Like most families we have our favorite holiday traditions and are impatiently awaiting for the turkey leftovers to get put away so the Christmas decorations can come out and blare the Christmas music at ear-piercing volumes. Like all families we have certain things that we do each year but unlike most families we have six kids doing them which can make it pure chaos at times and pure joy at others. Here is a list of our favorite Christmas traditions and how we have tweaked them to flow with our large family.
- Christmas Cookies. Normally a very fun thing to do with kids but times that by six and it can be a not so much fun thing to experience. Our way of tackling this one is to let the kids that are old enough to really help with cookies pick out a cookie and get to make it one on one with Mommy. On that note when it comes to decorating cookies for Santa I let them pick out one cookie to decorate so it’s not some overly chaotic free for all with the sprinkles and frosting. As they get older that may change but right now with ages from 11-2 years old… yeah not this year.
- Gingerbread house decorating. Each year on Christmas Eve we like to let the kids decorate a gingerbread house and in the years past we would divide it by sides. For example the older four decorated it so each kid got to decorate a side. This year it will probably be a side or roof per kid.
- Decorating the Tree. If you were to look at my tree right now you could tell it was decorated by little children, in fact I am pretty sure it has been redecorated each day since we put it up the day after Thanksgiving. I gave up the idea of having a picture perfect Tree that looks like it came out of a magazine a few kids ago. Sure we still put up the heirloom ornaments and baby’s first ornaments but they are up high so they can hopefully stay safe. But I am all for making memories and having to tell the kids not to touch the tree a million times a day is not the memories I want to leave them with. We also do not have a gate around our tree, our living room is only so big and with all of our kids running around it would just get in the way of their shenanigans.
- Reindeer noses. For those that don’t know reindeer noses are pretzels with a warmed up Hershey kiss with a m&m smooshed on top. The sweet and salty treat has become a favorite and we have made it a tradition that is almost as important as the cookies for Santa. This year however with being back to homeschooling we have no teachers to give them to. So we plan to make them for us and some to send to family on the left coast. One thing that I love about these treats is the many steps, they involve lots of sorting and unwrapping and laying out just right on the cookie sheet which can be an easy task for little helpers and they usually love to help me make them.
- Christmas Eve Dinner out. We have a wonderful tradition, that I married into, where we go out and eat Chinese food for dinner on Christmas Eve. Over the years depending on where we were stationed we would get to have friends come along and it is always a good time.
- Christmas Pajamas. On Christmas Eve we let the kids open one present and it always contains their Christmas pajamas. A couple of years now I have managed to find the time to make them pajamas but due to my Serger being out of commission that is just not happening this year. Maybe next year.
Every Family is different with their traditions, what are some family favorites of yours?