Last week, while Kevin and I were driving to Columbia, I decided to make a list of things I'd like to do during the holiday season. Here they are, in no particular order.
1. Bake Christmas cookies with the boys.
Each Christmas, I attempt to bake cookies with the kids. It's something my mom always did with me growing up and a tradition I want to continue with my kids. Only problem: I can't make cookies like my mom. No matter how hard I try, I roll the dough too thin, bake them too long or the dough gets too floury because it sticks too much. One year, they'll be perfect, but until then, I'll enjoy baking cookies with my two sweeties - right thickness and crispness or not!
2. Write letters to Santa.
We've started this tradition of writing letters to Santa. Each year, our neighborhood has Santa come through on a fire truck. Last year, K.C. actually went up to him. Santa also writes letters back to the boys.
3. Ride around and look at Christmas lights.
Some of my fondest Christmas memories revolve around piling in the car with my parents and some good family friends and looking at lights. Near my hometown, there's a small (really small) community that decorates a ton for Christmas. I used to love to go there and listen to Christmas music while riding around.
4. Cook a nice dinner and have our parents over to eat.
I really enjoy having people over for dinner. I love the coziness of our home at Christmas, the laughter of the kids running around and the conversations with our loved ones. I try to have our families over for a nice dinner during the Christmas season.
5. Go to Bethlehem. (No, not the real Bethlehem.)
A retirement community in our town turns into Bethlehem each Christmas. You can drive thru or walk thru the "town." In the past, we've chosen to walk. The boys really enjoy it. At the end, they serve hot chocolate. Bethlehem is happening this weekend and we're planning to go.
6. Wrap presents under the tree.
I love wrapping gifts and tying them up with large bows made of tulle. The only thing better than wrapping them is wrapping them beneath the tree. We have a ton of gifts to wrap and I can't wait to sit down by the fire in the twinkle of the tree lights and wrap presents for the ones we love.
7. Read Scripture preparing for Christmas every day.
The holidays are about the Gift our Father has given us through His Son, Jesus Christ. I want my focus this season to be on Jesus and be in His presence more than worrying about what I'm giving as presents.
8. Sing Christmas carols.
Growing up, a group from my church always went Christmas caroling. It was so much fun! Even if we don't go into others' homes, I want to carol at home.
9. Make homemade ornaments.
Last year, the boys and I attempted to make some homemade ornaments. Maybe this year we'll finish them.
10. Go through the boys' advent calendar.
My mom gave K.C. and Kaden this great Advent book last year. It's made by the Usborne company and has punch out characters for each day leading to Christmas. By Christmas Eve, a full manger scene is made. They love it. We've already read the full Christmas Story via this book a few times this year.
11. Make baked french toast.
Ok, so this may not exactly be Christmas, but the recipes for this look absolutely divine on Pinterest. I'm thinking it should be a Christmas morning tradition with some sausage and eggs, too.
12. Have a birthday party for Jesus.
I've wanted to do this the past two years, but I haven't yet. This year, I want to change that and let the boys have a little birthday party for Jesus.
13. Decorate our Candy Cottage.
I bought the kids a Candy Cottage last year. So far, the closest it came to getting decorated was when Cookie Pole appeared in it last Christmas. This year, that's changing and we're going to decorate it. Don't worry though, we did make gingerbread houses last year. My work has an awesome Santa party for kids each year that includes making gingerbread houses. The boys are already excited about this party next week!
14. Watch Christmas movies.
I love Christmas movies, but I don't think we watched many last year. I told Kevin that I really want to watch Christmas movies this year.
What items are on your Christmas list?