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Committed: The Ties that Bond

with Angella Dykstra

I'm a mom of three, a professional accountant, and an amateur photographer and writer. I am not a marriage expert. But my husband and I take "Til death do us part" seriously, and here I'll be sharing how we keep our marriage strong while we both do that insane work-life juggle.

Check out my Work It, Mom! profile and my blog, Dutch Blitz.

Where Our Family Christmas Traditions Came From

Categories: children, family, holiday, holidays

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Everyone has Christmas traditions, if they celebrate Christmas. When I married my husband, we discovered that we shared many of the same Christmas traditions, and created a few more of our own that we participate in with our family of five. With the Christmas season in full swing — and our kids at the age where they know what our traditions are, and look forward to them — I thought I’d share our family’s Christmas traditions.

1. An advent calendar. For years, I bought each of the kids the $1 plastic advent calendars I had as a kid, because all of a sudden it was December 1st and I had no time to create one of the Pinterest advent calendar hits. Last winter I bought a chalkboard with the 25 days on it to cross off, and filled a large bowl with better chocolate than the stuff that comes in the cheap calendars. My kids love taking turns crossing out the days with chalk and prefer the good chocolate to the cheap stuff.

2. Attend Christmas Eve service. We did this even before my husband was on staff at our church. Singing carols in a candlelit sanctuary is so very special.

3. Decorating sugar cookies. This tradition comes from my husband’s family. On Christmas Eve, after attending service, we’d head over to their place and decorate sugar cookies with homemade colored icing and sprinkles. They no longer live in the same town, but we still do this with our kids. It’s a lot of fun, and their creations are a sight to be seen.

4. Opening one present on Christmas Eve. This is something that we both got to do growing up, and it was always a pair of new pajamas. We now do this with our kids, and even though they know they’re getting pajamas, they love the tradition and love to see what pajamas we chose for them.

5. Stockings are fair game if they wake up early Christmas morning. This is another thing that we both grew up with and its carried on with our kids. If they wake up early, they can open their stocking stuffers. At 7 a.m., they are to turn on the coffee and come and wake us up.

What are some of your family’s Christmas traditions?

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