Thursday, 21 November 2019

Our Family Holiday Bucket List & Link-Up


Holiday season bucket list.  Once again Leslie from over at Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After, has me writing and showing up this week.  The topic made me pause to consider what are our families rituals and traditions have become.  Rituals are generally referred to an activity that is done at a specific time, while traditions are beliefs and behaviors mainly passed down, but not necessarily, from a previous generation.  That being said, I find that some rituals might become traditions in time, or traditions within your own family.  I would say that most of the items I've listen here on our holiday bucket list began as rituals, some inspired by our own upbringing and others just created by us along the way, but have helped shape our behaviors and beliefs around the holiday season; our desire to be together, to celebrate people around us, to be thankful for all that we have but mostly for this special time that we spend as a family unit. My girls are getting older, almost 10 and 13, and yet they still want to do these things, and it warms my heart.  This list was collaboratively created with them which was so special because it lets me know what makes this time of year special for them.



1.  The Enchanted Christmas Lights Tour:  We used to drive through the forest, but last year we decided to do the walking version of it and it was FREEZING COLD.  We actually ticked this one off, this past weekend and it was packed with people because the weather was so mild.  Record breaking number of people, with a total of 9, 200!






2.  The Santa Claus Parade:  We ticked this one off our list too this past weekend because it just happen to be on.  I was surprised that my girls still wanted to go and in fact when I asked them, there was not even a beat missed before they both said YES.


3.  Gingerbread houses & Sugar Cookie Decorating


4.  School Christmas Celebrations & Santa Pictures  -  Our years are very numbered.

Anya at her Christmas Concert in 2018.

 

5.  Holiday live theater show, play or movie -  This is fairly new to our family in the last 2 to 3 years as the girls have gotten older. We watch to see if we can take them to a special live performance, event or a special family Christmas movie.  We've seen Little Women, The Grinch (movie theater) and Scrooge.  This year we  bought tickets for Elf at our local theater.  


A couple of years ago we introduced the girls to Little Women.  It's now adding onto our Christmas movie watching list. 


6.  ELF on the SHELF - Ahhh!  We began this many years ago and he is coming back on Dec. 1st.  See ideas and a free letter printable HERE.  


6.  Watch our favorite movies - Elf, Christmas Vacation, The Grinch & Home Alone.  This also leads me into Christmas Eve = special family movie night.


7.  Calendars and Christmas Cards
- This is a big one for me.  I like to create family calendars for my sister, parents and my two grandmas.  Because it's two different sides of the family, different set of grandchildren, it means I have to create different versions.  It takes work and organization to get all the pictures in order and from all the right people but it's totally worth it.  It's like a year at a glance from each family and we can see how people have grown, changed and highlight the adventures they've had.   I also enjoy sending Christmas cards to families near and far.  I live in Canada so I order from Vista Print, they have great sales.


8.  Decorating the Tree




9.  Christmas Eve - Our preferred way to spend Christmas Eve and morning is at home.  We've done other versions of this over the years, but have come to understand that if possible we just want to be home, sometimes going out to look at the Christmas lights around the city, getting our favorite Christmas treats out for Santa, and snuggling in to watch a movie as a family.  We are generally busy, so this just feels soooooo special and we treasure it very much.


10.  Christmas Morning-  SANTA comes.  Okay so we do things  very differently from others.  Our tree if very bear in terms of gifts.  We have some gifts that we are giving to others, and the kids may have received, but overall, we have always hid ALL of the kids gifts.  WHY?  Because with so many gifts under the tree how is a young child to know Santa came?!?  So since they were little, our tree would go from bare to full of gifts overnight.  :)  It's just what we do.  It's not right, or wrong.  Better, or worse.  Its just the way we do things around here.  


So now it's your turn.  

What are you rituals right now?  

How have they changed? 

 I'd love to hear from you in the comments or link-up your own post below. 






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28 comments:

  1. This is a great bucket list! Loving the walk through the lights! We've done the drive through type here in our area as there wasn't a walk through option but I'd prefer the walking tour more. We've always done the parade as well, but kids are teens now and don't show much interest in it anymore :(

    Maybe it is different, but I still don't put the presents under the tree until everyone is asleep on Christmas eve. They are teens now (13 and 17) but I've always done it this way and honestly I think it makes for a more exciting Christmas so I will continue doing it this way.
    Another thing our family likes to do during the holiday season is go to a local ballet performance. My daughter has been dancing in this performance for over 9 years and that's how we got started, but even if she were to quit ballet it will be something I will want to continue going to during December.

    Ellibelle's Corner

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    1. That's totally why I don't put them under the tree either, plus with the pup now, she would destroy them all. Hahahaha. I know my years are numbered in terms of parades, santa photos, etc. Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. Christmas is so fun with kiddos to do all the events & things! Hope you get to happily check off all the fun!

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    1. Thank you. I know we will look on these things with fondness, even though at times there seems to be so little time to do them all.

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  3. This is a wonderful list and loved all the pictures. Have a wonderful holiday season!

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  4. I'd love to get outside (on a mild night!) to see some lights. They have something at our botanical gardens here in St. Louis and I've yet to go. Love hearing about all of your traditions! We are doing Elf on the Shelf this year still, but taking turns moving it since my kids are older now.

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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    1. We did a light tour a decade or so ago in a botanical garden and it was incredible. Thankfully it was a mild night and we walked through magic with a cup of hot chocolate. I love the idea of getting my oldest to be a part of the Elf on the Shelf, that takes a bit of pressure off of us. Good idea.

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  5. What a fun-filled list you have! I'm sure you'll get to check off all items with your family. Enjoy!

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    1. Thanks so much. We are looking forward to it all!

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  6. We dont put presents under the tree until xmas morning. We do stockings over night and when the girls were young I made sure the wrapping paper was different.

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    1. I have different wrapping paper that I hide too!!!! Great minds think alike.

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  7. We do the same - all the presents for the kids are under the tree Christmas morning, although we may put presents for other people under there once they are wrapped. I'm so behind though I haven't wrapped anything! Christmas eve is special family time for us too - we always go down to my parents on the coast!

    Hope that you are having a great week and have a nice weekend ahead of you :)

    Away From Blue

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    1. I haven't even purchased anything, let alone wrapped :). I love hearing how other people do presents, rituals and traditions. Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. My mother never really put any gifts under the tree either until we all went to bed on Christmas eve and then woke to lots of gifts under there Christmas morning.

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    1. That's exactly the way we do it too! Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. Loving all of these special holiday traditions. Home Alone is such a classic and one of my all time faves too!

    Shauna

    www.lipglossandlace.net

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    1. Thank you so much. We do love the holidays.

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  11. These are great holiday traditions! I love that you have can walk through the light festival! Elf and Home Alone are two of my favorites too!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

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    1. The walk through has been a delightful surprise and even though this year there is an indoor light festival, I want to support the local one as its a charity event so the money raised goes right back into our community.

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  12. I am so thankful that you joined me for this holiday bucket list. There is so much thought and love and family behind every activity. How dear that both girls gave you an enthusiastic 2 thumbs up for the parade. Love what you do with gifts on Christmas morning. Santa doesn't have time to wrap at our house so his gifts are displayed on the couch for each child, and identified by the child's stocking laying beside the other gifts. I think it is so interesting to read about other families rituals and traditions. That would be a great post!! Have bloggers share the way the 'do' Santa!!

    Since I am a novice gingerbread house decorator - this being my first year - I am going to be excited to see pictures of your creations. And please share some of what your elf gets into.

    Thanks so much for joining me.

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    1. Thanks Leslie. I love reading what other people do as well and how it came to be a part of their family fabric. I love the idea of NOT wrapping Santa's gifts, brilliant. I am looking forward to seeing your gingerbread creation for sure. Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  13. All really fun ideas. I love that you see a holiday themed show or movie every year. That's a really nice tradition. And I like a movie night Christmas Eve - very relaxing.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  14. Love all your Christmasy things. Visiting you from the welcome wed link up. laurensparks.net

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