In the past few years I have found some new traditions to add to our families Christmas plans.
We do secret Santa drive bys on St. Nicholas day leaving goodies behind & laughing our heads off as we try not to get caught. We also get an early visit from Santa's elves while we are out doing the secret santa thing. Amazingly the kids always come home to their stocking filled with Christmas goodies in exchange for the letters they wrote. Of course it is always filled again on Christmas morning.
We read scripture almost daily. We do camp outs by the Christmas tree. We go looking at Christmas lights in our p.j.s with hot cocoa to keep us warm. We celebrate the first day of winter by driving up to Sharps ridge, watching the sunrise while toasting in the risen sun & son with o.j. We go caroling with friends. We do winter hikes while it snows. We make birthday cards for Jesus & tape them to our windows Christmas eve. We enjoy each other fully. In fact the kids are more excited about the season than they are Christmas morning which was what I wanted all along.
Of course all this takes a little planning as any mom out there knows. For me I have just replaced most of the gift shopping with gifts of memory instead. Still it takes a little work, but I make sure to go to the source of my joy everyday to keep things in perspective. That is the number one thing when planning a wonderful Christmas. The number two thing is organization. Keep things simple & well organized. Typically well organized is not in my vocabulary, but this year I have found a wonderful site, Organized Christmas, to start my Christmas planning. By the way, yes I know its August, but the key to simplifying is avoiding procrastination. Typically being rushed to finish something just leads to being stressed which I prefer to avoid if at all possible. Yesterday I managed to put together a holiday grand plan notebook thanks to the printables they have on the website. Now Im off to go to enjoy the last of the summer fun, because nothing says Christmas planning like sitting poolside. Merry Christmas Planning!