Monday, December 5, 2011

Marvy Mom Monday: Holiday Ideas Edition

No, I haven't gotten my act together enough to interview, write up and feature a true Marvy Mom today. But, the holidays and coordinated traditions thereof have me thinking of how Moms (and Dads and Grandparents and Friends...) create memories for themselves and their kids. Today I'll feature a few I've seen or done myself . YOUR HOMEWORK is let me know the (preferably free or cheap) traditions you've created or maintained for your families. I would like to feature your ideas in upcoming posts.

The Elf: I talked about the Elf on Friday. You can read HERE about how he helps a mama out every December. And, important update: Our Elf has been located and is securely in place. (Thank you, Scott Giessler, for trekking into the cold, dark garage last night and tracking him down. I can't make any Y-chromosome jokes for at least a week  now since he was able to locate it and I wasn't!)

Special Christmas Tree: My friend Megan didn't really mean to start a tradition - and maybe it's just a one time event - but her 3-year-old son, Max, hardly gave her a choice this year! Way back in the summer, the family took a trip to Santa's Village in northern New Hampshire. Max saw Santa and asked him for a Christmas Tree for Christmas. Cute, right? Maybe he misunderstood the process, right? Nope. Since then, he has talked about Santa bringing him a tree whenever the subject arises. He really, really wanted a tree for Christmas... and it really, really needed to come from Santa!

Ever the innovator, this year Megan - whose family already has the tradition of going to a cut-your-own tree farm - went out early to the site. She asked the owners if it was okay for her to choose a tree and decorate it a bit... and put a tag on it "To: Max; Love, Santa".
He found it! (Note the lack of snow... Odd since we had 12 inches for Halloween!!)

How sweet is that?? I think it was a totally Marvy Mom Move on her part. We'll see next year whether or not Max "needs" another tree picked out just for him by The Big Man himself!

Christmas Jars: I am a lazy Mom. And I know you're thinking "she runs marathons, no way she's lazy". But I don't mean I'm a lazy PERSON. I'm lazy about documenting my kids' milestones. Baby Book? What's a Baby Book? But, I have found a fairly easy and low-maintenance way to remedy this particular shortcomings that I highly recommend to all of you.

In 2006 (Elliott's first Christmas) I created Christmas Jars for the boys. It's insanely easy.
  •  I get a jar and its lid (one for each kid) that was going to hit the recycling bin (pickles, tomato sauce, apple sauce, what-have-you).
  • The boys and I paint the outside of the jar in the color/manner of their choosing. (Thankfully neither I nor my boys are terribly artistic so these look pretty crummy and we're all okay with that!) 
  • We glue a recent photo of the kiddo on the outside. We write the year on the lid. 
  • Then - and here's the part that will really mean something in years to come - I write a "review" of the year for that kid. The review is mostly a list of the stuff the kid likes (or doesn't like) to do, eat, say, play.... as well as big events like plays, potty training, skiing, etc. As the kids have gotten older they have had more and more input in this part. These reviews go inside the jar.
  • The boys also get a personalized letter from Santa (whose point of view is strikingly similar to their mother's!) in their stocking on Christmas morning. That goes in the jar after it's read.
Elliott's jars (told ya they weren't fancy to look at!)

Tommy's jars (likewise a wee sloppy!)

The photos are great, especially lining them up and seeing how the kids have grown up over time. But by far the best part of this is re-reading reviews from past years as the boys have gotten older. So many things  you forget - even though you read it each year!  For instance, just before Christmas Eve when he was 18-months-old, Elliott starting using his own name. I never would have remembered it but Santa put it in his letter. I HIGHLY recommend you begin this tradition - or a similar one - with your kids. It will be fun this year and it gets better and better each year.

So, your turn! Please Flaunt Your Marvy and let me know the easy-ish and free-ish ways you make the holidays special for your family. I will share them in next week's Marvy Mom post.

P.S. Haven't done the boys' jars yet this year.... They, too, were only uncovered in the garage last night by Scott.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE the jar idea...too bad my kids are now 17 and 19!!

    We always get all the Christmas decorations out, play cheesy Christmas music while we put them all up and decorate the tree. We make hot coco, turn off all the lights, plug in the tree and admire our work. For some reason my kids LOVE this "event". We also make some cheesy ornament every year the first day of Christmas break. I also give them PJs every year which is the only present they are allowed to open on Christmas Eve (even though they know what they are getting, they love it!). I've learned one very important thing over the years--kids LOVE tradition and the first time you try to skip it there will be mutiny!!