We’ve been trying for a while now to make our own traditions for Christmas. Before Tiny was born, The Mister and I went to the midnight service at church, and before that tucked in to our Christmas tamales. Once Tiny arrived, we kept the tamales, but had to 86 the midnight service in favor of the children’s service, complete with Mary, Joseph, wise men, animals, mechanical camels and candlelight carols at the end. Last year, we added a trip around Highland Park to look at the lights on our way home. This year we plan on introducing hot chocolate to that ride.
We kick off the holiday by reading our Elf on the Shelf book when we get home from Thanksgiving dinner. Dennis the Elf appears, like clockwork, the next morning, and then The Mister and I try to remember to move it, and then stand there and try to come up with a creative thing to do with the Elf. The first year, we got cocky, because Tiny was still little enough that he really didn’t get the whole thing and didn’t notice if the elf moved around or not. Last year, he noticed. We had to get more creative. This year? This year I expect that Pinterest and I will become frenemies.
Last year we also began doing a toddler-sized advent study, using an app to tell the story of Jesus’ birth, and counting down the days. This year, we are going to try to do the same. I am going to (Lord help me) make a punch-out advent calendar that will hold a small treat and the bible verse for the day. In my spare time. of course.
Our biggest tradition with Tiny, however, has become the one that is my most favorite. We have a rule now that he gets equal amounts of gifts and experiences. A train set means he also gets to go to the Trains at Northpark, and maybe take a trolley ride from uptown to Klyde Warren Park. We will go to the movies together as a family, and will go to the zoo (weather permitting). We might even take the TRE (see a theme here?) from Union Station to Fort Worth.
What are some of your cherished family traditions? Have any suggestions for our Elf that don’t include glitter or anything that would tempt the dog to take our Elf to the backyard and bury him?