Family life

A few of our favourite things

What are your family's favourite Christmas decorations and traditions?

By Tracy Chappell
A few of our favourite things

Photo: BassittART/iStockphoto

I love getting out our Christmas decorations (and almost equally love packing it all away again in the new year). Our girls squeal in delight over all the little knick-knacks and snow globes and musical stuffies and, this year, they even enjoyed sorting through the ornaments with their names on them from Christmases past. I don’t buy a lot of new things each year, but pick up something if it’s unique, because we already have a lot. I heard a good tip that your decorations should fit your storage, rather than expanding your storage to fit your decorations, so I try to stick to that.

Here are a few of the things that truly say Christmas to our family:

  • A map of the North Pole: I got this at Hallmark on clearance when Anna was just a baby. We tape it above the kitchen table and my girls trace the routes with their fingers from the Secret Toy Research Facility to the Deerport to the Candy Cane Coast. “I didn’t know the North Pole was so close to Canada!” Anna exclaimed. (There’s a notation on a land mass near the North Pole that says “Almost Canada”). “We could totally go visit.”
  • Raffi Christmas album: It’s just the best. See Avery’s lip-syncing to "Up on the Housetop" below (I’m not sure why she went mute when I started recording her!).
  • Dressing up: My girls have a selection of fancy clothes, but few places to wear them. This year, Avery has a ton — hand-me-downs from her sister and cousins — that I fear will never get any use if she has her way. (She only wants to wear the same dress for every event. Pink, of course.) But the girls love wearing their swirly skirts, patterned nylons, sparkly shoes, headbands and necklaces. They just beam. This year, they even posed for pictures in all their shining beauty.
  • The nativity scene: This is, by far, my kids’ favourite Christmas “decoration.” We got it as a gift before we even had kids. Avery, who famously suggested that we should bring the Baby Jesus Timbits last year, calls it either the “activity scene” or some word she’s created that’s a cross between activity/Disney/native scene. Ours is ceramic, so an angel is missing a partial wing and I’m always reminding the girls that Mary and Joseph can’t join Barbie and her friends in the camper van.
  • Traditions: I love Christmas. I love our family and friends. I love that my daughters look forward to all of our get-togethers and today, are excited beyond words to spend the holidays with their grandparents and cousins. And so am I. They’ve gotten to an age where the holidays have become much less work and stress and so much fun. I simply cannot wait.

I hope the holidays treat you well, my friends, and are filled with love and laughter. Xo

This article was originally published on Dec 25, 2012

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