Can you believe that the Advent season is just around the corner?! I know, me either!
I love this season for the magic, the lights, the coziness of snuggling in with blankets and hot cocoa and the family traditions built around the holidays.
I am not such a fan of the consumerism, the rush to get things done, the pressure to create a perfect holiday or the endless to-do lists. So much not a fan.
For the past few years we have started a few simple traditions for our family, but one of my favorite is our Advent Books.
During the Advent period I fill our reading nook bookshelf up with our holiday books, many of which we have had for several years, and read one aloud at bed time. I don't do this every night, and it is not all brand new books, but cozy-ing up on the sofa to read, makes for a sweet and simple tradition. Sometimes we read by candle light with cocoa and (vegan! - these are amazing!) marshmallows, and sometimes we don't!
It's lovely! It doesn't add undue stress to our days (nothing kills a moment than having a frazzled mama!), it's not a budget breaker (I think I added four new-to-us books to our holiday stash this year for a grand total of $10, and even have a few library books that I'm adding to our shelves and returning after they've been read) and it's centered around one of our very favorite things to do - reading aloud!
Here are some of the books that will be included in our Advent collection this year:
I've felt a little vague about the big holidays since becoming an adult; in part I've known that this was because I did not live in the States as a child, and that the way of celebrating, the very holidays themselves, are not my own. Its always felt difficult to put my own mark on holidays traditions when the holidays aren't 'mine'.
Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and the kiddos and I had the morning to ourselves. Baby Girl asked what our plans were, and when I told her that I had planned to go to a local park for a walk, The Little Guy piped in with 'That's what we do to celebrate'.
And I realized that he is right!
It is what we often did to mark the big holidays when I was growing up: go for a walk as a family!
And that one comment helped me realize that we DO have our own family traditions around the holidays.
We do one big feast with friends and family, simple meals and snacks for the rest of the day.
We go for a walk as a family.
We spend our time together, slooooow down and enjoy each other's company.
There is usually a board game or two involved ...
We have FUN!
But more over we keep it simple. Not much hoopla, not too much fanciness beyond getting out the nice glasses and digging through the stack of cloth napkins for the nicer ones.
I'm realizing that we do have traditions throughout the year, but they are simple ones for sure.
What do you do to celebrate the holidays? Simple or fancy?!