Christmas without craziness

I love Christmas. Part of the reason it's so special to me is that we didn't celebrate it in my family when I was a child. I think it's fun and I'm looking forward to my child (and future children) enjoying holiday traditions.

I'm not a fan of the Christmas craziness, though; in my family and my husband's we have done some things to eliminate a bit of the stress. In his family, we give gifts only to children and to his parents (it's the most fun to watch them anyway) and in my family we do a gift exchange so we only have to purchase one meaningful (but inexpensive) gift for one relative.

I also love to do Christmas shopping very early when I find coupons or deals to cut the cost on gifts, and before the malls are madhouses. And shopping online reduces the hassle further. I love free shipping sales (!), or buying all my gifts at once on certain sites that offer free shipping for spending a certain amount.

With Christmas stress out of the way (well, mostly at least!), I am in search of meaningful holiday traditions. I bought an advent calendar to use with our son, but I'd love more ideas to make the season extra special.

Would you share yours? Please leave a comment about your traditions and ideas. Thanks so much!


Heidi said...

We've been thinking about what traditions to start too, so I'll be interested to see people's ideas! We've thought about making our Christmas picture a fun tradition by doing something silly, like getting new ugly Christmas sweaters to wear every year (that's still up for debate). And, we really want to make going to cut our own tree a tradition! We'll see. Both cost money, so we'd have to come up with some thrifty ways of making them work!

Something my family did was a Christmas breakfast, which ended with the Christmas story read by my dad. I think things just kind of start happening that become traditions. Us kids ended up taking my mom's nativity set and "acting" out the story as it was read. :)

Stephanie said...

We would open our presents on Christmas Eve after church, so we could sleep in and have brunch on Christmas morning. My favorite thing to do is make Christmas cut out sugar cookies with my Gramma's recipe.

Alison said...

Thanks for sharing your traditions!

Joy said...

I love traditions... :) Last year we decided that we would get Mia a new pair of pajamas and a new book that she can open on Christmas eve.

Anna W said...

Hi Alison! I'm a little behind on my blog reading as you can see :u) but Brian's family has a really neat tradition that I just had to share. On the eve of each child's first Christmas, his parents would share a bottle of chianti together, and then on Christmas day (and every Christmas after) they would burn a special drip candle in it (you can buy them on Amazon here http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000RJAUJ0/watchtan-20). So Brian's drip candle has 32 candles worth of drips on it, while Bridget's candle just has 2. I have one too - we started it the first year we were married. It's so fun to watch them change and grow each year :u)

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