I think I’ve mentioned a time or two how I am BIG on making new, and keeping old, traditions for various holidays. We didn’t have a ton growing up but the ones we did, I cherish. Growing up in Michigan meant the holidays were filled with all sorts of winter activities, sledding, making snow men and snow angles, ice skating etc and I can still remember exactly how the house smelled, with the wood burning stove going, as we would come in from playing outdoors for hours to thaw out, hanging the wet layers of clothes to dry and snuggle up in our long underwear with hot coco.
Just typing this out has me all weepy and homesick for Michigan. Thinking of Archie not being able to do these activities in sunny Los Angeles breaks my heart a little, so I’ve decided to really get planning on how I can make our holidays as a family extra special no matter where we are.
I came up with 12 activities for the 12 days of Christmas and in lieu of an advent calendar, each day we will pick an activity to do together. To get me in the mood, I pulled on my favorite pajamas, fixed up a cup of GODIVA hot chocolate and started checking #1 off the list. The activities themselves may change from year to year but a I am getting the warm and fuzzies just thinking about the fun we will have with Archer through the years to come.
#1 Ornament time capsule – cut a 1” strip of white paper, as long as you’d like and have each of your family members write down their favorite memories from the year. When everyone’s finished roll it up and tuck it inside the ornament. Now each year you will add a new ornament and can have fun looking back at the memories as the years go by.
#2 Hot chocolate stand – The lemonade stand’s adorable winter version… set up a stand and sell or give out hot chocolate to neighbors and spread the holiday cheer. Think vintage plaid thermoses, GODIVA hot choloate, Pendelton blankets, and kids dressed up Christmas Story style.
#3 Decorate the Tree – turn up the Christmas tunes and get at it!
#4 Ice Skating – Even in the warm climates you can find a rink around the holidays
#5 Baking Day – set aside an afternoon and bake all your favorite cookies and treats and then bring them around to friends, neighbors, and family. Sugar cookies, apple crisp, chocolate cookies… I’m dying to try the “GODIVA Triple Chocolate Chunk” cookies.
#6 Holiday Light Tour – jump in the car and drive around to see the lights at night
#7 Make a Gingerbread House
#8 Crafting day – Get out all your crafting supplies and make some homemade presents
#9 Put out the Nativity Scene and read the story of Christmas
#10 Present round up for charity – Round up your little’s toys they have outgrown or go shopping together for new ones to give to a local charity.
#11 Go caroling – No one really wants to hear me sing but I can lip-sink like nobody’s business
#12 Movie Night – Curl up in your holiday PJs and watch a marathon of Christmas Movies.
My hopes would be that having the activities lined up and making an effort early on will teach us to slow down a bit, enjoy the season for all it’s worth, and teach Arch the real meaning of Christmas.
If all this is too ambitious for you but you still want to give back, GODIVA is running a holiday promotion that makes it easy. For every cup of hot chocolate sold in their store, they are donating $1 to Toys for Tots. So add that to the list, or make it your whole list. Either way… I won’t judge. :)
Happy of Holidays from this sappy sally to you and yours. x
Images by Sarah Sherman Samuel
This post was done in collaboration with Godiva. A as always, all thoughts and ideas are my own. Thanks for supporting our sponsors. x