Holiday Traditions

Now that we have a little one, there are certain holiday traditions I'd like to start.  And unless I write them down now, I'll forget come Christmastime next year.

1) Driving around to look at Christmas lights, especially those at Vince & Associates.  Have you seen them?  Kansas City's best light display synchronized to Christmas music on the radio.  Amazing.  105th and Metcalf - make sure you park across the street in the church parking lot.  I was so in awe by these this year and can't wait for Brantley to watch next year (this year, he slept in his carseat).  Another tradition I'd like to start is to give a box of candy to our favorite neighborhood house display.  I saw someone on Facebook that did that and thought "What a fun idea!"

2) Going to see Santa.  This year, we saw him three times!  Maybe a bit excessive. :)  I'm planning to frame each year's Santa photo and display them all during the holidays.

3) Visiting the festive Crown Center.  Such a magical place this time of year and I can't wait til Brantley's old enough to understand and appreciate it.

4) Watching Frosty the Snowman (my personal fave) & Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer as a family.  And reading Santa's on His Way - the book we bought Brantley this year for his very first Christmas.

5) Opening a Christmas Eve gift of new pajamas, a holiday movie, popcorn, mugs, hot chocolate, marshmallows, and a Christmas book.

6) The Elf on the Shelf tradition.  Craig and I both can't wait to start this next year!

7) Making a foot or hand print something or other.  This year, we did a reindeer pillow from Brantley's footprints.  I've seen angels, snowmen, and Christmas trees made from foot and hand prints on Pinterest and think it'd be fun to do a new one each year.

8) Cookie decorating.  I love making Christmas sugar cookies and decorating with friends, family, whoever.  I can't wait until kiddos are old enough to help out!

9) I also found this list of photos to take each Christmas which I thought it was fun!

Now, I know most of these traditions can be done at any time during the holiday season.  And of course, I love our families and spending time with them.  But, I struggle with the idea of traveling every single Christmas.  Maybe I'm being selfish, but I don't know that I want Santa to come to Grandma's house every single year.  Some of my favorite childhood Christmas memories are waking up on Christmas morning, seeing what Santa brought, and spending time with just my immediate family before going to Grandma's.  Those moments with just the four of us (mom, dad, sister, and myself) were priceless and I wouldn't change them for the world.  I want the same for our little family.  I want to have our own Christmas Eve and Christmas morning traditions.  I want the kiddos to leave out cookies and milk at our house.  I want Santa to fill our stockings.  I want kids to come running into our bedroom excited about what Santa brought to our house.  But never do I want to disappoint our families.  I know moving 4+ hours away is my own fault (and the hubs for moving 2.5+ hours), but there's got to be some balance, some compromise.  Of course, we have a couple of years before Brantley truly understands what's going on, but these are just a few random thoughts running through my head.  No one said growing up was easy, right??


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