For several years now, we have been going to our town's Christmas tree lighting, and, the following day, the "Christmas Day in the Park", a fun craft/treat/Santa Claus outing. Can I just say that the Christmas tree lighting is always super lame-o? Like, Christmas carols two octaves too high and a piddly 6' Douglas Fir... Really, people? I could do better than that in my front yard. Next year, we're doing it at my place.
But the next day is usually pretty fun for the kiddies. We started at the Visitor Center, where each kid was given a bag with a colored balloon on it. We visited each vendor downtown that had a corresponding color balloon; inside there were crafts for the kids, stories being read, or a small gift or treat.
They also opened the Elementary school, where they had more crafts and games and live music and a zumba class for the kids to work off their candy canes.
Outside, they had fire pits and free marshmallows, funnel cakes and horse-drawn carriage rides, while Santa rode around and waved at the littles (on a crazy loud fire truck, waking up my baby who was so peacefully slumbering in the carrier). But I can't really complain because everything was F-R-E-E, which was definitely in the budget this month!
Then, should you want to stand outside in the arctic line, you can wait for an hour and a half (yes, we did) to sit on Santa's lap.Or, if you're Cana, lurk in the background and give him the stink-eye.
Some of these activities fall into that "more fun in my imagination" category. It's cold, and the baby is cranky, and the girls have melted marshmallow and candy cane glop congealed to their jackets and their noses and their mittens. (Wait. They weren't wearing mittens. BAD MAMA!)
But one thing that I really admire about my parents is how purposeful they were about creating traditions for us. (For years, we went Christmas caroling [with a group] at 4 am on Christmas morning. No lie.) I have such wonderful Christmas memories from when I was a child, and I want to do that for my girls. Even if it means falsetto Christmas carols and congealed marshmallow glop.
What about you? Do you have any special traditions from when you were a child? Do you still practice them with your children/family? Have you created new traditions? I'd love to hear and get some ideas from you!