Saturday, December 22, 2012

Tips and My Favorite Holiday Decor

Joining Claudia at Mockingbird Hill Cottage for A Favorite Thing . . . ( Tips Count Down below)

My favorite thing is below in Tip 1.

Click here to visit Claudia for more Favorite Things.    And on with My Count Down Tips . . .

Today's tips are all about making memories with Family traditions.

Tip #1  . . . We began a Family Tradition a little by accident.  My children were about 10 and 12 when one Christmas I stumbled onto some Christmas dishes at a local store.   And I had the idea to buy them for the kids.  It all started innocently enough.  A complete set of 4 for a very good price. 

Here's a photo of the dishes I bought . . .


I had never seen them before and I thought;  how pretty as the children grow up they'll enjoy them and have a  complete set when they are married. 

I had no idea that first year what I had bought.  As it turns out the original set I bought at Sam's club at a great price.  But when I went to purchase more pieces I found out what I had invested in. 

I realized I had to save a little more for Christmas.  But now each of my children have a wonderful set of dishes!   

This was a wonderful tradition for our family.  You might not want to 'invest' in Spode.  And if I had to do it all over again I am not sure I would but the traditions of  collecting Christmas dishes gave us many wonderful memories. 

Tip #2
Yesterday I shared our plan to for our grandson's non toy gift.  Click here to read the post.    When our kids were in about 5th grade we began a tradition of giving them a Vintage book.   We wanted them to have gifts that they could keep not just play with for a few days or months and then discard.
(we did buy the one toy that they asked for)  

Because our family are horse lovers the vintage books we bought were horse themed.  They both have an amazing collection of books. 




Our daughter loved story books. 



Our son was a little older when we started this tradition.  He was interested in more techincal type books. 

Collecting vintage books is a great way to keep children interested in books and reading.

Tip #3  Wrapping presents . . .




I happened on another tradition purely by accident.  It was one that the kids loved.  And one we continue with even though they are grown and have families of their own. 

Our kids came home from school one day early in December.  (Our trees were up and decorated on Thanksgiving weekend)  This day they came home and there were about a dozen packages under the tree. 

They ran in excitedly and began doing an inventory to see how many packages had 'their' names.  They found none.  What they found were packages labeled "Aunt Flo", "Uncle Joe",
"Cousin Bob", "Cousin Sally" and a few more.  

We don't have any relatives names Flo, Joe, Bob or Sally.  Our sweet little daughter came up to me and asked 'Mom, who is Aunt Flo?"  I had to explain they were pretend packages. 

It became a fun tradition each year for kids to see how many packages each of the pretend relatives got. 

The real presents went under the tree on Christmas eve. 

Tip #4 . . .



If at all possible encourage the family to decorate the tree together.  This is one tradition that I gave up on when my children were pretty young.  My Cowboy has never been into decorating the tree. 
It was upsetting and frustrating to me for many years.   I finally gave up trying.  His non enthusiasm breed the same attitude with the kids.  Especially our son.  Our daughter would still get involved for a few years.  

After many years of frustration I finally gave up trying to get Cowboy involved and so I started doing all the decorating on Thanksgiving weekend while he and our son were hunting. 

It worked for us.  But, looking back.  And hearing what my daughter in law says about decorating the tree.  (My son does not help) I realize that just 'giving up' probably wasn't the best thing to do. 

I wish that I had encouraged Cowboy more.  I wish that I had pressure him a little more.  He would have given in and joined in the festivities.  But I didn't see the real importance. 

I was caught up in the need for everything to be 'perfect'.   

Many years later I realize 'perfect' isn't nearly as good as wonderful memories. 

This year I hope that you make some wonderful memories
with your family. 

May your Journey be filled with Blessings . . .


Merry Christmas


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