I thought, given the season, I'd share some Harte family traditions and fun.
We typically get a real tree each year. Then I put the hooks on the kids' ornaments and they hang them. I love looking at hand prints from kindergarten, old pictures and fun crafts they've made through the years.
I get gingerbread kits for the kids to put together. And trust me, they aren't that easy. Granted, I should have baked the gingerbread myself, but Betty Crocker doesn't live with us, and I'm super busy. Besides that, my boys would eat them before they'd ever become houses. Sadly, we lost a house due to poor frosting practices, but these three survived.
And of course we have a Nativity set. I love these Jim Shore figurines I got a few years ago.
What really matters, to the kids at least (geesh), is the Advent calendar. It costs an arm and a leg, but Lego remains their favorite. When I was growing up, my family used to get a secret advent friend (with only four in our family, it was pretty obvious who was who). Then for the season, you had to do something nice for your secret friend each day. A nice note, a toy, a kind gesture. Fast forward to the present day. We still work on kind gestures, but the Legos make every morning super exciting. I did mention I have boys, right?
And finally, on Christmas Eve we attend Mass. Afterward, the kids are quivering bundles of energy, and it's all I can do to get them into bed for the night--right after we set out a plate of cookies and a glass of milk for Santa and sprinkle some "magic oats" for the reindeer outside. Then I spend an hour or two wrapping presents. The next morning (at an ungodly hour), I am woken by eager beavers dying to open presents. We give thanks for all that we have, then they get to tearing through paper and boxes.
That's when I realize I have to take down all the decorations in a few more days and figure out what I want to focus on for the new year. Clean slate, I say. Every year. *grin* Bring on 2015!
No matter what holiday you celebrate, what are some of your traditions?
website | blog | facebook
NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author