10 Christmas Traditions from Around the Web

It’s Christmas Traditions week at CabinConnection.com!

I love this time of year. And my goal is to make it as special and sparkly and joyous for our kids as I can. Christmas traditions are an important part of that!

So this week, I’ll be writing about Christmas traditions. Today, I’ll show you some fun Christmas traditions I found from around the web. Wednesday, I’ll share some Christmas traditions Jason and I grew up with. And on Friday, I’ll share the Christmas traditions I’ve started for our family. I’m excited to share them with you!

We’d sure love to hear your Christmas traditions, too! Leave one in a comment!

Christmas traditions from around the web

So, I did several blog searches for Christmas traditions, and here are the top 10 I found:

On the Saturday or Sunday following Thanksgiving we have a “Gingerbread House contest” between the boys and girls each year. It is an annual grudge match now called the “Gender-Bred Contest.” There is nothing “housey” about these designs. We have created a Cinderella castle, a desert island, a cruise ship, a fortress, a castle and even a crumbling cathedral (when will the guys learn the art is in the frosting?). We invite some folks from church to act as “judges” between the guys and girls and then we eat and laugh at each other’s creations.

I love this idea! Gingerbread houses are nothing too special, but I love the idea of Gender-Bred contests! :) I’d sure love to see a desert island made of gingerbread!

It has been a family tradition since I was a little girl, that we listened to the tape and followed along with the book — The Polar Express and I got to ring the bell every time you were supposed to hear Santa’s bell in the book. We are definitely carrying on this tradition with my little family and I am thinking Little Miss B is just old enough to be the new “bell ringer” in our family. She is going to love it!

I love the Polar Express! It should be a part of every family’s Christmas traditions!

The next day we got up, had breakfast, opened presents , and then went for a four-hour walk. I took my camera and many rolls of film. That Christmas I got some of the best pictures of my kids doing kid stuff in the snow. We had such a great day. Each year we do the same thing. We wake up, have breakfast, open presents, and then bundle up (most years) and head out for a long walk. Our family has changed over the years. We have added some, some moved away, some come back, but everyone that knows us, knows that on Christmas day we are heading out for a long walk and mom will have her camera snapping at everything anyone is doing…..

If you have a few minutes, please click on the link above to read all of this incredible story (that had tears leaking out of my eyes). Beautiful.

When I was really young tinsel was in fashion. Then we started decorating with mismatched ornaments collected over the years. I’ve decided to adopt that strategy with my own family. Each year, Alexa will pick out an ornament. Some day, when she starts her family, I will give her all the ornaments she picked out over the years.

That’s a fun idea. I go back and forth. Growing up, we always had a fun, bright mismatched tree. But this year, I decided to make a whimsical tree and bought all new ornaments and feather boas. It’s tons of fun. But the kids were a little sad that we didn’t put on the usual ornaments.

As you probably gathered I believe in the wonder and joys of Christmas and want to welcome my boys to the warm arms of tradition.  I want them to relish advent each year, which is why I made our advent stockings last year. I wanted to make each day special in its own right, without is just being a countdown to Christmas day itself.

Each stocking has a fun “task” pinned to it that needs to be done on that day. Ideas are: write a letter to Santa, make Christmas cards, color some Christmas pictures, read about the nativity, and take a walk around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights. Love it!

We’ve taken the somewhat ridiculous, perhaps pretentious, but very dedicated approach that we only decorate with glass ornaments. This tradition has been ongoing for 12 years now and has been an extremely enjoyable journey to build the collection of fragile yet interesting ornaments. We now have four large containers of varying size, shape, and variety of ornaments.

Check out this post — there are lots of pictures showing the family’s favorite ornaments and what they mean. Each ornament tells a story, and the family buys several each year.

I bought 24 children’s Christmas books, one for each day leading up to Christmas.  (Don’t worry,  you use the same ones every year.)  I re-wrap each one of them and put them under the tree.  Every day, in December, the child whose turn it is to take the candy from the advent calendar, also gets to unwrap a book from under the tree.  I keep the books packed away throughout the year, so the kids are always excited to unwrap the books and see them again.  Then we will pile on the couch and read our Christmas story.

What a great idea! I might steal this one! Anything that gets put away for a whole year is so fun and exciting. My kids feel the same way about their favorite Christmas movies, which I only let them watch in December. Fun!

On December 1st, we begin using our Christmas dishes for every meal, as well as special Christmas pillowcases for the entire month of December.

Pillowcases! What a fun idea! Love it!

All the sisters (that can make it . . . we missed you this year, Kristen! Can’t wait til you can come next year) and our mom get together on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (once we have all recovered from Black Friday shopping). We usually meet at a fun restaurant for dinner and then after we eat, we do the ornament exchange. Each of us brings a wrapped ornament — it can be one that you purchased or one that you made — and then we put all the wrapped packages in the middle of the table. We usually draw numbers to see who gets to pick their ornament first and then we just all take turns picking a package until everyone has an ornament. It’s a fun way to have lots of unique and special ornaments on your tree each year . . . We have decided that when our own daughters turn 8 years old, they can join in the exchange and come to dinner with us and we will just keep doing it every year until we are old. :) It’s a fun reason to get together with the girls, eat yummy food, and have lots of laughs.

Love this blog — it’s all about a family with six (!) sisters. This post was written by the sister that’s a senior in high school. Fun idea.

We have to be sneaky for this one.  We change the clocks and make sure we get our girls into bed by “8:00″ (really 7:00).  After prayers and kisses, we wait a few minutes, then kidnap them from their beds, slip on their robes and slippers, wrap them in a blanket and carry them to the heated car.  They just love it, we fool them every time!!:)  They know there will be bags of treats and merry Christmas music waiting for them in the car.  We hit our favorite, “most lit” neighborhoods.  After an hour and a half of Christmas light bliss, we head home.  It never fails, on the ride home they are full of sugar, tired, grumpy, and have had enough of each other and of Christmas lights!
What a fun idea! I love it! And I may steal this one, too!
Remember, let us know some of your favorite holiday traditions! I’d love to run another post with some of our readers’ favorite Christmas traditions…
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