Here are some of my favorite traditions that we do as a family each year:
Making snowflakes! It's not the Christmas season until paper snowflakes are taped all over the sliding glass doors.
Watching Christmas movies! White Christmas, Elf, A Christmas Story, It's a Wonderful Life, Charlie Brown Christmas, LDS version of The Nativity, Mr. Kruger's Christmas, and The Sound of Music (yes, I know the Sound of Music isn't even remotely about Christmas, but for some reason, we watched it at Christmastime every year. Shrug).
Advent calendar: my sister made us a beautiful Advent calendar box, and even though I'm horrible at making sure we do the activity that's listed on each day, we still have fun with it. Brandon's cousin also made us a fun wooden Santa Advent calendar that the kids love doing (even though we've lost some of the numbers during the years!).
Advent, itself! The tradition came from the Old Country (you know, Europe and Scandinavia) and I love that Brandon's family incorporated it, so we did, too! Each Sunday night, we sing a Christmas carol, read a story about Christmas, and then we turn off all the lights, turn on a beautiful Christmas song, and light a candle on the Advent Wreath. The second Sunday we light two candles. The third, three. The fourth, four, and finally, on Christmas Eve (because we forget to light it on Christmas Day), the big one. It represents the countdown to Christ's birth and how He is the light of the world.
Jesus Stocking! This tradition was started in my family when I was a teenager, I believe. Every Christmas Eve, we take the time to write down a gift we want to give Jesus during the year, and then we place it in the stocking.
Acting out the Nativity is a must! The kids dress up, Brandon reads from the scriptures, I have the camera --you know how this goes.
Of course, then there's the normal stuff, like the Ward Christmas party, the Christmas program at church on Sunday, drinking hot chocolate, eating goodies, planning gifts, sending Christmas cards, baking treats, building snowmen, maybe do gingerbread houses (if I get to it), all the decorations, concerts, music, and lack of sleep.
Our Christmas Eve tradition is thusly:
*Watch Christmas movies all day while making treats for neighbors
*Eat a beautiful dinner (with all of those unhealthy foods in the previous post)
*Act out the Nativity
*Watch the Nativity (the lds.org version)
*Open the pajama gift (this one is hit or miss with me)
*Set out cookies/milk for Santa
*Family prayer/go to bed!
*Up and open gifts (one at a time if possible)
*Breakfast of Cinnamon Rolls
*Play with toys/read the books/do the puzzles/play the games/listen to music/watch movies
What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?