Christmas, to me, is the most magical time of the year. I just LOVE it! In fact, I love it so much, I have a terrible time waiting until November to start celebrating. (Don't hate me!) Ever since I was a child, I have had a huge heart for all things Christmas.
Magic of Books
I think it's the holiday traditions that make the Christmas season such a magical time for me. Even as a child, I always loved the moments of my family around the tree, the anticipation of joy, the small miracles that warm your heart on a cold day so much more than the commercial aspects.
So, as you enjoy these peeks into this year's Christmas Tradition Mini sets, let me regale you with some of our most cherished holiday traditions.
TOP TEN CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS TO START WITH YOUR FAMILY IN 2019 BY FAWN LILY PHOTOGRAPHY
1. First up is a no-brainer for a photographer, but it should be a no=brainer for you too. And it's.... get some Christmas photos! And, while you certainly can go to mall for an annual Santa shot, I would recommend a more magical and memorable experience. Come in to my Sidney BC studio and let your little ones celebrate their favourite Christmas traditions while I capture timeless and beautiful images for you. It's worth it!
2. Start a Hot Cocoa Station! Nothing invites the season quite like a cup of hot cocoa full of marshmallows with a candy cane to stir it all up. We use a tiered dish to house all of our goodies and it only takes up a tiny bit of counter space. The Hot Cocoa Station helps me to remember to actually DO the things I plan and plan and plan to do over the holiday season because my kids can't help but ask for a cup of hot chocolate when it is sitting in front of their noses. The cocoa station doubles as super cute Christmas decor too, so again, it's worth it.
3. The third Christmas Tradition that you should start this year is to one-up your holiday cookie baking. If you are already dedicating some time to sugar cookie baking and decorating then, here's a simple idea to make it just a little bit more fun. Ever year, we host a cookie decorating bash and each kid gets to invite a friend or two to come over and decorate cookies with us then stay for a Christmas movie. I'm already sweeping one million sprinkles off the floor thanks to my own kids, so it really is no extra work at all and the kids think it's amazing!
4. We always try and fill our holiday season with service. In our family, we know that giving makes you happier than getting so that is what we try and focus on and celebrate. Whether we are bringing Christmas goodies to our neighbours, or stopping by the home of an elderly friend to rake some leaves or tidy the yard, we love to serve, especially around Christmas! The children love to make gifts, ornaments, cards, goodies, and they especially love to give them away. We also try and look for ways to serve each other (which is a fun game to play to fill your home with love and peace).
5. We read lots and lots of Christmas books. A few years ago, I got organized and classified the mountain of children's books we have by season. The winter and Christmas books come out annually, and excitement fills the house (it doesn't matter that the books are old). Sometimes I even wrap the books for an advent but I don't always get around to that level of organized.
Jumping on the Bed
6. And speaking of book advents.... Advent Calendars are my favourite! A GREAT Christmas tradition for our family has been the introduction of our Activity Advent calendar. I calendar out our service ideas, formal activities (like the parade) and all the other little things we need to do (like make gingerbread houses and drive around looking at the lights). This year, I'm so excited to add an ornament advent to our traditions too!
7. And,,,, on the topic of ornaments.... I should probably tell you that my most favourite holiday tradition is the 4-5 (growing collection) Christmas trees I put up every year. I truly think that a perfect Christmas has a tree in every room! I know it's excessive, but I'm a go big kind of girl when I'm celebrating my fav holiday. Anyways, on one of the trees (the white one to be exact), we always hang a simple white stocking ornament. This ornament is humble, but special. It is our stocking for baby Jesus and every year we each think of a gift we can give him and write it down and put our notes into his stocking. Last year, Max's gift was to be nicer to his sisters. He might need another year to work on that one!
8. Our 8th Family Christmas Tradition is that we always find snow. We generally go up island to Cumberland for Christmas as that is where my parents live and are generally graced with a lovely helping of snow. But if it happens to be a warmer, wetter year, we all bundle up and trek to Mt Washington for a little play and toboggan ride. I remember making a "snow chant" as a child and to this day, the magic of a crisp white blanket of snow brings a world of fun to our holiday celebrations.
Jumping on the Bed
9. This Family Christmas Tradition might seem a little tame, but bear with me. We watch ALL the Christmas movies during our Friday Family Movie Nights. Ya, I know, so does everyone else right? Well, when I say all the Christmas Movies, I do mean the classics like Muppet's Christmas Carol, and Mickey Mouse, and the Grinch, and Miracle on 34th street, but also the movies that just feel like Christmas to me, like Harry Potter, and the Sound of Music, and Anne of Green Gables. Our Family Movie Nights totally step up in the Christmas season!
Jumping on the Bed
10. Finally! You have arrived! The last of our Family Christmas Traditions that I want to share today is to share with you our most beloved Annual Christmas Activities in Victoria! We love the Nativity Exhibit at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sidney (it's in November though so don't miss it!), Our favourite Christmas Parade is the Truck Parade (because we can watch it all warm inside our van!); we like the Sail Pass and the Sidney Sparkles Parade too. I love the Light-up at Butchart Gardens (free carousel rides!). We like to visit Father Christmas at the Museum too. The carriage rides and free Ferris Wheel in Victoria are on our list for this year. And, we always try and make it to at least one Christmas concert because Christmas music is my jam!
Christmas at the Market
The Night Before Christmas
Fawn Lily Photography is a Sidney BC based Newborn, Children, and Family Photographer serving Victoria BC. Christmas Minis are coming soon so don't forget to inquired about openings!