My Top 10 Christmas Traditions

Happy Holidays from mommytime365!! I absolutely love this time of year when we start in on our Christmas traditions. I love the excitement in the kids and the joy that it brings them. I now know why my parents always said they didn’t want presents, just to spend time with us kids. For me that is what Christmas is about, “the kids”, and being with family. I cherish this time with them and I pray that we’ll be a close family always.

Our Christmas Traditions begin the day after Thanksgiving when our Elf on the Shelf, Jingle, returns. The kids are always excited to find him and see what kind of notes and pranks he’ll bring.
Jingle - Elf on the Shelf 11-28-2014

2.) Usually sometime after Thanskgiving we go to Hallmark and each pick a new ornament. Our tree is beginning to be covered, which I love because each ornament has a special meaning to each person that year. Like this year for instance: My Grandma, who I was very close to passed away in March, we bought an ornament in remembrance of her. My husband, Todd, picked out The Misfit Toys from Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer movie. He really wanted the ornament Owen picked out, since he picked it out when we got the catalog months ago. I chose Frosty the Snowman with Karen, since I have enough Rudolph and this Frosty was just too cute! Wyatt got Harry Potter with the sorting hat, which talks, since he has a new-found love for Harry Potter movies & books. Owen picked Transformers – Optimus Prime. The boys, including their dad, LOVE Transformers. Haleigh got her most favorite Princess of all, Princess Sofia. It’s actually a tie between Sofia and Elsa, but they were all out of Elsa ornaments.
Grandma Virginia 2014 - Christmas Ornament

Todd 2014 - Christmas Ornament

Jennifer Ornament 2014 - Frosty and Karen

Wyatt 2014 - Harry Potter Christmas Ornament

Owen - 2014 Optimus Prime

Haleigh 2014 Sofia Ornament

3.) The weekend after Thanksgiving, weather permitting, is when we get our Christmas tree from a local tree farm. This year it was awfully wet, so I suggested that we just get a tree from one of the hundreds of tree lots in the area. All I could do was imagine the muddy mess on the kid’s boots, which would end up in my car… ICK… My husband, being a Christmas tree expert and harvester, looked at me like I was crazy. He replied that we’d never-ever go to a tree-lot, lol. He is the one who gets on the ground and does the hard work anyways, so it was okay by me. Luckily the field that we were in wasn’t very muddy, now the parking lot on the other hand was a mess! The kids stayed in the car at that point, so mission was a success and my carpets dodged a muddy mess.
Haleigh 2014 tree hunting

Owen Tree Farm 2014

Wyatt Tree Farm 2014

kids christmas tree hunting 2014

4.) After we get the tree home, we usually set it up to dry, and later for dinner we always go to Burgerville and grab dinner. After we’re done with dinner we order either their Chocolate Peppermint or Eggnog Milkshakes to go, and head out to P.I.R (Portland International Raceway) for their Christmas lights along the race track.

5.) Wyatt usually helps Todd put the Christmas lights on the tree, he’s been “helping” since he was just walking. It’s something Wyatt looks forward to every Christmas. Then it’s time to get the ornaments out, but before we begin I turn on Christmas music, we gather around, and I had them out one-by-one. The kids talk about their ornaments, what they remember about it, and it’s just a very special time.
wyatt decorating tree 2014

6.) Last year I came across Paradise Photography studio’s ad in a local coupon mailer, and we were so impressed! It’s an actual studio, so you set up a time for your children to come see Santa. No long lines, no disappointment when Santa & his reindeer are on a break, and when your child cries/screams/throws a fit you’re not in public! Your family will get a non-hustled visit with Santa and he’s amazing! He’s got the real beard, is super great with the kids, and I’ll go here as long as they keep doing this event! If you’re in Oregon, please visit their website for details! or to book an appointment call: 503-653-0606
Wyatt with Santa 2013

Owen with Santa - 2013 - blog

Haleigh with Santa 2013 - blog

7.) Christmas shopping with my husband is always a blast. Whatever we can’t find on Amazon Prime, we’ll make a date night of it. Grab a bite to eat and then stop at Starbucks for Eggnog Lattes and we’re off.. This year we topped it off with a night at the movies and watched The Hunger Games – Mowkingjay Part 1. Made it home around 1am, it was a great evening!
date night movie

8.) Our “YouseHouse Sugar Cookie Extravaganza”… I cheat and always buy the sugar cookie mix at Costco, but then we literally bake till we drop. Then later that night we gather around the table with colored sugar, red-hots, an assortment of little candies, lots and lots of different sprinkles and wide variety of colored frosting. Some frosting makes it onto the cookie, but there is a lot of taste testing going on.
Wyatt - Cookie Deocrating 2013 - blog

Owen - Christmas Cookies 2013 - blog

Haleigh - Cookie Decorating 2013 - blog

9.) As a family we always watch:
Polar Express
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
Miracle on 24th Street
White Christmas
Prep & Landing 1 & 2
Santa Claus 1, 2, & 3
Charlie Brown Christmas
Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Frosty, Jack Frost (animated), The Year w/o Santa Claus, Santa Claus is coming to Town, Little Drummer Boy.
Elf on The Shelf

My husband and I cuddle up and watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” every Christmas Eve after all is set out and done.

10.) I always make Wassail before Christmas Eve and have it simmering Christmas morning, which makes the house smell aaaa-mmmma—zing!!!

Here’s the recipe:


1 1/2 cups Sugar
10 whole cloves
3 cups water
10 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 cup lemon juice
1 gallon apple juice

1. In sauce pan combine sugar, cloves, water & cinnamon. Boil for 10 minutes. Cool 1 hour.
2. Stir in orange juice, lemon juice, and apple juice. Boil 10-15 minutes, remove cloves and cinnamon sticks.
3. Enjoy.

I usually serve this on Christmas Eve. I use the apple juice jug to transport and put remaining Wassail in the refrigerator. I end up making two batches, it’s a family favorite.

Wishing you and your family a Very Merry Christmas!!
Signature - Shadows Into Light
#mommytime365 #holidays #christmas #traditions


  1. Phoenicia said:

    Great site! What cute children!

    You are doing an excellent job of drawing readers in- I was captured! Excellent use of photographs and content.

    You will go far!

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    December 18, 2014
    • Thank you so much!! Happy Holidays to you and your family.

      December 19, 2014

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