This year our family is enjoying new Christmas traditions as we simplify the holidays.
We have a tree as usual. Steve and I had agreed on a small tree this year, given the size of our Hawaii apartment. Apparently, "small" meant 5-6 feet tall to my husband, while I was thinking 3-4 feet. He went to get the tree, so he won that one. Since our Christmas decorations are all boxed up far away in Los Angeles, we are decorating with homemade ornaments made from recycled materials and objects found in nature. It has been fun foraging for random items for our tree. We are currently searching for a large starfish to top the tree. If you have any leads, do tell.
Another thing we have is an advent calendar that I made with ribbon, twine, and card stock. Every day until Christmas, we are counting down the days with a new Christmas activity that we can do as a family. Some of the activities include: bake and decorate cookies, watch a Christmas movie, string popcorn, send holiday cards to friends, and make a gingerbread house.
We decided on simple, scaled-back gift exchanges among both sides of our extended family. In fact, one side of the family is forgoing gifts completely, and instead pooling together our money and time, and giving to someone in need.
Loads of Christmas fun going on in our home. How about yours?