Organizing Your Way to a Simple Christmas: Traditions

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source: ginnerobot

source: ginnerobot

Today is day six in our two-week Christmas series: Organizing Your Way to a Simple Christmas.

Almost everyone has family traditions — for the everyday mundane things as well as holidays and special events — but have you ever taken the time to write down your Christmas traditions?

In the midst of a busy holiday season, it’s easy to lose our focus and forget about the things that are most important to us, but having a written list of traditions helps us remember what is really important and make the time for those things.

Other benefits of writing down your Christmas traditions:

:: Evaluate. You can evaluate each one as your family grows and matures over the years. Take the time to talk about which traditions are most important to each member of your family and consider scrapping any that just take a lot of time, effort or money but aren’t that meaningful.

:: Prioritize. The simple truth is that you can’t possibly incorporate every great idea you come across into your own family traditions. By writing down your current traditions and ones you might like to try in the future, you’re able to evaluate and prioritize them in light of each other.

:: Remember. I don’t know about you, but on more than one occasion I’ve gotten to the end of the holiday season only to realize I forgot an activity or tradition that I had planned on including. Having a written list prevents that from happening, especially if you update it after the holidays and throughout the year as you think of ideas.

:: Adapt. Your list of traditions can be a working document so that you can make notes about things that went great or went wrong and how you’d like to do them differently in the future.

Today’s task: Use the Christmas Family Traditions Printable to make a list of the traditions you’d like to include as part of your holiday celebrations. Do you need to purchase or prepare anything ahead of time? Be sure to update your budget and shopping list as needed!

What family traditions do you enjoy each Christmas? Are there any new ones you’d like to incorporate this year? I’ll share my answer in the comments, and I hope you will too!

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About the Author

Mandi Ehman

Hi. My name is Mandi and I’m an organizing junkie. I’m also a wife, and Momma to four little girls (5, 3.5, 2 and a new baby!). I've worked at home since our oldest was a baby, and like a lot of other moms, my life is a constant balancing act of caring for my family and my home, meeting my obligations and finding time for hobbies in there somewhere. Oh, yeah, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m somewhat of a kitchen dunce and I only like to pretend that I’m crafty. Read more here!

12 Responses to “ Organizing Your Way to a Simple Christmas: Traditions ”

  1. We have a lot of family traditions during the holidays, but my favorite and most meaningful are:

    :: Decorating the Christmas tree on the weekend after Halloween (LOL!)

    :: Putting the ornaments we bought for each of the three babies we I’ve miscarried on the tree.

    :: Coming home on Christmas Eve after a long day of visiting family and opening Christmas pajamas and then drinking hot cocoa (with marshmallows, of course) while I read Twas the Night Before Christmas.

    :: Reading the Christmas story from the Bible first thing on Christmas morning before coming downstairs.

    :: The girls going through their stockings while I make Christmas breakfast.

    How about you?


  2. Christmas Eve we attend a candlelit church service then take a drive to look at christmas lights around town. We have snacks together at home and the kids open one gift.

    In the kids’ stockings I add one special ornament for their own future trees/families (carrying on a favorite tradition that my mom began).


  3. Hi there,

    We have lots of traditions where I live. Like anywhere I guess, Christmas in Malta can be a big headache.

    I found your post very informative and helpful. One thing that I try to do is to buy all the presents and other stuff that I need well in advance. Shopping centres are so busy the week of Christmas! And that all adds up to the pressure I think, so I make sure that I have all that I need well in advance. That way I can then concentrate on actually enjoying the Christmas traditions.


    Marica´s last blog ..Oct 16, Rice recipes from the island of Malta: Ross il-Forn or Baked Rice My ComLuv Profile


  4. We enjoy decorating the tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. Going out for Chinese food (nearest is 20 miles) and then looking at Christmas lights. Christmas Eve candlelight service and then soup with my husband’s family. I also have a few things I make every year, like the ranch oyster crackers. I think this year I will make a special breakfast Christmas morning, something like cinnamon rolls – not too filling so we can still eat turkey at Moms.


  5. Hi- great post. One of the traditions I’ve carried from my own childhood is the cherubs getting new pjyamas to wear on christmas eve. I also have several dishes I make every year including cranberry and pistachio cookies that I give to family that I won’t be seeing on the day. Being in Australia, Christmas is always beach weather, so another tradition that will be carried on from my childhood is new swimwear and a beach towel.

    Holly´s last blog ..Beware: Garlic Alert… My ComLuv Profile


  6. I have a bread recipe (from Taste of Home) called Gift of the Magi Bread that I make as muffins. We put a candle in one and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and let the kids blow out the candle.

    My kids get a new ornament every year also, just as my mom did for me, but we also have a travel tree. Whenever we go out of town we pick up an ornament and we have a smaller tree just for those.
    Heather´s last blog ..The pumpkin patch My ComLuv Profile


  7. we have a couple that i try and get in every year, but they don’t always make it depending on how busy we are.
    -we decorate our tree as a family (usually the weekend after Thanksgiving, not a day before!); each family member does their special ornaments
    -we have an ornament set that tells the christmas story and we do it each night leading up to christmas
    -i get my kids one new ornament each year, and usually my dh too. this way their collections grow but mine won’t be empty when they move out!
    -we open gifts christmas eve after our christmas eve service at church
    -call grandparents (when we aren’t visiting)
    tzigane´s last blog ..Children’s Ministry My ComLuv Profile


  8. I have found all the Christmas stuff so informative and it makes me think about what I need to get ready, lists, and traditions! Thanks!


  9. I’ve been thinking about traditions over the last year, and since we don’t really have any, would really like to be deliberate in planning and setting up things that might become traditions.
    Mary C.´s last blog ..Food Storage My ComLuv Profile


  10. What great ideas. We do the PJ thing where we let the boys open their new pj’s on Christmas eve. I also make a breakfast casserole every year. I pop it in the oven when we get up and by the time gifts are opened it’s ready. I would love to add more family traditions to our line-up.


  11. We make an advent calendar and every day my girls take one down and we count how many days left until Christmas.


  12. We started a new tradition last year of doing an Advent Wreath with our family. Each week we would focus on a different part of the Christmas story and read that portion of the story from our son’s Childrens Bible and sing a related hymn. (”We Three Kings” for the wise men, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” for the angels telling the news to the shepherds, etc.) We found it was a great way to teach the Christmas story and Christmas songs and kept the focus of the season where we wanted it in the midst of all the busy-ness that December brings.
    Lisa´s last blog ..Pumpkin Patch at Aloun Farms My ComLuv Profile


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