It’s Christmas…in September!

Many years ago, I was introduced to something called The Advent Book.  It’s a beautiful book that tells the Christmas story in both story and pictures.  Because it requires the reader to open windows, it’s a storybook that our children loved.

Every Christmas season The Advent Book sits prominently on our coffee table.  It features 25 unique doors, each opening to reveal a picture and a segment of the Christmas story. The story is told in simple concise language so that even young children can understand.

A new door is opened each day from Dec. 1st through Christmas just like an Advent calendar. Because the doors are reopened and added to every day, family members enjoy the anticipation of remembering or revealing what is behind each door and learn by heart the Biblical story of Jesus’ birth.

Jack and Kathy Stockman who both wrote and illustrated the book have been workshop speakers at Hearts at Home conferences in the past.  Their workshops on holiday traditions are always very popular.

Today the Stockman’s are offering a giveaway to the Hearts at Home Blog readers! They are giving away one of these beautiful heirloom books (a $49.95 value)!

To enter your name in the drawing for this beautiful book that will surely be passed along from generation to generation, you just need to leave a comment by midnight tonight sharing your favorite family Christmas tradition.  I’ll draw a winner from all the entries and announce the winner Thursday morning.

The Stockman’s place an order every Fall for books to be delivered in November.  If you don’t win the giveaway, but you’d like one of these unique books to help your family keep the Christ in Christmas, now would be the time to order.  They are usually $49.95 but this month they are on sale for $44.95.  PLUS they are offering an additional $5.00 discount to Hearts at Home blog readers through this Sunday!

You can find more info at www.adventbook.com.  If you want the special Hearts at Home discount, you need to place your order by Sunday, September 18.

  • Coupon 1: $5.00 off individual pre-order copies (that’s $5.00 off the already discounted price which makes it $10 off).  Use coupon code: HeartsatHome1 for this discount.
  • Coupon 2: $20 off case of 8 pre-ordered books.  This would be great if you’re interested in giving them as gifts.  Use coupon code: HeartsatHome2 for this discount.

Now I want to hear your favorite family Christmas tradition!

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112 Responses to It’s Christmas…in September!

  1. Beth says:

    Both my husbands family and my family live within 10 minutes of our house, but they each have separate Christmas festivities. My in-laws have always done Christmas on Christmas Eve and my family has always done it on Christmas day! (Phew! No conflict for the newlyweds!)

    When our children came along, I wanted to find a way to make the evening of Christmas Eve special. We had always had grand parties with extended, *extended* family when I was growing up. But with the hubbub of the morning, and the craziness to follow the next morning, I wanted to find something more low key. I also wanted to find something that could involve any extended family who may be in town, but wouldnt depend on their presence. I also wanted something that could carry through the years of childhood.

    We decided on Christmas tree pizza! Each Christmas eve we make homemade pizza in the shape of a Christmas tree and use the toppings to decorate it. Then we usually watch a Christmas movie while we eat it. Its not very fancy and its certainly not spiritual, but its the perfect event for that little chunk of family time we have that night. Cant wait to slow down and do it again this year!

  2. Tristi says:

    Growing up, my dad set aside every Saturday night between Thanksgiving and Christmas to take us out for dinner and then to the mall to look at Christmas decorations. It was family time I will always treasure. Christmas was the season I could count on my dad to create special memories.

  3. Holly Lemons says:

    My daughter and I, since her first Christmas, have made a gingerbread house together. While were not gifted in the decorating department, I love spending that time with her and how much fun we both have trying to make our house look pretty (and eating the candy as we go)!

  4. Our favorite Christmas tradition is a fancy Christmas Eve dinner followed by a birthday party for Jesus – including a birthday cake. After the party, we enjoy Christmas Eve service at our church. My kids look forward to that party every year!

  5. kristin says:

    What an awesome giveaway! I love the Christmas season … the smell of cinnamon, all the family gatherings, buying gifts, having parties with our friends, the way the world is more willing to think of Jesus. My kids are young (21 months and 4 years old), so as a family were still developing traditions. But last year we had a Happy Birthday, Jesus! Party with two other families who are dear friends. (Heres a post about it: http://krishill10.blogspot.com/2010/12/happy-birthday-jesus.html.) Were doing to do it again this year, although I have even better ideas!

  6. Marilyn says:

    Hi. My niece(5) and nephew (3) always come over to visit with us (my husband, son who is 8 and myself). We have Christmas cookies and treats. We make reindeer food, feed the reindeer and an elf always leaves a present for each of them on our front porch. We might watch a video like Veggie Tales Christmas or The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado.

  7. c says:

    My favorite tradition is that my mother always gives each of her children, children’s spouses and grandchildren a book. She takes a great deal of time to choose something she knows the recipient will enjoy. Regardless of any other gift, we all look forward to the books because we know she selected with great thought and because its tradition!

  8. laura says:

    My favorite tradition is having special snacks at home after the Christmas Eve service.

  9. Kimberly says:

    After Christmas Eve church services, we go to my parents house for a nice quiet get-together with snacks and wine. The kids get to open thier gifts from Grandma and Grandpa, and we read a short Christmas story from the many Christmas books my Mom has out on the coffee table. It is so nice to sit and relax and enjoy the reason for the season, instead of gettign caught up in the busyness and stresses the season can sometimes bring.

  10. Jenn says:

    My hubbie says I am the queen of traditions so its hard to choose just one. I guess I would have to say christmas ornaments. Myy husband and I take turns being in charge of purchasing our couple ornament. We have been doing it since we were engaged. It started with purchasing a couple themed Hallmark ornament, but it has become an opportunity to pick something that reminds us of that year of our marriage. For example last year I got one that said, Our 4th Christmas as a joke because at a marriage retreat my hubbie said we had been married four years (wed been married 6 1/2) I cant decide which year I enjoy more trying to surprise him or the years when he gets to surprise me! We also choose an ornament that reminds us of something special from that year for each of our children. Decorating our Christmas tree is like opening a very special scrapbook.

  11. Sarah L says:

    My favorite family tradition at Christmas is actually the day after Thanksgiving. Fall disappears, and Christmas trees and lights come out. Our local Christain music station starts to play Christmas songs. It just lifts everyone up while we clean up after the day before and gets us thinking about the real reason we celebrate.

  12. Laura says:

    My favorite tradition is that each year after the Christmas Eve service at church one of our children (it rotates) opens up one gift, the Christ candle. We add it to the Advent Wreath and talk about how Christ is God’s gift to the world.

  13. bethany pavlik says:

    The family tradition that my parents started when I was a kid was watching Its a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve together. It is my absolute favorite christmas movie and now that my first child is here, I will start that tradition in my own little family.

  14. Sarah says:

    I love the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons! We give each of our kids a new ornament at Thanksgiving for them to decorate the tree with for Christmas. Then when they leave the nest, they will already have their own small stock of ornaments to take with them.

    –Sarah

  15. Dawn Boerding says:

    Mine tradition starts the day after thanksgiving. My Family and In-Laws, total of 11 of us, Go cut down our christmas tree. We all take that day off of work and go to breakfast, go to a tree farm, we have visited many. We always make it back to my In-laws house to make a big meal to share. It is an all day event we started before we had kids and has become one of the best memories we have. It is fun to look back at the pictures when we bundled the kids up in coats and hauled them out to the tree farm in backpacks carriers, and now they cut down the tree themselves!!

  16. Julie M. says:

    This book looks beautiful! My favorite Christmas tradition is going out on our property and finding just the right tree for each Christmas. It is usually cold and rainy, but we bring hot chocolate and cookies and make it into a really fun outing. Thank you for the opportunity to win this Advent book!

  17. Chris says:

    We always look forward to our Christmas morning brunch with family – the presents are already opened and we can just celebrate Jesus birthday together!

  18. Laura says:

    One of my favorite traditions is that our kids get to open one gift on Christmas Eve….their Christmas pajamas….

    We then read the Christmas story from the Bible….

  19. R Walker says:

    My favorite Christmas tradition is decorating the tree with my husband and 2 children. My mother gives each of us a new ornament each year that has something to do with our activites or events that year. So, decorating the tree always inspires us to remember important events from all the previous years. We play Christmas music and enjoy time together. Each of us has our favorite ornament that we like to hang in a prominent spot on the tree. The lighted Nativity ornament is always centered in the front to keep the true meaning of Christmas close at hand.

  20. Barb Wall says:

    Oh Jill–I would so love to win this book!! Christmas is my favorite time of year!!! It makes “most” people kinder!!! My grandaughter is 3 ( Simone) I would so love to start this tradition with her!! Christmas Eve we always have a birthday cake for baby Jesus!! Christmas morning I always make an egg and sausage casserole that my family just loves!!! Food,food,food–and I wonder why I can not lose weight!!!! hahaha Thank you and many Blessings, Barb Wall

  21. The only time my family (hubs the kids) get to be alone at Christmas is that early morning, so I make a big breakfast – same thing every year – and we love that time together! It was a tradition I had to create to make it happen, but, it work for us :)

  22. Kacy says:

    We have so many traditions that I love at Christmas time. One of my favorite is our churchs Christmas Eve service. Its all music and scripture reading. So many people have a role in this service, including my older children, and thats what makes it so special. Its a great way to reflect and it gives such a peaceful feeling before the rush of Christmas Day! =)

  23. My favorite Christmas tradition is on Christmas Eve . . . we go out to eat with my parents at the same local diner we did when I was little. When then go home open one Christmas present. My kids love it!

    This book is perfect! Just what Im looking for. I just got back to going to church again my kids are now attending as well. I have been searching for easy ways to teach my child stories of the Bible as well as the Christmas story. I cant wait to get my hands on this book! I hope I win :-) Thanks again Jill for having your blog post stuff like this. Love it! THANK YOU!

    Jennifer

  24. Vickie says:

    Our granddaughters use the nativity set to tell their version of the birth of Jesus. It is sweet and it is rewarding to see how much more detail they include each year. It would be great to add this book to our family Christmas experience.

  25. Heather A. says:

    My favorite family Christmas tradition we just started the last few years, with 4 kids and family all over we stay home! We have brunch and then I put on a few pots of soup, homemade rolls, desserts and then whoever wants to come to our house and see the kids and watch movies or play games we are here and everyone loves Christmas, it is no longer a hassil!

  26. Miranda says:

    We have a very large family. I have about 40 cousins and we buy each one a little gift. I love watching them open the gift and their delight in them even if the gift is something simple.

  27. Jenny Anderson says:

    My favorite Christmas tradition is shortly after Thanksgiving. Usually on the Saturday or Sunday after, we get out the Christmas stuff. Lately, I have been putting my glass set of baby Jesus, his parents, the wise men and a few animals into the aquarium. We have 2 kids, a dog, 2 cats and a home child care, so that is the safest place for them. It is nice to watch the fish swim around and point out who is in there.
    My next favorite is the Jesse tree. Our extended family several years ago, got the Advent Jesse Tree book. It has a bible story and lesson for each day. My mom, Grandparents and a few of us cousins made about 10 duplicate ornaments for each day of advent and gave them with presents that year along with the book. It is a nice way to remember loved ones, near and far.

  28. Roni says:

    One of the traditions I grew up with that we have continued in our family takes place on Christmas morning as we are opening gifts. We ask the children to take turns giving each person one gift and then watch as we open them one at a time. It is such a (for the most part) pleasant gift-opening experience. I think as a child it taught me to take interest in what other people are receiving, created excitement for the gifts I had picked, and how to open a gift with appreciation.

  29. Lisa Buchanan says:

    My church has a Christmas Eve service and I do not ever remember a time that me and my mom and my sister did not attend the service together – now my family and step family attend with us all. It is a very meaningful service that gets me totally in the Christmas spirit each and every year. It helps me to remember that Jesus Christ is the reason for the season!

  30. Linda says:

    What a lovely book. I would love to give it to my granddaughters, age 3 4. My favorite Christmas tradition is the special time we share as family, all my brothers and sisters and their families getting together Christmas Eve. The kids open their presents and we enjoy snacks and our special green punch.

  31. Sarah H says:

    We are still establishing traditions, as we have a young family. But last year we did something that I hope becomes a tradition. I made up multiple foil pans of my delicious homemade cinnamon rolls and several nights before Christmas, we loaded up the kids and drove around to close friends homes and left them pans of cinnamon rolls. We found that with the more relaxed schedule, people are often home at this time, perhaps gathering with friends/loved ones. It was fun to leave a treat, maybe visit a few minutes and say Merry Christmas!

  32. Yvonne says:

    Our favorite Christmas tradition is putting together shoeboxes for the Operation Christmas Child! We collect small items throughout the year and then put them together in November, right before Thanksgiving. They have a really cool feature now where if you pay for the postage online, they will send you a confirmation telling you where the box ended up. I dont know why this simple project is so emotional for me – for some of the recipients this little box will be the first thing that belongs to just them and is an example of Gods blessings from afar.

  33. Krystal says:

    One of my favorite Christmas traditions growing up was going out to get our Christmas tree from the tree farm. My mom would always say, “Please don’t get such a big tree this year!” We always tried, but they didn’t look as big out in the field! Then on another night we would all decorate the tree together. My step dad would put on the lights and the garland and then my sister, my brothers and I would all put on the ornaments! It was such a great time when all my family was together. One of my brothers was killed in Iraq so that precious time we had together is even more special!

    My daughter is only 2 so my husband and I are still working on developing our family traditions. It is my favorite time of year so I am hoping that we have some great ones like this Advent book! Thank you for this opportunity!

  34. Amanda says:

    My favorite Christmas tradition is when we start decorating December 1st and begin opening our Jessie Tree advent symbols. It really helps us see the meaning of Christmas throughout the Bible.

  35. Cathy Hendrikson says:

    Our families favorite Christmas tradition is reading Tanta Clause, a book illistrated by my daughters Godfather, before she was born. We bring it out on the 1st Sunday in Advent and read it. It then sits on our coffee table until Christmas for all to read. We have very happy memories with our family and Johnny (Godfather) from when my children were little. Now Johnny, who lives in another state has the same tradition with his little boy, so it feels like we are still together even when we are far apart

  36. Jennifer says:

    My mother and I have taught my 2 daughters how to make homemade Wontons. The four of us sit around on Christmas afternoon folding wontons into little nurses caps in order for Dad to drop them in the fryer!
    The tradition has also made for some pretty special scrapbook pages!

  37. Stacie says:

    I am one of four grandchildren on my mothers side of the family. I am seven years older than the other three. When I was little, my Mom like to be at home on Christmas, so we went to my grandmothers house, and great-grandmothers house, the weekend before. I passed out the gifts under the tree when we celebrated and then we ate a huge Christmas dinner. After church the next morning, we would go to my great-grandmothers house. My favorite part of this day was my gift from her… it was a long gown with a housecoat that went with it. Even though I was little, I couldnt wait to get there to see what color she got me. I put it on immediately and you couldnt get me to take it off for days. It seems that my family has fallen away from tradition. I would love to start a new tradition that my 3 boys can take to their families when they are grown.

  38. Mandy says:

    One of our favorite traditions is getting out the nativity set and talking about all of the different people involved in the story of Jesus Birth. I also get out all of my Christmas books that we enjoy through out the month.

  39. Jenn says:

    It’s so hard to pick my favorite, because there’s so many sights and sounds I love about Christmas! I love sitting by the Christmas tree with the lights on reading my Bible early in the morning when it’s still dark and the house is quiet. But my favorite tradition as a family is that we always have a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas Eve with candles and the birthday song. We’ve done this since our children were wee, but now they’re growing up (our oldest is 13), but they still love this tradition. :)

  40. Kristin Mesa says:

    One of our favorite traditions is making a cake and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus. The kids love to bake and decorate the cake, even now when they are teenagers. Its a great way to remember the real reason why we celebrate Christmas!

  41. cynthia says:

    My favorite tradition growing up was that we do a scandinavian christmas eve. Swedish meatballs for dinner, midnight service candlelight service and eat cookies and drink glugg in the glow of the christmas tree after church.

  42. Lisa White says:

    Our favorite tradition is getting our (artificial) tree out the first Sunday of Advent. It sits stark. The next night we add white lights. Next night we add purple (for Advent) ribbons as garland. From then on, each of our children adds a purple ornament per night (pink ornaments on the third week of Advent). The tree slowly fills until Christmas Eve, when we add ALL our ornaments. We usually leave the tree until at least Epiphany, enjoying the gorgeous color and fullness (a fitting symbol of our faith and anticipation of His coming)!

  43. Erin says:

    My husband and I will celebrate our 7th anniversary on September 25th. Since before we got married, we have picked an evening during every Christmas season to drive around our small town, looking at everyone’s lights. I am looking forward to establishing simple yet meaningful traditions like this one with our son, Garrett, who is almost 1. Let me be the first to tell you “Merry Christmas!” :-)

  44. Lyndsey says:

    My favorite tradition is our family’s christmas ornament. the year I got engaged my mom bought me a handblown ornament for our tree. We never got the Hallmark ornaments every year but starting that now with my husband was priceless. It’s our favorite thing to unpack in the decorations and exciting to see what that year’s ornament will be.

  45. Patti Bodenhamer says:

    My favorite Christmas tradition is putting up the tree and decorating the house the weekend of Thanksgiving. For several years we went and cut a tree. It was fun at the time , but we decided last year to get a fake one, I miss going and cutting one but do not miss the hours trying to get it to stand straight.

  46. Ashley Bomboy says:

    Our favorite Christmas tradition is on Christmas morning before we open any presents we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus!!! I have, within the last couple of years, started making a birthday cake to Jesus! I bring it to my in-laws house and we eat it after dinnner on Christmas eve! It is our way to remember the true reason for the season!!!!

  47. Tara says:

    Similarly to Kristin, we too have young children and are still developing our own family traditions and figuring out what works/what doesn’t. But last year, when one would ask my then 3 year old daughter, Jordan, what she wanted for Christmas all she would say was, “cake.” So we decided on Christmas morning to make a “Happy Birthday Jesus” coffee cake for breakfast to start our day off with our minds centered on the whole reason for our celebrating. It was great fun! This year Jordan is 4 and her twin sisters will be 2-1/2 so the event will mean even more. Thanks for hosting this give away. My family did an advent calendar and it was just such a beautiful and fun way to count down the days.

  48. Dawn says:

    Each year I buy a new pair of Chrismtas jammies. On Christmas eve, the kids open them – yes, I do wrap them 😉 and we were them to bed! One year, I even gave new Christmas jammies to family visiting from out of town! Another tradition I just started last year was bake Jesus a birthday cake. Since my kids are still young I try to think of fun ways to focus more on the REAL meaning of Christmas and take it off of Santa.

  49. Katy says:

    When I think about Christmas growing up, I think about my Dad playing guitar and all of us singing Carols together. As we got older, we would join in on Violins, Basses, Guitars and Mandolins. We always did a little “concert” for the extended family.

  50. Growing up we couldn’t go look at the tree or our gifts until my Dad went out and turned on the Christmas tree lights. i remember loving the anticipation while we waited down the hallway. Then when he said go, we raced in to see the gorgeous tree with our gifts.

  51. Kelly Welch says:

    One of our family Christmas traditions is decorating the tree together. But what we love the most is when we bring out the “antique ornaments” that are carefully packed away every year. I have ornaments that are from my Grandmother, pre-WWII, and we talk about how hard the lives were of our ancestors, and how Jesus meant so much to them. Then I remind the kids how blessed we are, and how God surrounds us with his abundance and goodness and that we have His favor and grace everyday.

  52. Summer Youngkin says:

    We were pretty poor growing up and usually only had one ‘store bought’ gift and the others were second hand toys. But my mother made up for that by hiding them in a scavenger hunt around the house. And once we found it, we had to do an activity before we opened it…like sing a Christmas carol, act out the nativity story, or play an instrument. Actually, my brother and I hated all of this, at the time because we just wanted to open our gifts:) But looking back, it’s special because my mother was trying to stretch out the gift opening process and make it more special because we didn’t have a lot. NOW that’s a beautiful memory!

  53. Julie N says:

    Our Christmas with family changes as our family dynamics have grown, changed and our locations have moved over the years. But the one thing we have always done together is go to a tree farm and cut a Christmas tree. Now last year our new little baby girl (#3) had joined our family and it was already snowy and freezing cold in early December. I made the suggestion that we get an artificial tree – you know save the hassle of taking the baby, and save the mess of all those needles. Plus someone always forgets the rope to tie down the tree, or the saw doesn’t work well, or the little fingers are cold. Well my family talked me into another year of going out to the tree farm, and I am so glad they did. For I realized this is one of the few traditions that we have shared year after year and that it really is a fun and wonderful adventure each and every time!

  54. Dawn says:

    Watching White Christmas while wrapping gifts.

  55. amanda rempe says:

    Something that I learned from my husbands family is when it comes time to opening gifts, we start from the youngest and go to the oldest. This way everyone can see what the others got and we can see the reactions from each other…I love it. It can take a while when we are all together though, there are 13 of us all together.

  56. Do I have to pick just ONE???? I love baking christmas cookies with my best girlfriend, I love watching the same 3 movies prior to Christmas with my family every year (each movie just once!), I love going to Christmas Eve service, kids in their jammies, some sleeping in the pews, lights dimmed, circled up in the sanctuary with candles singing Silent Night, I love that we stay home as a family, just us, on Christmas morning, in our jammies, playing, napping, I love making my family Monkey Bread for breakfast on Christmas morning and watching them gobble it down. I love the hope, joy, love and peace that you feel that time of year all because of a small baby born in a stable….

  57. Amanda Gascho says:

    Baking and eating Birthday cake for Jesus with our kids on Christmas Eve.

  58. Carol says:

    Each November, my family all put their names in a hat and a gift was to be hand made for whoever you drew out. My boys are older now and I still have so many wonderful memories of those gifts!

  59. Misti says:

    We don’t exchange gifts in our immediate family for Christmas. We spend the money buying things for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes & Foster Wishes through our church. We have explained to our boys that Christmas is not their birthday & since we can’t give Jesus a gift, we can give to those in need. We decorate a tree, with a special new ornament for each person, love the baking that we do & the Christmas Eve service.

  60. Christy says:

    When my husband and I got married we came across an old record player/radio/8 track console at an estate sale. We fell in love with it and promptly started looking for records to play on it. One day while digging through records at a thrift store I came across an Andy Williams Christmas record that my grandpa had played for my siblings and I at Christmas. I LOVED that record and was ecstatic to have found it! Now, every year when we decorate the tree and on Christmas morning we play that record for our family. It has been so fun to see our children growing up with – and eagerly looking forward to – the same music I loved as a child.

  61. Maggie says:

    I found a gift bag that says “Happy Birthday, Jesus” on it, and we cut the pictures from the Samaritan’s Purse Christmas catalog for the projects that we made donations for and put it in the gift bag so that we can remember on Christmas morning that it’s all really about Him and that when we give to the least of these, we are really giving to Him.

  62. Kate says:

    My favorite Christmas tradition is having Christmas at our house. The kids get to sleep in their own bed and wake up to yummy breakfast smells and lots of laughter from our house full of guests. Family from all over the US come every year to celebrate. We spend the whole day being together. My favorite love language.

  63. Valerie Fitzgerald says:

    After we were married, my husband started the tradition for our family of going to cut down a real Christmas tree at the tree farm each December. The first year he surprised me with this tree excursion. Since then we have added 3 children to our family. Sometimes it is a challenge to get everyone bundled up and out to the tree farm, but we always have fun and really appreciate our beautiful tree once it is home and we can admire it up close.

  64. juleyn says:

    My family attends Christmas Eve church together. Sitting with my family, enjoying the words and music together is the best tradition!

  65. Robin says:

    One of our famillies favorite Advent traditions is our “Advent Drawers.” They are a small organizer drawer set (as seen in your husband’s workshop full of screws and such) that we have added small items and a little reading of the meaning of that items to Christmas. For example, there is a small star, and the reading is the verses that talk about how the wise men followed the star. But would love to add to our holiday traditions!

  66. Ruth says:

    A few years ago, a friend gifted me with a “Christmas Pickle.” I hang it on the tree on Christmas eve in a not-too-visible spot and my husband and 2 boys look for it the next morning. Whoever finds it first, gets a special gift that we can all enjoy together.

  67. Babs says:

    My favorite Christmas tradition is putting up the Christmas tree. The kids receive a new ornament each year on St. Nicholas Day. The ornaments tell a story of what was important to them that year. We also have ornaments from vacations and homemade ornaments that tell a story too. I feel like we relive the past each time we decorate the tree….memories…..of days gone by.

  68. deirdre says:

    our favorite is going to the Christmas tree farm and picking out a tree!!! and decorating it while we watch all kinds of Christmas TV!!!

  69. Jamie Dover says:

    We are a military family…so every year we buy a new Christmas tree ornament that is from the place we are living or a place we’ve visited that year. We have ornaments from Holland, Scotland, Germany, France, Russia, Denmark, Japan, Texas, and even a cute little birdhouse that says “See Rock City” that we bought while visiting Rock City in Tennessee. (This year it will be Colorado.) Those wonderful ornaments decorate the top half of our tree where the youngest can’t get them…while the bottom half of our tree is decorated in Disney Princesses….just because we have girls…so why not…

  70. Rhonda Vanderwest says:

    Our family starts 3 wiseman and a camel in the top floor of our home, then throughout the month of December the children move them each night before bed. On Christmas morning they arrive at the nativity in the basement and it’s been a neat tradition for us.

  71. Vicki Olejarczyk says:

    One of our favorite traditions is the ornaments on our tree. Every year there is a picture of the kids put on the tree but also any special trip we take throughout the year we buy an ornament from that city, gift shop, etc. so we can remember all the fun memories of time spent together as a family.

  72. Kim says:

    I created my own tradition to help my kids learn the joy of giving. Each year they help me choose something we can give to each of our neighbors to show our love and appreciation for having them in our lives, usually about 6 families. I always try to find something that they can help me make and assemble and that is inexpensive, but thoughtful, such as homemade hot chocolate mix in a pretty package. Then, my girls go together one evening to deliver this gift and a card to the neighbors. They always look forward to it. It makes me happy that they are so excited to give gifts to others.

  73. Chris Arbrouet says:

    Our favorite family tradition is putting on our new jammies, singing happy birthday to Jesus and having b-day cake. All on Christmas Eve.

    Thanks for giveaway!

  74. SueAnn Kavanagh says:

    We adopted our 3 children about 5 years ago. Since they had never had a “real” birthday celebration, we made sure as each of their birthdays arrived, that they had balloons, a cake of their choice and their favorite dinner. So, when Christmas came around and we started talking about the birth of Christ and how we had to celebrate Jesus’ birthday…..they made sure that we celebrate Jesus with the same style. We have balloons, and a cake and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus! I feel so blessed to have them as a permanent part of our family now, but feel even more blessed that they understand who Jesus is, and why it is sooo important to celebrate His birth! :)

  75. Dawn says:

    My favorite family tradition takes place on Christmas Eve. The children take turns (ds on odd numbered years and dd on even numbered years) putting baby Jesus in the manger just before heading to bed. Then we all pile on our bed and read the story of Jesus birth in the Bible before tucking them in to sleep.

  76. Lori Owens says:

    My favorite Christmas tradition with our four boys is waking up on Christmas morning and sitting in front of the manager together. We welcome baby Jesus to the manager, tell the Christmas story and say a Christmas morning prayer together before opening gifts. I started when my boys were 5, 4, and 2 and now at 10, 9, 7 and 2 it is even more special as the older ones can contribute more.

  77. Julie says:

    This book is beautiful!

    Growing up we would always go to the candlelight service at church. Then we would go home and change into pjs to watch It’s a Wonderful Life. All us kids would just pile on the floor with pillows and blankets. I still try to do this even though it is just my husband and me.

  78. Michelle Cranford says:

    Growing up my mom and I and our friends would make a gingerbread house. I would take it to my school and our teacher would let us eat on it during the days to follow. I have enjoyed doing this with my daughter who is soon to be 4 years old.

    I also adopted a friend of mines tradition last yr, which is praying for families at dinner time as we receive christmas cards in the mail.

  79. Kathy Stevenson says:

    We love going to Christmas Eve services.

  80. Courtney says:

    I love Christmas time! :) All the smells…sounds…surprises…even the hustle and bustle. I also love the times when we are able to sit and quietly ponder the miracle of Christ’s birth. We are trying to make more of those times happen with our children (ages 6 and 4). What are quickly becoming some of our favorite traditions are that we either take Christmas Eve or the night before Christmas Eve and just spend it with the 4 of us, before the big family get togethers.We enjoy some good food and either read together or watch a movie together. Last year was the first time we had an advent calendar, and we loved doing that together. Another first for last year was a birthday party for Jesus, where we got together with friends and celebrated Christ’s birth together…we exchanged gifts, had a cake and read the story of His birth together. Looking forward to making many more traditions together!

    • Courtney says:

      One other tradition we love is gathering toys to make a box to send overseas for children with Samaritan’s Purse!

  81. Sue R says:

    baking cookies with the grandkids…with lots of sprinkles!!!

  82. Kelly Carlson says:

    It’s hard to pick which tradition is my fav! I think it’s picking out our Christmas tree together as a family the weekend after Thanksgiving, coming home to hot chocolate, a stew in the crock pot or stove, turning on Christmas music, and setting up the tree and decorations around the house as a family! We all help and do it together–that’s key!

  83. Becky Dusenberry says:

    We have many traditions for Christmas, but I always enjoy the day after Thanksgiving, when I make turkey chili and homemade goodies and then we decorate the Christmas tree while listening to Christmas music. I love getting out all our ornaments and watching as our son, now 4 1/2, looks at them all and asks questions about them. It’s a wonderful way for him to learn some family history with the ornaments and it’s just a wonderful day filled with family time.

  84. Michele Wilken says:

    Our favorite family tradition during the Christmas holiday is making goodies and sharing them with neighbors and local businesses. We spend a few weeks making all kinds of Christmas cookies, candies and other goodies. Then on Christmas eve after church we go around and deliver the goodies to neighbors and the to the people working at nearby business. It is always fun to see peoples faces when we show up. We love giving back to those that serve us on a regular basis.

  85. Deanna Mason says:

    I love creating Christmas memories with my children. One of our traditions is our children picking out an ornament for the tree that represents something special about them that past year. For example, my daughter started ballet classes last year (she is 3) and her ornament last Christmas was ballet slippers. When my son was 3, he was really into Elmo, so we found an Elmo ornament for him. This is really special for me because it allows me to remember parts of their life as they grow over the years – and each year, the hunt for special ornaments becomes more specific for them. OK, that’s done…NOW ENTER ME INTO THIS DRAWING! lol

  86. Carol says:

    One of my favorite Christmas traditions is this book! I would love to have one to give each of my girls when they have their own families. It has been awesome to watch them grow as we celebrate each year. From diapers and crawling away to not fitting on my lap and “reading the doors” all by themselves. Even now that they are preteens, they run to the couch every night in December to read what we still call “The Baby Jesus Book”.

  87. Amanda C says:

    We enjoy baking and decorating Christmas cookies every year. The kids all wear their special aprons, and we take lots of pictures of them and their creations.

  88. Suzanne Deeren says:

    The kids love to search for the baby Jesus doll after we read the Christmas story (just like the wise men). The youngest is usually allowed to find Jesus first and then we open gifts as a family – one at a time – from youngest to oldest.

  89. Adam O says:

    We enjoy making special pancakes & enjoying breakfast together on Christmas morn!

  90. Rachel K says:

    We are still working on building our family traditions. I always find this a bit challenging since we live away from family and spend the actual Christmas with them, instead of as our small nuclear family. One thing we do love, however, is visiting our city’s spectacular light display. We bring donations for the food pantry, drive through the lights, view the live nativity, and talk about how Jesus is the light of the world. Definitely a highlight for our 2 and 3 year old! I have been wanting an advent calendar or book, so this would be fantastic :).

  91. Chass Anderson says:

    Since before I can remember have spent Christmas Eve with my family at church Christmas pagent then heading home to open new jammies. 35 years old and would be heartbroken if my momma ever stopped getting them for me :)

  92. Amy Edwards says:

    My favorite tradition is reading the Christmas story with my children and opening our pjs on Christmas Eve.

  93. Lauren says:

    I’m having a hard time thinking of a tradition…it seems we don’t always do the same thing each year. Our girls are young and there are a few things we have done the last couple years that will probably become traditions and I hope will be meaningful to them…making a paper chain to countdown the days to Christmas, making popcorn garland, checking out Christmas books from the library, playing with their Little People nativity set, making a birthday cake for Jesus, etc. I have looked for a good advent calendar of some sort but have yet to come across one that I really like. Thank you for sharing about this one!

  94. Teri Harper says:

    Every year my daughter and I pull out every Christmas movie we can find. We stay in our pj’s all day and snack on our favorites. Even though she is married and a mommy herself now, we still look forward to this gift of a day to each other.

  95. Kristy says:

    I’m loving reading all the comments! I’m big on Christmas traditions- I think my favorite is putting up the tree. We do it early so we get to enjoy it for a month, play Christmas music. I make a special soup meal and we have a lot of fun looking through our ornaments and remembering special times.

  96. Aryn M. says:

    One of our Christmas traditions that we have incorporated into the family is a little bit of my husbands way of growing up and mine. On Christmas Eve we open up one gift (usually from grandparents) and the rest we save for Christmas Morning. I LOVE to bake and give away my baked good throughout the “holy”day season as well.

  97. Julie F says:

    We like to tromp through the snow at a Christmas tree farm in search of the perfect tree which my husband and the kids all take part in cutting down.

  98. jennifer schewke says:

    Our favorite Christmas tradition is the exchange of ornaments. My husband and Ihave given each other a new ornament since we were first engaged. Now, in the last 8 since our children have been born we have given them a new ornament every year which we try to find something that symbolizes the year for them. When they marry we plan to give them the ornaments as a wedding gift so their tree won’t be bare (we “borrowed” this idea). Everyone always takes special care in picking out the small treasure so we look forward to getting it in our stocking.

  99. Johanna M says:

    I credit my husband’s family for the tradition that means the most to me now. They open gifts one at a time. One person opens one, we all watch, look, ooohhh and aaahhh over the item. Then it is the next person’s turn…and so on and so on. This make Christmas “last” all day!

  100. Chelcey says:

    We put up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving and watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I get out “What God Wants for Christmas” and read it throughout the season. We bake Christmas cookies at Mimi and Papa’s and make extra for neighbors and then later in the evening, deliver them, mostly those we know and some we’ll save to take to a neighbor we don’t know just to say “Merry Christmas!”

  101. Tawnda Andrews says:

    My family is still working on our traditions. In the past we have gone to our families for Christmas but since having our triplets last year we started our new traditions. our plan is to have Christmas at our house. Wake up in our own beds (both of our families live 2+ hrs away) and stay in our pj’s all day. No fancy dinners (they usually mean lots of extra work) just a crockpot of chili. Then we watch Christmas movies and relax. our tradition is to celebrate Jesus and enjoy time together.

  102. Gisele says:

    Being a church musician, my Christmas Eve is a long one. My husband hit on the idea of going to the early service, then heading home to prepare everything needed for a wonderful fondue dinner! Now I come home to my family waiting, with fondue forks in hand, for me to walk through the door!

  103. Beth Lee says:

    I have young children and are developing our traditions. The kids seem to like acting out the story of Jesus’ birth. Of course, they enjoy making Christmas cookies. I have also carried on a tradition that my mom did with me and my sister. We make hand ornaments using salt dough. It is always fun for the kids to look at how much they have grown over the years.

  104. Carol says:

    My favorite Christmas tradition was traveling from NC to NJ every Christmas to be with my Grandparents. They are both in heaven now, but those memories of being with them every Christmas will always be with me. I hope to be creating some very special memories for my own children that they will hold dear to their hearts.

  105. Gina says:

    Our Christmas tradition is going to church on Christmas Eve at 5:00 and then having family over to our house for fondue. We’ve been doing this for about 8 years.

  106. Amy Hudson says:

    We have lots of traditions but our favorite is one passed down to me from a sweet mentor. She suggests making a paper chain countdown to Christmas. On each link of the chain you can have a fun activity, good deed to do or scripture to read. My kids get so excited!!

  107. Jan says:

    When our children were small, we didn’t want them to think that Santa Claus could outgive their parents, so on Christmas Eve we had FAMILY time. This usually was preceded by the Christmas Eve service at our church. Then my husband, their Dad, would read them The Night Before Christmas. Then we would read Luke 2, the story of the real Christmas present. We then gave our children their Christmas gifts from their parents, and as they grew older, they exchanged gifts with one another. Christmas morning was a fun time of seeing what Santa left for them – if they had been good of course.

  108. Lori Greene says:

    Growing up, I would plan a little Christmas service for our family to do at home on Christmas Eve (I was an only child). My grandparents would come to stay with us and I would give everyone a part in the program–Christmas music, hymns and Bible reading. It was a nice time to come together and celebrate the true meaning.

  109. Jeanne Hultgren says:

    I grew up in a family where Christmas morning was “free for all”. The Christmas before Greg and I got married, I spent the holiday with his family. As we opened gifts, we did it one at a time and oooh-ed and ahhhh-ed over each item that everyone got. After you opened one, it was your turn to pick one from under the tree for someone else. I LOVED it! Every gift felt special! And it was so fun! So we have always done that with our girls and now with their husbands and kids. Makes the day so much more fun and you get to see what everyone got too!

  110. Carrie Schanen says:

    One of our favorite traditions is getting our tree the eve of St. Nick (Dec 5th) and decorating it all together, listening to Christmas music, and snacking on cookies and hot chocolate. Before bed we read Twas the Night Before Christmas to the kids and once the kids are tucked in bed, my husband and I will clean up and then watch White Christmas together with the fire going in the fireplace! It’s just a wonderful night of togetherness and since it’s near the beginning of the season it sets the mood for the rest of the season!