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Christmas Traditions to Enjoy With Your Family

Family Christmas Traditions

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Christmas Traditions to Enjoy With Your Family

This is such a magical time of year, especially if you have little ones. Their excitement is contagious and you can’t help but share in their joy. It is also the perfect time to plan some family fun. Our family loves to decorate the tree together, look at Christmas lights, watch Christmas movies and drink hot cocoa. If you are looking for some unique Christmas Traditions to enjoy with your family, keep reading!

25 Nights of Christmas Stories

This was my children’s favorite tradition last year. Beginning December 1st,  they unwrapped one Christmas themed book each night for us to read as a bed time story. The kids thought it was great because they got to open a gift each night. I thought it was great because it built up my children’s book library and was a wonderful, fairly inexpensive way to spend quality time as a family. If this is something you would like to do with your family, it’s not too late to get started! You can plan on reading a book every night for 5, 7, 10, 15, or any other number of nights you choose! And if you need to purchase some books, here are some GREAT affordable options from eBay:

15 Children’s CHRISTMAS Holiday WINTER Early Reader Book Lot Level 1 2 3 ($24.99)

Lot of 12 Merry Christmas children’s Books Winter Snow Santa Claus child kids (16.99)

15 Children Winter Christmas Picture Books Lot Teacher Read Snowman Sled Early (15.29)

The last book for Christmas Day was personalized for each of my kids. This is an absolutely wonderful gift that your child can treasure forever. Here are some different options if you would like to order a book for your child:

Goodnight Little Me Personalized Storybook

The Little Boy Who Lost His Name: Personalized children’s book 

The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name: Personalized Children’s Book

My Very Own Trucks Personalized Book: I See Me! Book

My Very Own Fairy Tale Personalized Book: I See Me! Book

Personalized Story Picture Book for Children – A Unique Story Based on the Letters of a Child’s Name

Christmas Journal

A new tradition I am starting this year is keeping a Christmas journal. I purchased Christmas Memories: A Keepsake Book from the Heart of the Home by Susan Branch to help keep track of our 2017 Christmas. There are places for photographs of your family, decorations, your children’s picture with Santa, friends, and more! You can write about your family traditions, your favorite Christmas, your letters to Santa, Christmas dinner, and much more! The best part is that you can keep track of the next four years all in this journal for $10.98! I look forward to looking back and treasuring the memories written in this journal.

Donating Toys

If your children are like mine, they have SO many toys. And when new toys are received, the ones they already own seem to go unnoticed. That’s why I think it is a great idea to start the tradition of purging toys BEFORE Christmas. Have your children go through their toys and choose the ones they would like to get rid of and find a place to donate them. To get the full experience, take your kids with you when you give them away. I also like to have my children pick out toys to purchase for programs such as Operation Christmas Child, Toys for Tots, or other nonprofit organizations. It’s important that they understand that not all children are as blessed as they are and it is our Christian duty to give to those less fortunate. I hope to teach them to look to the needs of others and not just their own wants.

Candy Making

My husband and I started the tradition of making candy as gifts when we first were married. His family makes Christmas candy every year, and we adopted the tradition to share with others! We spend the day making yummy treats, put them in nice decorative tins, and give to our friends, co-workers, bosses, and other loved ones. Some of our recipes include Oreo balls, peanut butter balls, Ritz cracker sandwiches, coconut balls, and more! I will share some of our yummy recipes in a later post :).

The Christmas Eve Box

A Christmas Eve box is another fun tradition for your family. I love this Personalized Christmas Eve Box from eBay that you can fill with your child’s favorite things for an evening of Christmas Eve fun. You can include a new set of new pajamas, a Christmas book, Christmas movie, hot chocolate, popcorn, and more! Looking for an already done for you Christmas Eve box? Here is a great option from Amazon:

 Waiting for Santa Christmas Eve Gift Set: Pajamas, DVD Movie & Family Fun

Holiday Traditions

What Christmas Traditions do you celebrate with your family? I would love to hear about them! Still searching for affordable and unique Christmas gifts? Be sure to check out my gift guide for the entire family here. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season with your family. Spend time making memories you will treasure forever.

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3 Ways to Conquer Cleaning

Conquer Cleaning

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3 Ways to Conquer Cleaning

One common thread that runs throughout motherhood is there never seems to be enough time in the day to accomplish everything that needs to be done. The constant demands of raising our children oftentimes leave many items on our to-do list unchecked, including housework. Toys, clutter, laundry, and other chores quickly pile up, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and at a loss of where to start. A cluttered and disorganized home became a great source of stress for me, so I began looking for ways to incorporate cleaning into more manageable time chunks.

Schedule a Time Each Day to Clean

We all have a certain time of day when there are fewer distractions and we can be more productive.  For some it may be early mornings. For others it could be during nap time, while the kids are in school, the evenings when your spouse is home, or at night when the kids are in bed.

What Time Works Best For You?

Only you can determine what time works best for you. Take a look at your day and see where you can consistently allot time for cleaning, and write it down! I find that if I have a clear plan for how I want to spend my time, I am much more productive. This can work for your entire to do list, not just for housework.

What if I Don’t Have Free Time to Devote to Cleaning?

I know that as a mama, setting aside distraction free time may not always be possible, especially with small children. I have been there, and it can make it very difficult to stick to a schedule. For those times, I recommend finding activities that can keep your children engaged and entertained. If you would like some ideas, check out my post How to Engage and Entertain Your Little Ones.

Here are some good cleaning products to check out. Just click on the picture:

  

Follow a Cleaning Schedule

I am a planner by nature, so creating a list made me feel so much better about my days and getting things accomplished. I wrote down everything that needed to be done and divided it by each day of the work week to make my list more manageable. Once I had a plan, I could wake up early and complete my tasks efficiently.

How Do I Create a Cleaning Schedule?

To create my cleaning schedule, I decided to focus on one area of the home each day:

  • Monday: Living Room/Office/Den
  • Tuesday: Bedrooms
  • Wednesday: Kitchen
  • Thursday: Bathrooms
  • Friday: Planning Day

I also made a list of things that needed attention daily, such as making beds and washing dishes.  Seeing my once daunting cleaning to-do list broken down into smaller, more manageable chunks relieved a great deal of stress. And once into practice, I could have a clean house with just a little work each day of the week.

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Choose One Area to Deep Clean Every Week

How to Incorporate Deep Cleaning into Your Schedule

In addition to daily cleaning tasks, there are times when certain parts of the home need a deep cleaning. In my Daily Cleaning Schedule, I have made a list of eight areas that should be cleaned once a month. My goal is to focus on two of these tasks every week to ensure that all areas of the home are properly cleaned.

Other Tips for Increasing Productivity

I like to end my day like I begin it, which means I want to wake up to a mess free home. This is easily accomplished by taking a little time before bed to pick up toys, shoes, clothing, and other clutter that has piled up through the day. If your children are old enough to help, get them involved in picking up to save even more time. By taking a few extra minutes at night, I can begin focused on my to-do list for that day and not the things left undone from the day before.

If you found this information helpful or have other cleaning tips to share, I’d love to hear from you! You can also connect with me on Social Media.

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