In my quest for a slower and more meaningful December spent with friends and family, I plan on completing 30 Days of tasks to get ready for Christmas before Thanksgiving...and I invite you to join me.
Day 2: Plan Holiday Traditions and Activities
Does your family have any traditions or activities around Christmas that are important to you? Now's the time to start thinking about those traditions and either preparing for them (if they require any prep work) or perhaps even scheduling them in your calendar to make sure that you take the time to do them before the holidays.
On the other hand, do you have holiday traditions that you do every year that may not fit into your Holiday Vision that you and your family created yesterday? Perhaps you could think about dropping those activities as a family?
The goal is to deliberately think about what activities are important to you before the hustle-and-bustle begins and schedule those that do matter now so they don't get edged out by things that don't matter as much to you.
If you don't feel comfortable actually penciling activities into your calendar this far in advance, at least take the time to think about and write down important traditions in your holiday notebook.
Our Holiday Traditions and Activities:
Since we recently moved, I'm sure that we will create local traditions that we'll add to our list (and some of our Michigan traditions - like the Wayne County Lightfest) will be missed). However, there are some traditions that are important to us including:
- Putting up the Christmas Tree - although this has felt like a task to me in the past, my boys actually really enjoy hanging the ornaments, seeing old artwork they created, and hearing stories about specific ornaments. I want to make this an event where we take an evening as a family complete with Christmas music and hot chocolate.
- Look at Lights - My husband and I love to look at Christmas lights, and this has translated to our boys also. We need to find out if there are any formal light displays we can visit or scope out our area for neighborhoods that take their lights seriously.
- Baking Christmas Treats - I have several holiday treats that I make each year - fudge and shortbread. My boys like to bake with me, so I need to make sure I schedule an afternoon when their home from school to create some holiday treats. We can even make them ahead of time and freeze them if we want to get them done early.
- Advent Calendar - this is a tradition that I always mean to do, but I somehow forget to pull it out in time. Since I'm planning for the holidays early, I can make sure I have an advent calendar ready for December 1st.
- Giving - last year we did Operation Christmas Child through my boys school. I like incorporating at least 1 aspect of giving to others beyond our family to help show my boys that Christmas is not all about them. I'm not sure about Operation Christmas Child dropoff locations where we live now, but I need to find out if we will be doing that program again or something else.
- Christmas Eve Service - both my husband and I like to go to the Christmas Eve service at church. I'm not sure if our new church has a service, so I'll need to research where we can visit if they don't.
What about you?