The Twelve Days of Christmas
• "We celebrate the 12 days of Christmas in our family and this has many advantages: 1) there is no horrible letdown on Christmas afternoon since there are still 11 days until Epiphany; 2) it decompresses stress, with no big panic all focused on one day; 3) there is much more time to space out celebrations with friends and family, all of whom you'd like to see. Our family saves Christmas Day for our homemade presents to each other and leaves the store-bought stuff from others for the other 11 days -- our children open up one present apiece on those days. Not only is the celebration much more fun, it also allows us the chance to feel much more genuine gratitude."
~ Parent Soup member quest4444
Deck the Halls
• "Our family likes to take a hike into the woods and cut a few pine boughs to use as holiday decorations. The hike itself is fun, and it gives us a chance teach our daughter all about winter--how the birds fly south, and most trees lose their leaves, etc. We come home and have hot chocolate and decorate the boughs with ribbons (they're pretty even plain on a mantle or shelf. If you live where pine trees don't grow, you can use the boughs of other trees."
~ Parent Soup member leaalison
Marking the Advent
• "We have a traditional advent activity for each day preceding Christmas, beginning December 1. On that day, we give each of our boys a disposable camera with 24 exposures. Their 'assignment' is to record the advent with their cameras, taking a picture each day to have memories of the Christmas season."
~ Parent Soup member anon2345
While Visions of Pajamas Dance in Their Heads
• "Every Christmas Eve we give our children one present to open, and that one present is always a new pair of pajamas. Even though by now they know what the gift is, it helps put them to bed in a happy mood dreaming of what's to come in the morning."
~ Parent Soup member phillum