Christmas Traditions – Our Tacky Tree

Christmas Traditions – Our Tacky Tree

All ornaments are shatter-proof and are made as the season goes on.

It’s amazing how Christmas traditions change when one has small children.  When my husband and I first moved into our house, Andy lived with me and was seven years old.  He was young enough to still believe in Santa Claus, but old enough to not do stupid things with glass ornaments.  My husband went nuts with our tree: it was beautifully done in silver and blue.  He took the time to buy strings of blue lights and strings of white lights, then sit down and swap out bulbs so that the lights were alternating blue and white.

We maintained that beautifully done tree as part of our family Christmas traditions for Norton’s first Christmas.  When Norton joined us, we put up a Super Gate around the tree.  Last year, though, we changed things up.  There was no way that I could jury rig a barrier around the tree.  Norton would just go around it.  Instead, we made ornaments with Norton and only used homemade, child safe, non-toxic stuff to make them.  No glass ornaments, et cetera.

We don’t have a day of decorating the tree together.  Instead, we’ve adjusted our Christmas traditions so that decorating the tree is an ongoing event.  Sure, Daddy hangs the lights and the garland, but the ornaments only can go up as quickly as we make them.  Our tree becomes filled with kid-friendly ornament ideas that I find on Pinterest as the holiday season wears on.

The pro tree

This is what our tree looked like before having little fingers.

Do I miss the beautiful tree that looked like it should have been in a department store?  Sure.  But this is a way to make our Christmas traditions much more kid friendly.

What adjustments did you make to help your Christmas traditions be more kid friendly?

Christmas Traditions – No Elf on the Shelf for Us!

Christmas Traditions – No Elf on the Shelf for Us!

How can little kids look at that and not have nightmares?

Every year, I see some awesome things done with the Elf on the Shelf.  One of my favorites, actually, was the Elf on the Shelf appearing in some rather adult poses, like when he was passed out next to a pile of beer bottles.  Some families gleefully embrace the Elf on the Shelf as part of their Christmas traditions.

As a two year old, Norton is probably at the perfect age to start moving around the Elf on the Shelf.  He’s young enough to just begin discovering the magic of Christmas.  This is when developing our own Christmas traditions really make a difference.  Theoretically, the Elf on the Shelf should grace our home.

That being said, there will be no Elf in our house.  There’s a very simple reason: that thing is creepy as all get out.  I find it unnerving, and quite frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if that evil looking little thing decided to start moving around on its own and pestering the puppies.  Maybe I still have a very vivid imagination, but I swear I’ve seen movies where dolls that look enough like that little Elf has run around with gigantic butcher knives and such.

Mind you, that elf is in fairly good company.  The Elf on the Shelf is not the only creepy doll out there that I won’t allow in my house.  Treasure Trolls are out.  And Norton has his own little aversion to Thing 1 and Thing 2.  (He sees one of the Thing 1 and Thing 2 dolls and he runs away screaming.)

Are there any toys that are too creepy to be in your house?  What Christmas traditions does your family skip out on?

A Change in Christmas Traditions

When I moved to British Columbia, I left my family behind and started a new one with my husband.  Part of what I also left behind was my family’s Christmas traditions.  Since being here, my husband’s side has accepted me into the family and integrated me into their Christmas traditions.  One of those traditions has been that we always go to the in-laws’ house dark and early on Christmas morning for the gift exchange.

Since Norton has been born, though, I’ve wanted Christmas to be a little different.  I’ve wanted it to be like the amazing Christmases that I grew up with.  Still, though, last year we ended up going to my mother-in-law’s house super early.  This year, though, I’ve decided that it’s not going to work that way anymore.  After all, there’s no way I’m going to want to schlep two kids to Grandma’s house at dark-thirty in the morning.  So, better to start making it the way we want it now. [Read more…]

Christmas Traditions – The Root of All Crazy

When it comes to family Christmas traditions, my husband thinks I’m a little nuts.  You see, as far as I’m concerned, my family had the most amazing Christmases every year, and I’m bound and determined to make sure that Norton has as much awesome as I did.  The sticking point?  The husband and I disagree about the Christmas traditions that I want to keep.

You see, a huge part of our Christmas traditions include excess.  Not greed, as no one ever sulked about not “getting what they wanted” for Christmas gifts.  No child ever cried when we were done opening.  And I’ve never, ever had a child in my family (including myself, who was really quite spoiled) ask “Where’s my more presents?”  (True comment.  A friend heard this from a child – not her own – at a birthday party.) [Read more…]