Ok so I thought I would share some our Christmas traditions. You may not care and in that case you can just close this browser right now but it might give you some good ideas :-)
Cooking- We LOVE Christmas goodies! The best part is making them, some of my great memories of my biological mom are of making Christmas cookies and candy. I still use some of her recipes and I really want to pass this on so I spend AT LEAST one full day baking and cooking with my kids.
Stockings- I made our stockings. I bought a pattern one year and I sewed us all some stockings. Each of us has a different fabric with out initial on it. Each year I add a patch to the kids' stocking. This year The boys got turtle patches because keeping the turtles was part of their Christmas gift. Since they have a long life span I thought it might be nice to remember the year that they got them. Faith's stocking will have a part of one of her cute one-piece outfits. Each child's stocking got started with some sort of cloth thing from a baby outfit. Cole's is the butt flap from his first Christmas PJs and it says his name on it. Davin's is a giraffe from a cute pair of pants he has when he was tiny. Faith's says "sweet" in sort of a candy motif.
Ornaments- I liked the idea of getting a new ornament every year. I had a couple of obstacles though because ornaments can get expensive when you're trying to pick something personal and unique each year and second they don't really have a ton of personal options when they're this young. So far we have made 99% of our yearly ornaments by hand. One year we did cinnamon dough ornaments and the boys cut out their initials. the next year it was salt dough and the boys' ornaments were in the shape of stockings with their name and the year painted on. This year we made sleds out of Popsicle sticks. They're pretty cute :-)
Gifts- Our kids get three gifts. We stole the idea and the phrase that goes with it which is: "if it's good enough for Jesus then it's good enough for them". We give our kids 1 gift which is shared which this year was the turtles, 1 gift for themselves, and their stocking counts as the third and has small treats in it.
For the rest of the family we do our best to give at least 1 homemade thing. Some years its all we can do but I believe that it teaches the kids that gifts are only things and they should come from your heart.
Santa Claus- Oh the conversations and debates I've had on this guy. Our approach is that he's fun to pretend with but he is ultimately as real as any other fictional character that we love. They know the story of St. Nick who loved God and took care of people and that's where Santa comes from. They know that people think that he brings presents still but they also know that Christmas isn't about a pretend guy that we all happen to love.
Family time management- Oye Vey
Our overall theme- What is Christmas? It's Jesus' birthday!!!! We make Jesus a birthday cake and celebrate it like we would a family birthday. We really have tried to impress on the kids that Christmas isn't about "things" and commercial traditions. We want them to celebrate this holiday for what it is. We do know that Jesus' birthday isn't actually on December 25th but we know that he knows our hearts and I know that if someone didn't know my birthday I would still like it if they picked a day and celebrated my birthday even though it isn't my birthday. So we go along and enjoy this festive season with the best heart that we can have. Isn't that what it's all about?