In an effort to reduce financial stress and to try to actually enjoy the holiday season, I am making an effort to focus on the Christmas traditions we have as a family and work towards developing some new ones
Holiday Baking – Ever since moving to the farm, we have been without a working oven more often than not. We were recently fortunate enough to get a working oven back into our house, and I’m eager to do some serious baking. I’m hoping to do a nice variety of Christmas cookies this year to share with friends and family and hopefully the kid’s teachers. I also want to work on making more goat’s milk fudge to share for the holidays as well.
Ornaments – Every year I’ve always made sure each one of the kids had a special new ornament to hang on the tree. These are almost always Hallmark ornaments, which I love, but are very expensive. This year I’m hoping to make ornaments with eggs from our chickens, hollowed out and decorated. I think these would make nice gifts for the rest of our family as well.
Watch “A Christmas Story” – No Christmas is complete without watching this at least once. Or 5 times.
Making Handmade Gifts – I’m making gifts for everyone in my family this year. I’m really hoping everyone enjoys and appreciates the work that I’ve put into their gifts versus the expense. I’m going to try to encourage the kids to make things as well so we have some really fun things for family and friends without spending a lot of money.
Christmas Eve Together Time – This year I want to really spend some time together as a family, just the four of us, having fun. I’m thinking something as simple as hot cocoa and board games, which the kids love.
Christmas Dinner – We always do a nice ham with homemade rolls and other fixings. I’m hoping we can have some friends and family join us for some good food.
Do On To Others – Even though we don’t have much ourselves, I really want to emphasis how important it is to think about people who have even less, especially around the holidays. I haven’t decided exactly what we will do yet, but I’m leaning towards one of the holiday trees where you can pick out someone to give a gift to.
Christmas Card – This is something I try to do every year and always fall short on. This year, I’m determined to actually take a family photo with me in it and send out a real Christmas card. I’m already pretty behind on this, so I’m trying to get crackin. It’s ok if they get to people on Christmas Eve, right?
Gingerbread House – I did this one year with the kids and it was awesome. I made the dough and cut out template pieces from Bob Villa’s website and we each constructed a house. I thought it would be fun to attempt this again.
I’m still brainstorming ideas, so any suggestions would be appreciated – what makes your holiday special? What family traditions do you cherish from when you were a kid?