Thursday, December 08, 2011

Holiday Traditions

Today in preschool we were talking about holiday traditions. I mentioned that I was searching around for traditions that didn't involve material goods. 

For example, I really like advent calendars, especially the fancy ones that are currently the rage, but I don't really like that they are often filled with small plastic toys or candy. 

Of course, as a kid, I loved eating the chocolate candy hidden behind the door first thing in the morning. An excellent way to start off the day, in my humble opinion. 

Someone suggested that instead of a calendar with 'stuff', what about one that has an activity. Either for that day, or that can be redeemed throughout the year. Nothing fancy, a hug, a baking activity, a field trip, ect. 

Sounds perfect. 

Ben's a little young for this activity but I'm going to stow this idea away and perhaps bring it out in the next few years. 

It's also not an activity that needs to involve kids, either. You could do it with your Significant Other. Today, darling, we're going out to dinner! Sans kids!  [oh. wouldn't that be heavenly].

photos here, here, here, and here.


Wow, crazy timing. Another preschool mom just sent out this list. Some of the activities are for families based in Seattle, others could be done anywhere. Plus, they don't necessarily have to be for an advent calendar, either.

My initial ideas:
-Meet grandma at Swanson&'s nursery for a late breakfast and to see live
reindeer, train table, and decorations.
-Take treats for the wild creatures to Discovery or Carkeek park and leave them
-Read about holiday traditions in other cultures & pick one to try.
-Visit the Volunteer Park Conservatory on a really cold day to experience the
warmth & scents of more tropical climes.
-Buy and take food to the food bank.
-Make newsprint wrapping paper by doing crayon rubbings or paint prints of
cedar boughs and pine needles.
-Make special holiday treats (biscuits, toys) for our & our friend's pets.
-Collect pine cones for decorations; maybe glitter them, maybe not. [Sonja here: Ugh. I won't be doing this one. I made the mistake of doing glitter cards once. It got everywhere. lesson learned]
-Ride the ferry to Bainbridge & ride back in time to see Seattle all lit up.
-Make pine cone bird feeders & put them in the yard.
-See the zoo lights at Point Defiance Zoo.
-Meet daddy downtown on a weekday to look at the decorations & ride the
-Do a holiday jigsaw puzzle.
-Read winter & holiday stories aloud, under a quilt on the couch.
-Talk about hanukkah & put out the menorah my son made last year in his pottery
-Decorate the car (yes, that's right, we actually decorate the car. It's
a bit over the top, I know.)
-Dig out the Christmas CDs and put them in the car, then drive to Burger Master
(a drive-in), singing loudly. Have Tom & Jerry (eggnog) milkshakes & keep
-Make a list of all the reasons we love daddy, to put in his briefcase so he
finds them while he's at work.
-If it's cold enough, make ice ornaments to hang in the yard (water + food
color + string in muffin tins & leave outside overnight to
-Go for crumpets with maple butter and cream cheese at the crumpet Shop at Pike
Place Market.
-Make an English Holiday Tea, with fancy china, little sandwiches, ices,
cookies, maybe with L's friends too.
-Annual taco party
-Have my son's friends over for a kids movie evening to watch holiday
-if it's not too wet, a fire on the deck with Andes Mints smores.
-Look at the year's pix with daddy in the evening & talk about our favorite
-Drive to snow, especially if we don't get any.
-Meet friends at Seattle Center for Winterfest (train table, choirs, carousel,
-Make a gingerbread house.
-Make challah.
-Look at photos from previous Christmases.
-Decorate the inside of the house
-Put lights on the house
-Get the Christmas tree
-Buy a special ornament for this year (my son picks one every year & they will
be his to take when he has his own home.)

Other ideas I might use (sorry if they are repetitive):
-Learn to play a holiday song on an instrument.
-Take a moonlit walk in the snow.
-Invite family or friends to have a sleepover.
-Cuddle under a blanket.
-Learn to say I Love You in 5 languages.
-Go ice skating.
-Write 10 things you're thankful for.
-Write down the 10 best memories from the past year.
-Take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage.
-Share your favorite holiday memories.
-Write down your favorite traditions.
-Write down traditions you want to start with your family.
-Bake cookies.
-Ready a book by the fire.
-Watch family videos.
-Have dinner by candlelight.
-Make breakfast food for dinner and eat in your pajamas.
-Deliver gifts to neighbors and friends
-Cut out paper snowflakes.
-Make popcorn string.
-Make cheerio string.
-Watch the snow fall.
-Make reindeer puppets.
-Build a snowman.
-Eat snow.
-Go sledding.
-Make snow angels
-Make and send holiday cards.
-Wear silly holiday socks (maybe even decorate your own)
-Have hot chocolate with all the fixings (we might do milkshakes if it's too
-Star gazing
-Backyard cricket
-Go out for sushi
-Have an indoor picnic
-Use puppets to tell bedtime story
-Have breakfast for dinner (snowman pancakes?)
-Have a camp out around the christmas tree
-Pack a picnic and have it at a park (or Botanical Gardens)
-Fancy dress for dinner time
-Buy and wrap a gift for a charity organization. 
-Make handmade gift tags
-Fish and Chips for dinner down at the beach
-Fold origami decorations
-Dance like crazy to music
-Watch a holiday movie with popcorn
-Go out for ice cream
-Take grandparents out to see the Christmas lights
-Take a holiday-scented bubble bath (like gingerbread or peppermint or eggnog)
-Make your own flavor of ice cream
-Make snow men, one for each family member.
-Make molassas candy on the snow.
-Paint your lawn by using food coloring on the snow.
-Go christmas caroling, maybe at a local retirement home
-Go to a local animal shelter and volunteer to take some dogs walking.
-Decorate every door in the house
-Wrap gifts
-donate food to a shelter or food bank.
-Write someone a letter telling them how special they are to you
-Visit family
-Bake cookies + deliver them to friends
-Sing holiday songs
-Drink spiced cider
-Attend a holiday concert, choir or play
-Hang mistletoe
-Take a drive or walk to see Christmas lights
-Read the about the birth of Christ.
-Make a paper snowman.
-Make muffins.
-Make and decorate gingerbread houses.