Create Meaningful Holiday Traditions
"Our annual family tradition is to make a thankful bucket," says Melissa of A Place to Nest. "I cut strips of holiday themed paper and put them in a jar, a bowl, or a bucket. Leave age-appropriate crayons, pens, or markers near the bucket and whenever they're inspired, anyone can add their thoughts into the bucket. At Thanksgiving dinner we take turns reading each other's thoughts and pictures. It's a nice way to remember what Thanksgiving is really about and make that dinner that took hours linger just a big longer."
A Good Book
"This year we're starting a 'thankful book'," says Kim of Shop With Me Mama. "It's a leather-bound book that has stories and pictures of what each person in the family is thankful for."
"Thanksgiving calls for a variety of pies as we all browse the store ads and dream up our Christmas wish lists," says Janel of A Mom's Take. "Christmas Eve we set aside time for singing Christmas carols, eating goodies, and opening up Christmas pajamas with our extended family. When we know what to expect each year, it helps us remember wonderful memories we've shared in years past."
It's a Snap!
"I love something I call the time capsule ornament," says Jesse of Good Girl Gone Glad. "I ask the kids to write down their favorite things to do and record their ages. We rolled these small pieces of paper up and tied them with pretty ribbon and popped them inside a clear plastic bulb. We're saving them to open the first year they move into their own homes. They'll get to open up the ornament and peek and the notes inside."
"It's so easy to get caught up in the hoopla of Christmas, so we turned our advent calendar into an advent Christmas tree, says Kristin of My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia. "Every day the children pick a number which has an activity listed on the back. It could be something simple like reading a book together or making hot chocolate."
"Photo gift tags are an easy way for kids who can't read yet to get under the tree and see what presents are theirs," says Jesse of Good Girl Gone Glad. "It lends a custom, cute feel to their gifts. They're easy as printing a cute photo on card stock and using a circle craft punch to cut out the face area. Use a hole punch and some ribbon to attach them to your package."
"Preserve your holiday memories with DIY Photo Tile Coasters," says Shay of Outnumbered 3 to 1. "Using tile, a photograph, and some Modge Podge you can create a lasting keepsake -- they make great gifts as well!"
"Buy one ornament per kid that shows off their personality or an interest/hobby they have. We surprise them and give the ornament out at Thanksgiving dinner because we decorate our tree that evening," says Jesse of Good Girl Gone Glad.
"Holidays are always a great photo opp," says Christina of Celebrations at Home. "Hang fabric or curtain panels to make an instant photo booth for the entire family. Add printable props, antler ears, and Santa hats, for extra fun."
One for the Books
"After the holidays I round up all of the special pictures that were taken and create a scrapbook. You can upload your pictures to a variety of websites and create a photo book or you can create your own by hand. Make sure the kids share their favorite part of the holiday and include it in the book," says Kristin of My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia.
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