Then....I realized how exhausting working full time and being a single mom are. Traditions didn't always stick.
That's when I also realized that it's not all about the money you spend, it's about the traditions make you feel. THAT's what is going to stick with your kids as they grow. They can be simple things and yet they'll still make an impact on your kids.
We've managed to instill a few holiday traditions that stuck.
- The Christmas Pickle - this is a German tradition and because of German history in my family we thought this would be a fun tradition. If you haven't ever done the pickle thing, it's simple. You hang the glass pickle ornament on the tree and on Christmas Eve Santa hides it. The person who finds it wins a prize. In our house Santa hangs the prize right on the ornament so it's easy to find.
- The advent calendar - My mom bought us a beautiful wooden advent calendar that we've used year after year. I put little trinkets in it and the little dude not only gets his daily candy allotment but he also has a fun way to countdown to Christmas.
- We get our craft on! I don't know what it is but even my little man gets bitten by the crafty bug around the holidays. He loves painting holiday suncatchers and making paper crafts. I try to incorporate some of those into the advent calendar. Two birds/one stone for the win!
- Now, we also have the Elf on the Shelf (Builder is his name) who visits us every year.
- We also do the cookies and gingerbread/graham cracker houses. I've been known to make candy as well (that started when I had to carry Josh around the kitchen in one of those baby wearing contraptions.
This year we're trying a few new things as well. We hope to attend zoo lights in the coming weeks and possible check out the festivities all around San Francisco. I've never been to the city around the holidays since I've been a mom so I can't wait to show the kiddo some of the beauty around that gorgeous city! The Hyatt Embarcadero has some great events going on and apparently there are festivities all around the city. We're making our plan of attack now and will bombard you all with pictures shortly after we do it!
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?