30 December 2010

Dollar Bill Game for New Years

The Dollar Bill game- To play, pin a dollar bill to everyone's shirt and decide on something that is not 'allowed' such as saying a certain word, scratching your face, playing with hair, etc. Throughout the night, if anyone catches someone doing something that is not allowed, they get the dollar bill and pin it to their shirt. At midnight, whatever money you have on you, you get to keep!

29 December 2010

New Year's Traditions

In honor of New Years Eve coming up, this week's posts will be dedicated to New Year's traditions.

Banging pots and pansWe love to grab any and all pots, pans, and spoons from the cupboards to bang at midnight! This may seem a little weird, but it is one of our favorite traditions that we do every year. We run up and down the streets yelling, "Happy New Year" and our neighbors even look forward to this now. :) If you don't want your nice stuff to get ruined, consider buying some cheap wooden spoons from the dollar store or use metal ones that won't break.

For a long list of New Year's ideas, check out a post I wrote as a guest blogger on Or So She Says here.

23 December 2010

December 23

Tonight we'll be sleeping out by the tree.

Will you??

22 December 2010

Burn Christmas Eve Letter for Santa [tradition]

It's tradition to write letters to Santa well before Christmas, but in our family, we also write a letter to Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. This was a tradition my mom did when she was a little girl and we still do it to this day.

After we have put on our new pajamas that we get Christmas Eve, we sit in the family room and write a letter to Santa. When we were younger, we would ask for toys and things, but now that we are older, writing this letter has become hilarious! We will ask for boyfriends or a diamond ring or fun things like that to make it interesting. Sometimes we even video it for fun memories later on.

Everyone gets a turn to say what they want to Santa and then we always end with saying that we would be happy with anything and we love Surprises!

Then, we put the letter in a pie tin. We burn it and sprinkle the ashes over the deck onto the snow. When Santa comes, he magically puts the letter together and reads what we want before leaving our gifts.

I know when I have told this tradition to some people, they think it is the weirdest thing ever! But, it has been a tradition in our family that we love so much we have even carried it on when each of us was living abroad.

21 December 2010

Twas the Night Before Christmas [tradition]

Among other Christmas Eve activities we did, we would do a 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' present exchange. My mom would buy $1 or less gifts and all of the kids would sit in a circle holding one of the wrapped gifts. She would read "The Night Before Christmas" to us, but as she did, every time we heard the word the we would pass the present to the right. Whichever gift we had at the end of the story was what we got to keep. This would also be fun for a White Elephant gift exchange at a Christmas party.

19 December 2010

Christmas is coming!

Only 5 days until Christmas!

Sorry for the lack of posts. I haven't done many projects this Christmas season because I've been busy doing the "12 Dates of Christmas" for my husband as part of his present.
To see what we've done, visit my other blog.

I'll be posting some of our traditions throughout the week...

14 December 2010

Whopper Reindeer Poop [gift idea]

This may not be the perfect gift for your adult friends, but children will kick out of it.

All you need is:
  • Small clear bags
  • Whoppers (candy)
  • Ribbon
  • Printed poem or tag (below) or PDF here
You can use this simple poem:

I hear you've been naughty
So here is the scoop

All you are getting for Christmas

Is a bag of Reindeer poop!

Or this longer one:

I woke with such a fright when I heard Santa call...
"Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!"
I ran to the lawn and in the snowy white drifts,
those nasty reindeer had left "little gifts."

I got an old shovel and started to scoop
neat little piles of reindeer poop!
But to throw them away seemed such a waste,
so I saved them, thinking-you might like a taste!

As I finished my task, which took quite awhile,
Old Santa passed by and he sheepishly smiled.
And I heard him exclaim as he sped off in the sky...
"Well they're not potty trained, but at least they can fly!"

13 December 2010

We Wisk You a Merry Kissmas [gift idea]

I have to say that my friend Marcelle always gives the best Christmas gifts. Now, I'm not saying that we don't appreciate Christmas gifts from other people. I'm just saying that its nice to get something besides cookies and treats that will only last on your hips.

This year she gave us a mini wire whisk and some kisses with a note that said, "We whisk you a Merry Kissmas." I say cute. And practical. Something we will actually use. Thanks Marcelle!

10 December 2010

Christmas Mantle

Since it has unofficially become a tradition to share my holiday mantles with you, here is your sneak peek of mine this holiday season:

I kept it fairly simple and used mostly things I already had. I'm loving the new advent calendar. We find a little surprise in it each day! (another German tradition. sensing a theme here?)

09 December 2010

Your very own Christmas Book

In my collection of Christmas books that I pull out each year, one of my favorites is titled, “The Christmas Past of the Sunday Family”. It contains Christmas memories for all of the Christmases that we have been a family. We love looking through it. It’s so fun to reminisce on past Christmases and remember things we normally would not. Even though we keep a journal and a blog, it’s nice to have all of our Christmas memories recorded in one place.

If you want a book for your own family, you're in luck! I've put it together so all you have to do is add in your memories. And I'm betting you have a lot of them. There are 2 ways to get it:

For $25: Printed. Bound. Shipped. Your Christmas Past Book will come to your doorstep ready to use. No effort on your part.

For $5: PDF Print Yourself. Your book will be emailed to you as PDF. This option allows you to bind and print it however you like.

Both options include:

  • Cover with your family name printed
  • 60 pages marked for each year through Christmas 2019
  • Room to record festive gatherings, holiday highlights, traditions, gift giving and a place to keep all of your holiday cards (because let's be honest, what would we do with them otherwise?)
I’ll take orders until December 17th, so they will be sure to get to you in time for Christmas. If after the holidays you change your mind and want to order one, I’ll take orders again after the 27th.

I've made some updates to your book that will make it better than mine. For a sneak peek of what your So Festive Christmas Past book will look like, click here.

Email sofestive@gmail.com if you have any questions. These would also make a great gift!!

To order, use the paypal button at the top of the sidebar -->

08 December 2010

Christmas Jar [tradition]

I read this book for the first time a few years ago and loved it! I have re-read it every Christmas since because it is just such an inspiring story. (And trust me, I am not a big reader). I don't want to give the story line away, but if you are in the mood for a quick, heartwarming read, give this a try. It will bring the true Christmas spirit into your holidays.

And, if you want to carry on your own Christmas Jar tradition, start collecting your spare change in a glass jar. If you want to get really festive, you can glass etch your jar like I did.

We save all of our spare change from the year and then at Christmas we choose an individual or family to give the money to. Or, we will use the money to put together a 12 days of Christmas package. This is one of our favorite traditions because it helps us think outside of ourselves.

06 December 2010

St. Nicholas Day [tradition]

Today is St. Nicholas Day. This was yet another tradition I became familiar with in Europe. It is always celebrated on December 6th. The tradition is to put out your shoe on December 5th and then St. Nicholas will leave a SMALL gift or treat in your shoe.

There are many similarities between St. Nicholas and Santa. St. Nicholas brings gifts in the night, but unlike Santa who travels with reindeer, St. Nicholas travels on horse so the children may want to leave a carrot or apple in their shoe for his horse. He was also known for his secret gift giving and did many things for children. For more info about St. Nicholas click here

This is meant to be a simple celebration just to add some extra cheer during the season.

We left our shoes out on December 5th and woke up to this:

Hay in a Manger [tradition]

Although I don't have children yet, I am excited to do this tradition when I do. We had a wooden manger in our living room by the nativity set that looked similar to the one pictured above. There was also a can all cutesied-up that had pieces of hay/straw in it. When one of us 7 children did something kind for someone else, we got to place a piece of hay in the manger.

The goal was to have the manger nice and comfy by the time Christmas morning would come so that baby Jesus would have a nice place to sleep when he was born :) If we were mean or did something unkind, one of our siblings would enforce that we remove a piece of hay. I am sure my Mom loved this tradition to not only keep up in line, but also to help us remember why we celebrate Christmas. On Christmas morning before opening gifts and seeing what Santa brought, we would place Jesus in his hopefully comfortable bed.

Does anyone know where I can get a manger like this??

04 December 2010

Scripture Advent: Keep Christ in Christmas [tradition]

With all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, we enjoy taking time each day to read scriptures from the Bible to help us remember why we celebrate Christmas. I have a friend who burns an advent candle to a certain line each night as they read these scriptures. You can buy advent candles or like my friend, you could mark 24 dots on the candle with a marker. Thanks Heather for the idea!

I should have posted this a few days ago, but better late than never, right?

Click here for the complete list to print or save.

03 December 2010

12 Days of Christmas [gift idea]

Here is a fun 12 Days of Christmas idea. All of the gifts are common things you would able to find easily like hot cocoa, popcorn, rice krispy treats, chips and dip, etc. Click here for the complete, printable list. There is even a cute little poem to go with each day.


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