"The most vivid memories of Christmases past are usually not of gifts given or received, but of the spirit of love, the special warmth of Christmas worship, the cherished little habits of the home."
On top of the obvious Christmas cards, Santa visit and annual Christmas playgroup, we have a large list of traditions that we of the Poe Family like to take part in each Christmas season…I love traditions and wanted to start them right away so that they we could say that we had ALWAYS done that. I can only hope that my children will want to continue some of these special things with their families one day…
1. Another pretty obvious one is decorating. Surely, everyone does this to some degree…but, we seem to go a little nuts. 10 plus Rubbermaid tubs full of decor in our 2,000 square foot house give us quite the winter wonderland…and, we love it! Matt is the biggest fan…he can’t wait for it to go up and is so disappointed when it has to come down! Quinn loved it all this year too! It was so fun seeing his excitement about all of the little details! Especially his “blow ups” outside! …
2. One of my favorite traditions that kicks off the Christmas season happens on December 3rd…our engagement anniversary. Since Matt proposed using an ornament, we decided to continue the tradition and always give each other an ornament on this day that symbolizes something about our year. It’s not supposed to be too obvious (like getting a baby rattle this year would have been a cop out) and it’s always a big surprise as to what we give. Here are ours from this year…
*I gave Matt the “BELIEVE” blocks for lots of reasons. We were believing for lots of things this year, including getting pregnant with a baby…and, God totally answered our prayers.
*The Santa is the one that Quinn HAD to get me when he was shopping with Matt for mine. He was so proud to give it to me, and I’ll love it for always!
*The dragon is Matt’s to me. He thought our first sono picture looked like a dragon so he calls the baby, ‘Baby Dragon!” I loved it…and his/her long eyelashes.
4. All of Quinn’s three Christmases, we have painted a plate. The first year it was an angel out of his foot, last year it was a reindeer out of his foot, and this year it was a Santa out of his hand. Next year, I think I’m going to let him just paint whatever he wants! :) Then, after years of doing this, we’ll have a full set and use them as our Christmas dishes. And, per Slickpaw’s request every year, Mammer & Slickpaw get a plate too. And, it’s good insurance in case something ever happens to one of ours! :) 5. On Christmas Eve we make and decorate cookies for Santa. Quinn loves doing it and we all love sampling them afterwards. This year, we made these yummy Chai Tea Eggnog Cookies and Santa’s favorite, chocolate chip!
6. For three years now, we have written Santa his letter on his cookie plate. But, this year, Quinn told me exactly what to write. It was a fun memory and something I’ll look forward to doing with my kids each year. (Seriously telling me what to write!…)77. Last year, we started doing “What God Wants for Christmas!” It’s a sweet way to tell the nativity story in a way that’s extra exciting for kids! This year, instead of doing it the 7 days before Christmas, we saved it all for Christmas Eve…and, it worked out great. Quinn listened so intently as Matt read each section and then would excitedly open the box and place that piece into the scene. The sweetest part is box 7, where he opened it to find a mirror. … Because God wants YOU for Christmas! …Another priceless memory!…
8. We hung Santa’s magic key on our snow covered door…just in case he was tired of that chimney! :) We did this last year for the first time…sooo cute!
9. We started a new tradition of leaving carrots for the reindeer. Don’t you think they’re hungry too!? And, look at those prints in the snow! Too bad it was from our pups and not the reindeer! :)
10. Another ‘since our first Christmas’ tradition is the English crackers. We always have them at our Christmas day meal and laugh at the horrible pictures in our silly paper crowns. We also read the jokes and play with our dinky toy. We love it!
11. And, last but not least, we started another new tradition this year by having a birthday cake for Jesus. We planned on making it, but time slipped away…so, we used this pre-made brownie cake and Quinn was so sweet as he sung Happy Birthday to Jesus, blew out the candle and then enjoyed his cake. Even thought Santa sure was magical, we hope and pray that Quinn truly understands the true meaning of Christmas!