Thoughts on Santa, Elf on the Shelf, and creating your own Christmas Traditions

Disclaimer: our baby is only 8 months old this Christmas.  Please give me permission to change my mind as time goes by… 

With baby’s first Christmas approaching, here are some thoughts on holiday traditions that I plan to engage in or sit out from.

Santa Claus: I don’t plan to take my baby to meet Santa. Those mall lines are crazy! I can think of other fun ways to spend our time in the busy holiday season.  And I really don’t see the point when it comes to young children meeting Santa. It seems to be for the parent rather than the child.  I’d say that at least 80% of the photos that I see on facebook of a young child on Santa’s lap is of them CRYING and afraid.  Not judging. When I compare the time, cost and benefit, I concluded that it’s not worth it. With that said, when our daughter is older, if she requests to meet Santa we will take her. But she has to show an interest. We won’t force her to meet Santa.

Elf on the Shelf: The main reason why I don’t plan on doing this is time. Even with pintrest ideas, it’s still a big time commitment that often lands on the mother.  I have seen several facebook posts of moms who said they were about to fall asleep and then remembered that they had to plan out the Elf’s naughty deed for the next day. Nope. Not for me. I want to sleep or read a book when my little one is in bed!

Now with Santa and Elf on the Shelf behind me, here are some Christmas traditions that we plan to start this year:

December 1st – we plan to take this day off work each and every year to put up our Christmas tree and decorate our home. In years past, the house decorations often didn’t happen because we are so busy this time of year with church commitments and family. December 1st will help ensure that we get our house in order. This is the first year that we’ve done this and I’m LOVING it. I love looking at our tree and decorations. It has helped me to really soak up this beautiful season.

Christmas Eve Present – We plan to have a gift that our daughter opens after the Christmas Eve service each year.

Christmas Day – We plan to stay home (spend most of the day in PJ’s?). Maybe have a nice brunch. Read the Christmas story (Luke 2). Open presents. And relax.

Presents– I heard of a family who gave their kids 3 presents each on Christmas Day (their stocking was in addition to the 3 gifts). Cutting back on consumerism was the first reason why I liked this idea. It also ties in nicely with the 3 gifts that the wise men brought to Jesus (it’s so important to do things that help us remember the true meaning of the season).

Giving back: This is really important for me and our family. I’m just not sure what giving back tradition we will do as a family @ Christmas time each year. Stay tuned…

The beautiful thing about family traditions is that YOU get to create them. Do what works for you and DON’T do what doesn’t. Be true to yourself in this awesome yet busy holiday season.  Do you have any Christmas traditions that you’ve stopped doing or started? I’d love to hear!

6 thoughts on “Thoughts on Santa, Elf on the Shelf, and creating your own Christmas Traditions”

  1. Like your advice about being true to yourself and the three presents. We are Christmas lovers so we have lots of traditions. We try to go to as many Christmas events as a family, dance to Christnas music nightly, bake cookies for neighbors, friends, post lady, garbage men, etc, we do a book advent calendar countdown (open a Christmas book each night of December) and volunteering as much as possible. This year we are adding decorating our daughter’s clubhouse with lights, a play navitity scene for our playroom he is the reason for the season and family pjs (elf from target for everyone including our puppy).

  2. As you are aware Rachel, we started making ginger bread houses, decorated with ample candies. Initially Mom made the ginger bread houses from scratch but started buying pre-cut to save time. Each of our 4 daughters would make one to give away during the Christmas season. This was our Christmas tradition while our daughters were still living at home and the random gift of a ginger bread house was an encouragement to the receiver. The idea was triggered by us receiving a beautiful, totally homemade ginger bread house from Evelyn Best and when asked, she gave me the receipe which started my own family tradition.

  3. We do Elf on the Shelf. The boys think it’s hilarious to see where he is and what he has done each day. He doesn’t bring any gifts – aside from their advent calendars on Day1 and new jammies on Christmas Eve. We haven’t really started too many traditions yet – aside from it just being us Christmas morning – we get to enjoy our coffees while they plow through their stockings  One thing I am trying this year is a new way of doing gifts. Here’s a link I did add to it, something to do, eat, create and then a gift from eachother. Each category may have more than 1 item in it depending on what the gift is (Ie: 2 books for read), but I’m hoping that when they are older and can understand the meaning behind each category. It helps with them not having an outrageous list (and helps me when shopping because I have categories to stick too!)

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