Christmas Traditions according to the Tapley Family

Jesse and I each grew up in a home where the holidays were on FULL display, I’m talking christmas towels in the bathroom, pictures removed from the wall to be replaced by christmas cross stitching, throw pillows switched out and little christmas knick knacks on every available surface. So when Jesse and I got married we agreed to a small/ limited decoration style but rich with tradition. That has been our style until this year. I can now feel the tides changing as Zoe gets more and more into the spirit of Christmas, which if I am honest, makes me pretty excited!

So here are a few of my favorite traditions that we have…

The Elf on the Shelf. Our elf’s name is Elvis. He shows up every Thanksgiving night and sticks around till Christmas Eve. He’s not as mischievous as he once was, because the bigger the kids get (the boys know we move him) the less fun it is...

Christmas Cookies. DUH! If you don’t make cookies is it even Christmas??

Star Wars. Three years ago the boys convinced us to watch the entire Star Wars Saga over Christmas Break. The newest movie was getting ready to release so we thought it was a great idea. That great idea morphed into one of their favorite traditions: every year, every movie. This year we had to start before Thanksgiving so that we could get them all in before the latest episode came out in theatres. Before you know it, we will be watching them in January just to prepare for the next year! But this has been fun and the boys really enjoy it. If I am completely honest, I spend a lot of this time on my phone, reading, or writing. img_7683

Christmas Classics. We also watch Elf, Home Alone, and Charlie Brown every year too. It sounds like we spend a lot of time in front of the TV, which I guess is kind of true. But honestly I don’t think I’ll ever feel bad about being snuggled up with my crew sipping hot chocolate and coffees while watching these classic films.

Family Ornaments. Each year I pick out a new family ornament that shows some sort of significance to our year. This year I picked a Mickey Mouse one for the year of all things Disney. Our last year in Alaska is a beautiful snowy angel, the year we decided to adopt is a clay Africa. It’s fun to see these and see where we’ve been and how we’ve changed.

Stance Socks. I don’t know that I have shared how much my husband loves socks...but he does. But not just any socks, Stance socks. He has made the tradition where every year we each get a new pair of sock for Christmas. They don’t necessarily match, but all that matters is that we get a picture each year with our new socks on.img_2245

Now here are a couple of our FAILED traditions:

Three gifts each. We tried to give the kids only three gifts each year, because that’s what Jesus got at “the first Christmas.” Jesse got this idea from his cousin when he lived with them in California. I loved the idea until it got really difficult! I would get them three presents and the stuff their stockings with all the other random stuff that I wanted to give them. So now while we don’t go crazy, we just can’t be limited to only three gifts… sorry Jesus.

Gingerbread Houses. For the life of us we cannot build a gingerbread house that stands! We have only tried a handful of times but until THIS YEAR...not one has stood through the night. Whether its poor craftsmanship or our dog that jumped ON TOP OF THE COUNTER to eat it, its just got a tradition that lasted in our home.

My favorite part of this crazy busy season is the time we get to sit and laugh with our kids. Snuggled up on the couch, watching any of the movies and just being with them. Soon this will all change, new people will be invited in, they will not want to snuggle me, they may even go to different homes! But this time with them will not have been wasted.

Merry Christmas my Friends!! 

I hope you are able to take a deep breathe, enjoy this season, eat that cookie, laugh a little harder, and be merry! Let me know some of your favorite traditions or some that you have had that failed!!

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