This time of year is my favorite...and part of it is because I love traditions. I enjoy some of the traditions that I have done for a long time....and I love the traditions we have started as a family.
One of the traditions we have started as a family is shopping for a child/children off of the Angel Tree. I want me kids to know what this time of year is all about. We pick kids that are the same gender and age as our kiddos so that they know that there are kiddos that aren't as fortunate as they are and that we as a family can help! I love this tradition...picking out the kids we will shop for...heading to Target to buy all kinds of fun stuff that will ensure an exciting Christmas morning for those children...and delivering all the goods back to the mall! Katie had a blast doing that this year too!
Of course another tradition I love is putting up our Christmas tree. I love pulling out all the ornaments and remembering all the memories associated with each of them!
And this is our second year doing Elf on the Shelf...this was Alvin's first night at our house this year! And he brought wrapped books for each night leading up to Christmas!
Here is the stack of books. We did this last year and Katie loved it! I added new books for this year - Katie loves unwrapping a book each night before bed and seeing what we will read at bedtime!
And of course waking up to see what Alvin is up to is always exciting!
I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was adorable! You glue a cotton ball on each day and when Santa has a beard, it is Christmas Eve! And it has the cutest rhyme on it!
Another tradition I love is the annual GNO dinner and ornament exchange! Last night was our outing and it was super fun! This year was our Fifth Annual Ornament exchange....wow! And I got a beautiful ornament for our tree! Another post on this fun event with more pics will happen soon!
Another fun tradition is the trolley ride!! My brother pays for a trolley and everybody gets together and visits before loading up and heading out to look at Christmas lights! It is so fun - and a great way to see some neat lights displays around town. And of course it is fun to visit with family too :) This picture is from last year's fun! We are heading out on the trolley on Sunday for this year's adventure!
And a tradition that has been done in my family for as long as I can remember is reading the Christmas story from a family Bible and having the same candle lit. My grandfather lights the candle (that is probably about 45 years old) and reads the Christmas story out of the Bible that has been in the family since before the Civil War. We also go around and talk about what we are thankful for and what we are looking forward to in the next year. This is such a special time that means so much!
Of course I love all of the time we spend together over the holidays too...Brad usually takes the last two weeks off for Christmas and New Years, so we have lots of time together!! And this year, Katie is really getting into everything, so it is definitely even more fun!