I write this article in front of my illuminated tree, with my hot chocolate, my Candle Fir and Cardamone listening to Michael Bublé sing me "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
»! A true holiday fan! For many years, when the holiday season came, my family and I left our little home to spend Christmas in the sun. It was our way of getting together and feasting with the family. For me, Christmas has long been synonymous with sand castles, palm trees and warmth. In short, it smelled more of sunscreen and sea salt than pie and fir! With the arrival of the children, my husband and I had to sit down to determine what kind of holiday we wanted for our children. What traditions did we want to put in place? What memories did we want to create with them? So we revisited the traditions to create a holiday season that suits us more and is more like us. The children are still small, but we want to create a consistency over the years for this moment that is so significant and important. Every year, the children grow up and we choose a little tradition that we add that makes our holiday season a little more magical. The idea of setting up family traditions allows you to create special moments and start the souvenir factory. It is these moments that come back every year that your children will remember and look forward to. Christmas is a wonderful holiday. Those who know me know that as of October 31st (more commonly known as Halloween!) past, I'm taking out holiday decorations and music! It's never too early for me to start the festivities! I propose some traditions taken here and there and feel comfortable trying some of them by choosing them according to your reality. You can select one or two and add more over time. Make the tree.
This is the activity that marks the beginning of the holiday season in my home! I used to do it on the 1stEr
November! Now we do it at the beginning of November, there is no specific date, we do it when the atmosphere lends it! The idea is to involve everyone in the activity. If you're not too picky, let the kids place the balls. If they are small, above four feet in height, your tree will be all-naked! It is also possible that all the red balls will be grouped in a corner or that your child has decided that no green balls will be hung in the tree this year! But they're going to be so proud! When they're done, you can then move some decorations to balance it out! Cookies
Who says Christmas, says biscuits and glass of milk! When you have time in front of you, settle down and prepare the cookies yourself with your little elves. Choose a recipe together. You could also choose a few and try them out during the month of December. Children could vote for the recipe they want to make for Santa Claus. Then prepare it by giving small tasks to each one. If you don't have much time, you can opt for Pillsbury-type cookies. No problem, no one judges! The important thing is to spend a pleasant time with the children cooking. Handmade decorations
If decorating the tree is a memorable activity, decorating it with stuff made by yourself, it's even more so! It doesn't have to be complicated: a finger or hand print in salt paste; balls painted by children; photos of children decorated with red and green sequins. Pinterest is a goldmine for Christmas ball ideas! Plus, it makes beautiful memories when the kids grow up! Christmas cards
In the digital age, we're starting to lose our good habits! It's so nice to send and receive Christmas cards. With minis, make a list of people you want to send cards to. Then install them with papers, pencils, scissors, glue; in short all the necessary equipment! Let them choose a recipient from the list and admire them in the middle of creation. Personally, I find that concentrated children to create, it's so beautiful! If you receive cards, place them all together. Let's face it, the mantle on the mantelpiece is a beautiful classic! However, this is not within everyone's reach! You could put a clothesline on a wall and hang all the cards you received during the month of December. If your children still believe in Santa Claus, don't forget to have them prepare a card for Santa Claus. Children receive so little email, they are so happy when Santa's response arrives in the mail! Wishes for the year ahead
Attention!! Here, there is no question of resolutions. These are wishes, activities, outings, experiences that we wish to carry out over the next year. Kind of like a "Bucket Family 2018" list. Everyone gives one or two ideas of things they would like to do as a family and you write them down on a sheet. Don't forget to keep this sheet close by (for example on the fridge near your family planner!) to think about making a few wishes from time to time. At the end of the year, see the wishes that have been made and remember these beautiful memories! Memory box
You can take a box, a Mason jar or any container you find beautiful enough to leave it lying on the counter! Throughout the year, everyone can write moments that have marked them on pieces of paper (with the date) and insert them into the box. It could be little things or more significant events. One of the traditions may then be to read each piece of paper during one of the following holiday evenings. Advent Calendar
The classic Advent calendar with small chocolates is still part of Christmas traditions. However, there is a way to revisit this tradition! This year, the Beautiful Combinations offer two choices of Advent calendar: one with good deeds and the other with sweet family moments. Personally, these calendars really fit with the traditions i want to put in place in my home. Developing empathy, family spirit, is also the spirit of the holidays! Inverted basket
For the past few years, I have seen a concept that I have never seen before: the "reverse basket". I knew the Guignolée, which offers its Christmas baskets to families in need of a little help. The reverse basket is a more personal practice. With your family, choose a family of your entourage, more or less close, who is going through a difficult time (illness, separation, job loss, death). We all know a family that is in a situation like this. Don't tell them they've been chosen! It's a secret! As you know them, you know: the age of the children; If they have food intolerances or allergies If they are vegetarians Etc. Throughout December, when you're grocery shopping or shopping, consider taking a little something that you'll put in their Christmas basket. When the time comes, give them the basket and explain that you have thought of them and that you just wish them a happy holiday season. Some may be uncomfortable at first with your gesture of generosity, but given the authenticity of your approach, they will also feel a great gratitude. The holiday season is also about showing our minis generosity so that they can develop the desire to give to the next. Night walk to admire the beauty of Christmas
I wrote "nocturnal" but it's dark from 4pm! The idea is to go for a walk to admire the Christmas lights that decorate the houses of the neighborhood. Everyone dresses warmly. You can prepare hot chocolate Thermos or keep the hot chocolate for your return home! And you're exploring the magic of Christmas! This little walk will also allow the children to spend some energy before the time of sleep! These were my suggestions to fuel the magic of the holidays in your homes! As I am always looking for new ideas, I wondered how the holidays were going in other families. I have selected a few families that put their children at the heart of their lives and convey family values that speak to me a lot. These families were kind enough to share with me about their family traditions. I hope you will be inspired! Here are the four moms in question:
- Jacynthe René (actress, actress, author, founder of Maison Jacynthe and mother of three children)
- Julie Marchand (fitness coach, author, LOL ambassador, mother of five children and four times grandma)
- Genevieve Jetté (blogger, member of the fire team behind Recreation and mother of three)
The magic of the holidays at Jacynthe René
- Julie Philippon (author, blogger, speaker, teacher and mother of two)
From November, at Jacynthe the house becomes magical thanks to the many decorations. The party takes place at her house with hymn singers and Santa Claus. For everyone's delight, the table is set and filled with traditional dishes (revisited vegan or not) brought by everyone. Everyone helps make this meal enjoyable and memorable. We trade, we laugh. It's a happy moment. Slowly, on the morning of the 25th, with the family, the gifts are unwrapped. For the youngest, there are toys bought in antique fairs. For the older ones, we opt for the second hand and does it in Quebec. The words she evokes when she thinks of Christmas are family, traditions, cooking, love and joy! With her spouse, she wants to show their children the importance of taking the time to be together, taking a break to get together and show love and affection. As a family, she says she's so good at these times... The magic of the holidays at Julie Marchand
Although her children are grown up, Julie has always wanted to feed the wonder and still wants to ensure the magic of the holidays. When the children were young, the whole family lived for many years in the United States. The Christmas spirit came as soon as American Thanksgiving, so that as a family, they would choose their Christmas tree. The decorations were made by the children. There were garlands of popcorn and cranberries; gingerbread men; dried apples and oranges; "cocottes" found during a walk and then painted by children; Etc. The important thing was to let them express their creativity! Back in Quebec, whether the first snowstorm takes place during the day or in the middle of the night, it doesn't matter! Everyone goes out to make the first snowman! When they got home, the roasts and hot chocolate were waiting for them! There is also a great tradition around holiday recipes. Several people gather together to cook turkeys, pies and prepare several Christmas meals while listening to Celine Dion's Christmas CD (a classic that comes back every year!). Julie explains that she wanted to teach her children generosity. As a family, they prepared "cookies in a jar" and distributed them to the neighbours. Everyone put their ingredient, a real assembly line! Then the family went on a tour of the neighborhood handing over their gifts and performing Christmas songs in front of the smiling (and sometimes tears) of the neighbors. Julie explained to her children that Santa Claus came for a walk every night in the weeks leading up to Christmas to make sure they were wise. To prove his visit, Santa left a special stamp on the children's hands. When they woke up, they were very happy to find the evidence on their hand! To lend themselves to the game, everyone in the house received their stamp: dad, mom, dog, etc. A small epidemic of holiday magic was even triggered when the children announced at school that Santa had passed by showing their hand! There was a timetable for the stamp that went around several houses every night after the kids were asleep! The parents of the neighborhood were finally several to adopt this tradition and bought a special stamp! Every year, Julie organizes a "Scavenger hunt" or treasure hunt. All are placed in a team of two and have 12 items to find (or do) for the next two and a half hours. The more they progress, the more points they earn. It can be about refueling for a stranger; Take a picture in a ski lift to offer someone a coffee, to bring back a chocolate biscuit. This activity was also done when the children were younger, they had to bring back an ice cube; a "cocotte" or find a house with a snowman in the neighborhood. This activity helps to create good memories and develop the cooperation of children. Every Christmas morning, each member of the family finds Christmas pajamas at the foot of their bed or under the tree. All put it on and enjoy the day together. We then unwrap the gifts. To make this moment more interactive, Julie does not put the names on the gifts. Every year, the formula changes, it can be riddles, color codes, clues, etc. She opts for useful gifts. Now that they are great, they are towels with their first names embroidered on them; gas gift cards or ITunes, stuff that will serve them. There may also be an exchange of themed gifts (for example: recycled or handmade gifts). The mother does not want to receive gifts purchased. She prefers handmade gifts by children and grandchildren or spend time with them. On Christmas Eve, we take out the disco ball. The whole family dances, sings, plays games, etc. On December 31st, with their family, they go for a walk to enjoy the last moments of the year that ends. She wants her children and grandchildren to continue to pursue the values she wants to continue to spread: love, sharing, respect and joy. It is the traditions that will become the memories to cherish and not the gifts. She also proposes to take the time during the holidays to make (at least) a gesture of generosity. For her part, she participates in cooking days where the funds raised go to the homeless; it offers winter clothes in Christmas bags for people in need; it can also offer a meal to the homeless. The important thing is to give. Every little gesture counts, let's go! Let's be generous! A sweet Christmas (but also so crazy!) at Geneviève Jetté
At Geneviève, all the preparation is most appreciated: the "before the holidays! She explains that she takes advantage of the little attentions to get in the mood, the calm and the sweetness of these moments because once the first Christmas party is over, the others follow each other at a crazy pace! Although she wants to put her limits, she finds it difficult because everyone wants her little moment and she doesn't want to disappoint anyone. She keeps the schedule from December 25 to the morning for her little family cocoon. No phone, no interruption. The five of them are enjoying the moment and their little bubble of happiness. She tells me that this is really her favorite moment of the whole holiday season. If she had to choose a word to describe her holiday season, it would be "Magic"! For her, magic is completely free and you can create it with almost nothing. She loves to create magical moments that will be memorable and that will give shivers of happiness to both her children and herself. As his oldest gets grown up, Santa Claus is on his last miles for him. It's a little mourning for the mother's heart. However, she wants to embark him on the creation of holiday magic for her little brothers. In his home, Christmas is simple. It's not the gifts, it's the smells; Moments happiness to enjoy the presence of those you love. There are also small moments of nostalgia for those who are no longer there. Christmas happens mainly through the eyes of his three children who are completely in the present moment and fully appreciate it. Holidays in colour and rhythm at Julie Philippon
Julie explains that when she became a parent, she realized that the holiday season didn't go the way she wanted. Here are his words: "I realized that the holiday season was becoming very stressful, demanding and exhausting and I questioned many of my family traditions or habits.
. Why celebrate with the same people several times?
Why change children's schedules and then endure crises, comments or comments from others?
Why allow others to exceed our own limits? We managed to finish the year, the whole family was exhausted, disgusted and often in a quarrel with the entourage.
It was exactly the opposite of the spirit of the holiday season and my personal values."
After the fact, Julie wrote a text on her blog that describes, with her humor (which I like very much!) a little of the situations that a parent can experience during the holiday season, but that should not happen like this. Here's the link: http://mamanbooh.com/2015/12/24-commandements-de-noel-ou-commen.html
The idea is to listen to each other, to respect each other and to go there according to your limits. By creating a holiday season to match and according to the needs of one's family, one can only come out happier. You have to focus on its core, its cocoon. We have to create moments for ourselves and for ourselves. For Julie, Christmas is her family. Julie ends by saying that "the important is invisible to the eyes and has no price that is in silver, but a value in human warmth, love, time and presence
». Whether it's slow, soft or very lively, I wish you a wonderful holiday season. I also wish you beautiful moments with your minis that will become beautiful memories... What traditions are already in place in your home? And what traditions do you want to add to your holiday season?