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Some Ideas for Christmas and Advent Traditions.

Some Ideas for Christmas and Advent Traditions.

Christmas is a natural time of year for family traditions. Creating family traditions has been shown to strengthen family bonds and increase a child’s sense of security. How often are our memories of our own childhood centred around the traditions we had as a child?

I saw a lovely idea of creating a 12-Days-of-Christmas-Bucket-List, I like this as it creates a framework to work from, but is not too overwhelming. So I have created my own, which reflects our family.

  1. Christmas baking: I love making Christmas cake, but I also love Christmas breads. I try to do at least one, usually stollen or Jesus Bread (although I’m totally rubbish at moulding breads into decorative shapes).
  2. Read Christmas books. We use the Ann Voskamp Christmas devotional, “Unwrapping the Greatest Gift”. Another favourite is “The Baker’s Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale by Aaron Shepard, last year this was a particular favourite with Jude. This year we are going to read “I Saw Three Ships” by Elizabeth Goudge.
  3. Gingerbread Men: following on from the Baker’s Dozen, we’ll make gingerbread men.
  4. Make ornaments for the Christmas tree. This year we are going to make home-made clay ornaments.
  5. Go carol singing: I love singing Christmas carols… enough said! When I asked Jude what he likes about Christmas he said “present [of course], singing Christmas songs, and the candles [see point 7]”
  6. Play Christmas music in the house. As well as going carol singing we play Christmas songs in the house :), instantly puts you in the festive spirit.
  7. Make an advent crown. This this simply a row of four candles on a plate, not so much a crown if the truth be told! We light one each on the advent Sundays as part of our family devotional time.
  8. Christmas crafts. This is one of those times of the year when I pluck up the courage to let out the glitter (hoover at the ready!)! I loved Christmas crafts as a child. This year I hope to make a Christmas wreath from things we have collected from the forest. We also make our own Christmas cards.
  9. Parties! With Beka’s birthday 3 days before Christmas it brings added fun to this time of year. I also like to have friends round, to share food and enjoy each other’s company.
  10. Wintry walks, we don’t always have a lot of snow at Christmas time here, but when we do it is extra special to go for a snowy walk. We live in hope for a white Christmas this year, Thomas currently thinks it is mandatory for Christmas to have snow, and a blue sky. On Non-White Christmases we often walk along the beach on Boxing Day.
  11. Wintry walks

  12. Putting up the Christmas tree. This is always a family occasion. We all work together, play Christmas music, and laugh a lot. Afterwards when all is quiet I put chocolates on the tree, hidden, for the children. I remember one of the greatest Christmas joys as a child would be finding a missed chocolate on the tree!
  13. Going to church on Christmas Eve. I have always loved this, in my pre-child days I enjoyed going to a Watchnight Service, now sleep wins out there, but I hope to revive this tradition as the children grow older.
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