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How to Win Back Christmas
altAs we see far too often, year after year, commercialism has taken over Christmas. Business and the economy have driven society into believing the most important tradition during Christmas is "gift giving." I wonder why? We mommies, however, know there is a lot more to it than that.

Christmas should be emphasized as a time of gratitude. It is a time to reflect on the love and compassion we share with our family and friends. Christmas, after all, is recognized and celebrated as a tradition. Once I became a mom every aspect of this special holiday became important to me. Why? The most significant reason is that my husband and I are responsible for the countless memories that my precious children will gain year after year for the rest of their lives.  That is why I have decided to invest all my time and energy into making Christmas special and meaningful for my children.

Now, I can totally relate to the overwhelming desire to get wrapped up (no pun intended) in decorating, baking, and buying gifts.  However, I am more focused on ensuring that my children know what Christmas is about to our family.  We all have different ideas about what is important to our family but we all have the same common denominator, and that is to bring joy to our little ones while teaching them the true meaning of Christmas.

Some of the family traditions that we follow every year to make the holidays special and to teach our children what Christmas and life is all about is focused on knowing what we are celebrating, spending time with our family, and giving to others.  So here are a few of our family traditions:

1)    One of the first things we do during Christmas is we read a book about the meaning of Christmas.  At that time the kids and I begin planning the birthday party that we are going to have for baby Jesus.  Every Christmas Eve we bake a birthday cake for baby Jesus.  That night we use a play (cloth) nativity scene and we take turns telling baby Jesus what he means to us.   We also take turns telling each other what our favorite thing about one another is.  This is so sweet it will melt ones heart!

2)   Every Christmas season we visit a nursing home to give to the less fortunate.  We buy candy canes and little angels and we visit all the wonderful people that dont see children too often.   This is hands down one of the most rewarding things we do.  The elderly find so much joy in seeing the little ones.  Their gratitude is extremely touching.  Just call the local resting home and ask to speak with the events coordinator and he/she will let you know when the best time visit.

3)  Every Christmas we visit a live nativity scene.  We pack into the car with a thermos full of hot chocolate and treats and we make our visit along with a trip to see Christmas lights.  We typically do this more than once!

4)  Every Christmas Eve we have a journal that we keep and we ask everyone in the house to write what they are grateful for.  This is a wonderful keepsake for a lifetime.

5)  Most importantly every Christmas we attend mass.  Christmas literally means the mass, or to celebrate the birth of Christ.  We dress up and everyone in the family attends this special celebration together.

For all you mommies out there that are reading this I am looking forward to hearing all about all those special things that you do for your "little ones" during Christmas.  I want to hear about all your family traditions:  caroling ideas, baking ideas&..everything. I want to know what puts a smile on your face during this special season.  I will compile all your ideas and share them with everyone in my next column.   After writing my last column I quickly learned that the readers of WoodlandsMommy.com are some of the brightest women I know.  Who better to get more family traditions than from you wonderful women?  By sharing ideas we can make these holidays a season to remember.

Your Friend,
Carli
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