The kids are a bit older (5 and 2) and they are really getting into the whole Christmas thing. December 1 we always pull out the decorations and get everything ready for the holidays...this year is no exception! We actually put them up for the first time on November 23rd! I don't really know why I am feeling like a little kid again and really can't wait to see my kids faces as they come downstairs in the morning to see that Santa has eaten the cookies and milk and left them a really special gift.
This takes us to the traditions that families create. For example...when I was growing up on Christmas morning my sister and I would wake up to find our stockings left right next to our beds. We thought that was so cool and would immediately open them up to see the first glimpse of presents from Santa. What we didn't know then, that I now know as a parent of very excited kids is that my parents left our stocking to get just a bit more sleep on Christmas morning. We were always told that we could not go downstairs until mum and dad said it was ok and we were not to come to mum and dad until 7:00 am. Try telling that to a kid that wants nothing more than to rip open as many gifts as possible. Hence the stocking by the bed. This year my kids are still to little to start that tradition, so I suspect that we will be one of those houses you see with the lights on and all the gifts opened by 7:00am!
The other tradition that we have started as a family is "the elf on the shelf". Many people already do this and we are now no exception. It's not easy as parents to come up with creative ways to position this elf, especially when we have 2 little boys that don't understand yet that you cannot touch said elf. So we are trying to get creative with the elf out of reach and up high. There are only so many things you can do with an elf hanging from a light or looking out from a cabinet. I am sure that as the kids get older and they understand that they cannot touch "Red" then we can get into the really fun stuff, but for now she will just look on from the shelf and wait until her day comes when she can have a "bath" in marshmallows :)