Happy day after Christmas! I hope Santa was good to all of you this year. Now that the presents have been opened and the kids are busy playing with their new toys, we thought it would be great to call on some of our previous Smarty Moms and ask them to share some of their holiday traditions with us. So sit back, relax and enjoy some great ways to make this time of year special, from some very special Smarties.
Lori Martin w/Purple Martin & Co, Smarty Mom
Our family’s favorite holiday tradition is fun and “silly.” The kids dress in their matching holiday PJ’s and have their picture taken under the tree. We generally play some silly music and they dance around to holiday tunes while I snap some photographs. I have collected the pictures over the years and put them in a coffee table photo album that we pull out each Christmas. It is a really fun way to mark time … seeing our children grow through the years underneath the Christmas tree Not sure how much longer I am going to be able to get away with this …because I don’t foresee teenagers in matching PJ’s … but it is so fun when they are little.
Heather Tamol, Smarty Mom
My husband and I began a Christmas Eve tradition when our daughter was 2 and our son was a baby. . .We have a beautiful nativity scene, which we put next to our tree. Each year we decorate for Christmas in early December, but we wait until Christmas Eve to put our angel on top of the tree and baby Jesus in the manger. While we absolutely make sure Santa and his reindeer are well cared for with cookies and reindeer food, this special tradition helps us all remember the “reason for the season.” Now 7 and 5, our children seem to look forward to this evening activity with much anticipation, and it’s very meaningful to me to see them embracing this tradition.
Smarty Mom Teri Pantier, Smarty Mom
One of my favorite traditions during the season of the holidays is at bedtime, we get Gage in his pajamas, prepare a thermos of hot chocolate, and ride around town looking at all the lights.
Ginger Salmon, Smarty Mom
My traditions are completely evolving as the girls are getting older. We start a couple of weeks before the holidays and select a couple of nice gently used toys to donate. I feel it’s so important to teach Avery and Parker that there are children that are not as fortunate as we are as it is a season for giving. We start by baking cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve. We pull out the “special” plate and get everything ready for Santa. We also put out carrots for the reindeer. I hope that as the girls get older we will participate in our church candlelight service.
We decided as soon as Avery was born that Christmas was spent at our house and traveling was not happening on Christmas day. We usually open gifts from Santa early in the morning and wait til grandparents to start arriving. We have a great breakfast and open more gifts. We try and rest the rest of the day and then my father’s side and my grandparents come and we have a nice family dinner together, with lots of gifts to open again.
One last item we do is send Santa Claus thank you notes. I think this is so important as a lesson to teach, but helps us remember all of our treats blessings.
Krista Wilson, Button Boo Designs, Smarty Mom
What makes it a Merry Christmas for me and my family? Chocolate and shoes! Seems crazy and yet somewhat fabulous, right? Stilettos and candy are wonderful anytime of the year, but over the Christmas season these two ingredients come together to create one of my favorite holiday traditions . . . Saint Nicholas Day. On the 6th of December, when everything festive is just beginning to take shape, my family celebrates The Feast of Saint Nicholas, a very old and magical German tradition. On the evening before Saint Nicholas Day, children place shoes by their windows and wake up to treats and chocolate piled high where their socks should go! I grew up fascinated by this special day and even received packages well into my college years from Saint Nicholas (thanks to my father and Fed Ex). I’ve celebrated this lovely event with my family from the time Sutton (our precious daughter) was born. I recall the first year we snuck into her nursery and tucked a new pacifier and piece of candy (for Mom and Dad of course) into one of her booties. It was a joyous moment that I will never forget because I was passing the preverbal torch. My father was born in Germany and I’m honored he continued to share this festive occasion with us. I cherish my memories of the Feast of Saint Nicholas and will respect this tradition one stiletto at a time (hey, if I’m getting chocolate in a shoe, it isn’t going to be a flat)!
Merri W., Smarty Mom
Our favorite tradition for the holidays is flying north to Pennsylvania to spend time with Aidan’s grandparents and extended family. Whether making cookies with four generations of family, seeing the Christmas light exhibit in Center City Philadelphia, or taking a train ride with Santa in New Hope, we all just want to be together.
This year, we’ve added Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular and although the snow storm has slowed us down, we’re still trying to make our way and take in the sights and sounds of Christmas in New York City.
Susan O’Neill, Smart Mom
She has begun a new tradition in Coutenay’s neighborhood – Christmas Eve Reindeer Romp. On Christmas Eve morning, families gathered and did a one mile romp through the neighborhood and at the end of the romp, shared juice and received reindeer food. This was a great way to gather as neighbors and help the kids get some of the excitement out. A very Smarty idea and I hope a long running tradition.
Thanks to all of our Smarty Moms for sharing with us! We love hearing how all of you make the holidays special for your family and friends, so please share.