I love everything about this time of year. The weather. The decorations. The drinks and treats. I love giving gifts to people I care about. I love watching my sons experience magic and wonder and creating Christmas Traditions as a family.

This season is truly most special seeing it through their eyes!

Our sons are still young (ages 4, 6, and 7). Over the last five years, we have seemed to settle into some Christmas traditions while also trying new things.

Current Christmas Traditions:

  • Elf on the Shelf (the lazy version LOL): Elfie has returned to the Rodriguez home, and all he does is move to a new place in our home every night… or every couple nights because we forget to move him. Ha! We don’t have the capacity for Elfie to get into too many shenanigans, but just his presence and looking for his new spot each morning has been magical enough for our boys.
  • Decorating the Christmas Tree: My husband and I usually put the tree together while the boys and I decorate together afterward. I stopped moving their ornaments when they cluster them together all at the bottom of the tree… I want our tree to be a reflection of us. And during these years, we cluster ornaments at the bottom, and something tells me I will miss that dearly one day.
  • Driving around the city to look at Christmas lights and decorations: I look forward to doing this closer to Christmas when neighborhoods are really decorated.
  • Holiday arts and crafts: I love covering our pantry door with the boys’ homemade Christmas trees, snowflakes, and snowmen.
  • Brother Gifts: This has been one way we incorporate giving to others at their age. For birthdays and Christmas, we take each kiddo to shop for a gift for their brothers. Sometimes there are still tantrums about wanting to buy something for themselves, too, but with each trip, those become fewer and shorter.
  • Ornament Shopping: We have the boys choose a new ornament to add to our collection, and we choose one in honor of our Baby Rod, too. I love that they are contributing to our tree that is now full of ornaments from before they arrived, ornaments they selected, ornaments they made at school, and ornaments from my husband’s childhood.
Christmas family picture

Some new things we are doing this year:

  • Letters to Santa: Now that my older two can spell and write more, I am looking forward to trying out a letter to Santa this year with their wish list and something nice they think we could do for others this season.
  • Advent Reading: I found this advent reading plan that goes with their Jesus Storybook Bible. We always talk about the birth of Jesus around Christmastime, but as they get older, I look forward to diving in deeper with them. I personally read one chapter of Luke each day in December leading up to Christmas.
  • Advent Calendars: I surprised the boys with their very first advent calendars today and they were so excited! We gave CC (7yo) a Harry Potter Lego calendar, Car (our 6yo) a Pokémon calendar, and Mac (4yo) a Paw Patrol Calendar. Now to find a permanent home for these for the rest of the month…
Advent calendars for kids
Boys’ first Advent Calendars!

Hold Traditions Loosely

One thing I have learned is that we can value our traditions while also holding them loosely. If we aren’t able to do one of these things in any given year, that is totally okay. If it happens to be a less than joyful Christmas due to grief or any other reason, that is totally okay.

The basis of these traditions is spending time as a family, making memories, and celebrating the birth of Jesus. How we get there can look and feel different as it needs to with each year.

What are your family traditions or favorite things to do this time of year? Always looking for ideas!

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