Some of my favorite childhood memories include my aunt and uncle playing their guitars and my mom singing Christmas music. I can't carry a tune in a bucket, Thank God for Ipods, but I do love music. Still, those memories are precious since many of those people who made my childhood holidays so special, are no longer here. I want to create those same types of memories for my kids, so here's a few things we've chosen to do.
Every year since Andy and I met, we've taken one night to get Hot Chocolate and donuts and drive around different neighborhoods admiring (and sometimes laughing at--seriously, Christmas Pigs??) different Christmas lights. There's probably no better sight than Temple Square. A close second is Christmas Street in Sugarhouse. We've seen a lot and are amazed at the amount of time, money and energy some people put into the yearly tradition of decorating. I guess that's why "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" strikes such a cord with many of us. Art imitating life.
This year we've found a great new tradition to keep Christ in Christmas. In an effort to protect Mary, Joseph, the Sheppard, the wiseguys (aka wisemen), animals and baby Jesus from the curious hands of my toddler, we are putting out one piece at a time. Kind of a 12 days of Christmas to unveil the whole manger scene. I found this 12 Days of Christmas idea here. There's a poem, song or scripture to accompany each piece from the Nativity set.
It's really helped us keep the focus on the Reason for the Season.