for Hunter on Christmas Morning to open gifts, or meet him at the in-laws to open gifts there first then come home to do our own. The other year we will have Hunter open all his gifts, and Boo gets to open one gift on Christmas Eve. It changes so much each year that we never know which way is up!

  2. We make a birthday cake for Jesus. We also read our Adornaments, from Family Life. There are 12, and this year we have to divide them between 4 kids, so only 3 nights.

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