Every family has their own traditions but many of them are similar. I hope that our kids will keep some of our traditions once they have their own families but also blend in their mates' traditions and create some of their own together.
The first thing we do is get our sponsor kids' packages ready to go. We sponsor two kids in Mexico, three in Honduras and one in Guatamala through World Vision.
We can only send 6x9 envelopes with small gifts but we sometimes cheat and send larger. Not much because I'd hate for anyone to have to pay customs. But the part that gets me is that it cost $9 to send a package with a couple of small presents and a few pieces of candy which cost about half of that!
This year we also got packages ready for our twins in Haiti at about the same time.
On Thanksgiving, the kids all write their names on slips of paper. Then they draw a name. That is who they will buy a Christmas present for that year. This year we pooled the money from $1 an A on report cards to buy the gifts. I take each child out one at a time to buy for his/her chosen sibling.
The kids have cloth advent calendars that my mom made.
Our church has several things going on at Christmas. Last year Adam and Jessica were both in the big program at the civic center but no one is in it this year. The younger kids, which included Jasmine, did their little program last week. I hope to have a video up soon.
This year we also had two marching in the Christmas parade. I think we will have band members for a long time to come.
On Christmas Eve day we bake our birthday cake for Jesus and read the Christmas story. This picture is from last year. The kids exchange their gifts and everyone gets their stocking gifts. Right before bed we watch Polar Express and have hot chocolate.
On Christmas morning we have cinnamon rolls and open gifts. Thankfully no one has ever gotten up before 6:30. Everyone plays until lunch. In previous years we've made home made pizzas for lunch but this year we have cornish hens.
In the evening we have one last gift. I buy a game, wrap it and hide it. The kids follow clues to find it. Then they all play the game before bed. We've decided to suspend this tradition until the twins get home because all but Jasmine are a little old for this now.
On Jan. 5th the kids put a shoe outside their door before bed to be filled with little treats (whatever is 50-75% off after Christmas at Walmart). We have monkey bread for breakfast on the 6th. (I don't know how to make Three King's Cake). We just added this tradition to have one last thing to look forward to.
We hope to add some Haitian customs to our celebrations in coming years.
Off to our Sunday School Christmas party.