I love Christmas. Something about the hope and the sparkle and the magic, as well as the foundational meaning, touched my heart as a lonely little girl with a broken family life—and it never left me. Even though the holidays have created additional work and stress as our family has grown (and grown), the good things about the season still feed my soul. I still love the atmosphere, the music, the lights, the trees….how about you? Christmas isn’t just one day, it’s a whole season. With that in mind, I’m sharing part of our December calendar for traditions and events in the hope that it will give you some ideas to celebrate the season or create new traditions with your loved ones.
Planned and Scheduled
All of these activities and events are scheduled for specific days and times on the calendar (just didn’t want to publicly post when we’d be gone). 🙂 The thing is, we can have an idea floating in our head about things we want to do before Christmas….but unless they go on the calendar there’s a good chance they won’t get done! We even had a family calendar meeting to coordinate and make sure everyone is aware of what’s scheduled.
It’s possible that things will come up and we won’t be able to do All The Things, but I bet a lot more WILL get done because activities were chosen and scheduled.
Think about what you and your family want for your holiday season, then make a plan. It won’t be perfect but it will be closer than just hoping. This calendar doesn’t include other things we want for our holidays: reading aloud by the fire, watching Christmas movies, making gift wrapping and baking fun, and more. Those things are in the process of becoming a written plan, too. I used to think it was better to be spontaneous but I’ve learned that there is creativity and freedom within structure. Okay, on to that calendar full of ideas for you…
Family Christmas Calendar
1 – Break out the chocolate Advent calendars for the daily countdown!
first week – Illuminations, Myriad Gardens Northern Lights display, downtown Oklahoma City
5 – St. Nicholas Day Eve: put grass or hay-filled shoes on the hearth before bed, with your Christmas list tucked inside. Wake up the next morning to chocolate coins and a tiny gift.
12 – Preparations for St. Lucia Day
13 – St. Lucia Day: girls wear white nightgowns and bring parents coffee and pastries in bed. Candles are a must!
second week – Dinner and ride the water taxi in Bricktown, Oklahoma City
weekend – Guthrie Victorian Walk (nearby small town’s celebration, with period-costumed carolers strolling downtown, shop windows showcasing live scenes from Christmas past in Oklahoma Territory days)
week before Christmas – Take a drive to look at Christmas lights, with popcorn and hot chocolate to go!
23 – Family begins arriving by car and plane for Christmas! It’s our “on” year for Christmas and ten of our children and their families will be home!
24 – Christmas Eve: special foods, open gifts from the sibling drawing, watch Muppets Christmas Carol, count our blessings
25 – It’s Christmas! Open stockings and “Santa” gift when little ones wake up, eat breakfast, open the rest of gifts. Stay in pajamas, snack, watch Christmas movies and play with new gifts all day. Big Christmas supper: brisket, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls and more. Enjoy every minute of being together!
Remember, the point is NOT to fill up your calendar with places to go and things to do. It’s to decide what you’d like to do to celebrate the season, then make sure that happens and doesn’t get forgotten in the hustle and bustle. Maybe this is a year to stay home (a lot) and keep things super simple. I had foot surgeries right before Christmas the last two years in a row, so I’m thrilled to get to do more activities this year. Make the activities and the calendar fit YOUR life and your family (and your season of life).
Happy planning and even happier Christmas season to you and yours!