Christmas Traditions

by Kimba on November 19, 2008

in Seasonal Projects

I had planned to do this post much closer to Christmas but I realized that it makes so much more sense to do it now. That way we can share our ideas and get ourselves prepared if we want to incorporate a new tradition into our celebrations.

As a Christian family, we try and keep our holiday celebrations focused on the birth of Jesus Christ. Sure, we love the food, presents and parties but that’s not really what it’s about.

I made this little video about one of my favorite holiday traditions. I cannot believe that I’m going to share this with you. I am SUCH a dork!

In the video I say that we use the advent calendar leading up to Halloween. DOH! Christmas! We use the advent calendar leading up to CHRISTMAS! And I have no idea what I was looking at off-camera. There was no one else in the room with me. Again. Dork!

If you’re looking for some other ideas for Advent calendars, you can check out these…

Martha Stewart’s Advent Calendar Cottage Kit
Martha’s Baby Sock Advent Calendar
Pockets Advent Calendar from Jenny at AllSorts

One of our other traditions is a set of Christmas ornaments called Adorenaments.

Each ornament is a tiny book that describes a different name for Jesus…The Lion, The Lamb, The Door, The Light, etc. There are 12 ornaments and we read and discuss a couple each night during the week leading up to Christmas.

I purchased them from Family Life a few years ago and they are now out of print, but you can still find them here or maybe on Ebay.

One more tradition…3 gifts. That’s it. Jesus got three gifts. We get three gifts. I can’t control the grandparents and I don’t try. But at home? 3 gifts.

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1 Allison November 19, 2008 at 2:50 pm

Great video…you did not look like a dork, at least I didn’t think so 🙂

I love the 3 gift idea…we may have to adopt that one!

2 Blanca November 19, 2008 at 2:58 pm

Cute video. I just got my first advent calendar last year. Can’t wait to use it.

3 Liz November 19, 2008 at 3:04 pm

Aw Kimba… you are such a cutie.

4 Tara @ Living A Dream November 19, 2008 at 3:06 pm

That was a great video Kimba – You are so cute!! I love the 3 gift idea, too!! Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

5 Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam November 19, 2008 at 3:18 pm

I can’t wait to go watch it. I knew we were sisters separated at birth…we have done the Three gift thing as well, and have never actually had a friend that did this. 🙂

6 Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam November 19, 2008 at 3:21 pm

Ok, I watched it….dork? Never!

7 ~*Lisa*~ November 19, 2008 at 3:27 pm

I agree you did not look like a dork. I really love the 3 gift idea and may try to talk Hubby into it. We read the Christmas Story over and over and over and have the Fisher Price Nativity we play with. That’s our only traditions I just realized I need to start making more traditions! Great Post!

8 Amy from Texas November 19, 2008 at 3:43 pm

Hey girl! Good to see and hear you! You are brave! ha. I’m too much of a “real” dork to put myself on video:-)

Love the log cabin advent calendar. Very fun. I would love to try that 3 gift idea. That’s about all I get the kids anyway, so what a great idea!

9 philben5 November 19, 2008 at 3:57 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your traditions. They are so important for our children. Keeping Christ is Christmas is so important as well… kudos to you

10 HeathahLee November 19, 2008 at 3:59 pm

I finally get to hear my Kimba’s voice! You sound exactly like I thought you would! And no, I don’t think you look like a dork. You look very cute and sweet, just like I knew you would.

And that is the CUTEST Advent calendar! I completely agree about the candy bar…or should I say candy morsel?

11 Emily@remodelingthislife November 19, 2008 at 4:02 pm

Kimba, you are so cute and not a dork at all! I love your advent calendar house!

12 Joelle November 19, 2008 at 4:08 pm

i LOVE the three gifts idea. we do not have kids yet, but i think this idea is a must. gifts are just out of control even with extended family, so i can’t imagine what will happen with kids. love your blog!

13 Christine November 19, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Thanks for the great ideas here! We have done a 12 days of Christmas with our family since they were little, I have it all put together on my blog, you will see 12 days of Christmas on my side bar and click on the snow and it will walk you through it…It is a wonderful way to get children excited about “giving to others.” Have a wonderful day and thanks for sharing, now I need to look at this advent calendar you posted.

14 Anonymous November 19, 2008 at 4:53 pm

You are adorable. Thanks for sharing your tradition.

15 Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates November 19, 2008 at 4:55 pm

You did a great job on the video! Love it! That cabin is so cute and I love the 3 gifts thing.

I would have liked to see how the video would have turned out if you had done it when you got up at 5 this morning – LOL! 🙂

16 Dreaming of Mermaids November 19, 2008 at 5:14 pm

mmm, I love the 3 gift idea, I may have to adopt that one…. excellent, Kim!

17 Sunny November 19, 2008 at 5:16 pm

I think you are so cute! You mentioned that you put treats in there for Halloween! You were nervous but you are so totally okay because everyone here already loves you!

18 Camille November 19, 2008 at 5:30 pm

Wowzers, I thought I was totally original with the three gift thing. Seriously, I *thought* that I thought of it myself. haha!
But am so glad to hear of others doing it too, we’ve done that for the last 4 yrs.
Great post!

19 Raspberry Lemonade November 19, 2008 at 5:37 pm

Hi Kimba

I hope you don’t mind I did a shout out on your furniture rehab post. I am doing a feature on artists that turn trash into a treasure.

please stop by to visit me at

20 Gray Matters November 19, 2008 at 6:32 pm

Bravo – you did a great job. What a thoughtful gift from your husband. We’ve never used an advent calendar before. I’m in the process of making a felt stocking one – hope I’m able to finish before Christmas.

21 JANE November 19, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Since we had number 1 child, each one has gotten their own advent calender. In fact our oldest son’s calender is actually the one I had growing up. Also, the 2 weeks prior to Christmas we bake cookies and take them to our neighbors, focusing on the elders of the neighborhood. This yr the Girl will be allowed to go deliver also since she’s old enough now!!

22 Tamara Jansen November 19, 2008 at 7:09 pm

It’s us people who have no worry about embarrasment that make the world a much more colorful place 🙂

Great post!

23 Sandy Toes November 19, 2008 at 7:38 pm

How fun!! I love that! Yesterday and Monday..I posted my two favorite Christmas traditions!!

Love the video!
-sandy toes

24 Cassie November 19, 2008 at 7:53 pm

That was cute! Very brave! Beautiful advent calender.

25 KATHERINELLEN November 19, 2008 at 8:37 pm

Thank you for stopping by…sweet comments from you…Thank you. Awww…You did a wonderful job…you are so cute! Love those advert calendar…thank for sharing..I’ll have to get me one…I LOVE the 3 gifts ideas. We will have to do that too! Thank you….wonderful post…Katherinllen

26 Jennifer November 19, 2008 at 9:12 pm

Well if you were a dork…you were the cutest dork! I thought your video was cute – although I truly do not believe I could pull that off! What a fun advent calendar!! Great idea.

27 Shelia November 19, 2008 at 9:15 pm

Kimba!! I so enjoyed looking at you and hearing your speak!! Honey, you’re not a dork, you’re just precious as can be!!
I loved your Advent Calendar House!!
Be a sweetie,

28 Sandy & Rick November 19, 2008 at 10:57 pm

I thought you did great with the video. It is fun to put a face with your blog. I love your advent calendar! I love your ideas on how to make it a more Christ centered Christmas. That is what its all about right? Or at least should be. Great post
Thanks for sharing.

29 Gabrielle Krake November 19, 2008 at 11:09 pm

I love your site, I found it through another one. I added your mom’s unite button to our site, thank you!


30 Ally0005 November 20, 2008 at 3:54 am

One of my blogging friends sent me
a Advent calendar. You can see it here
We do three presents also.

31 Suzann @ Lavender and Roses November 20, 2008 at 4:40 am

Miss Kimba – love it all!
3 Gifts? I give you credit! You have control. I wish I did.

32 Stacey @ The Blessed Nest November 20, 2008 at 5:20 am

You are so cute, I can’t even stand it! 🙂 That’s a great advent calendar! When I was growing up we only had the paper kind with a bible verse behind.

33 The Quintessential Magpie November 20, 2008 at 5:46 am

Awwww…I don’t think you looked like a dork at all! I thought you looked cute, and I thought the video was sweet. It’s also a great idea and helps to keep the real meaning of Christmas in Christmas.

Thanks for sharing!

34 Amber November 20, 2008 at 5:57 am

Cute video, Kimba. I love the 3 gift concept. Brad and I have discussed doing the 3 gifts as well.

35 Susie Harris November 20, 2008 at 6:24 am

Adorable!! Kimba you are so precious~ That cabin reminds me of the little logs my kids played with. We still have the set. I even have the set my husband played with as a child. Anyway…. I love traditions and your is great! Thank you for sharing. It’s nice to see videos. Now I have a voice with your sweet words I read. I will get to one someday. Take Care~

36 Laura Ingalls Gunn November 20, 2008 at 6:51 am

You look great! I think a more apt decription is brave, not a dork at all! 🙂

We do an advent calender and have the 3 present rule as well.

Christmas Eve is all about the Savior. We go to church and then come home and have a birthday party complete with cake.

37 melissa November 20, 2008 at 6:52 am

You are adorable~I loved seeing you “in person.” And I love your house advent calendar. What a great gift! Thanks for sharing with us~I loved it.

38 Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates November 20, 2008 at 7:00 am

Hello 5 AM Gal! Hope you were able to get up today (I was even though I went to bed really late!). Maybe this will help wake you up – LOL – I have an award for you on my blog!

39 Karen November 20, 2008 at 7:27 am

we do the three gifts, well you get three things from Santa. I usually get them some little things to be from their sisters, or from us, PJs, books, etc. Little things. Love that Advent calendar!

40 Polka Dot Possibilities November 20, 2008 at 7:30 am

Loved your video! You are definitely not a dork. I remember having an advent calendar growing up and it was my absolute favorite thing. I bet your family loves getting their tiny treats!

41 Brooke November 20, 2008 at 7:32 am

I love this post! We too have the 3 gift idea at our house. We decorate the tree and have Christmas music playing weekend after Thanksgiving. That is something my family did growing up and I wanted to keep it going for my kids. I look forward to that already. I am also in charge of a birthday cake for Jesus on my side of the family. It is quite a responsibility making a cake fit for a king! But it so fun to see my kids taking their turn blowing out the candles like we did when we were kids! Fun!

42 Letti November 20, 2008 at 7:53 am

Last year we also started the three gift thing and I love it. I thought my kids would complain but they didn’t and they actually remember what they got last year. Not to mention it made my Christmas a little bit less stressful.

43 Shannon November 20, 2008 at 8:24 am

We always got three gifts each too. I never thought it wasn’t enough. I’m off to watch the video. 🙂

44 Joanna November 20, 2008 at 8:40 am

Great video! We love doing our advent calendar. It’s something that the girls take turns with. I have heard of those ornamnets before, I believe last year in Sunday School. Maybe I should check them out.

45 Anonymous November 20, 2008 at 10:42 am

So, am I the only one who thinks you’re a dork? Maybe because I have more Kimba years under my belt than most of your readers.

But, you know, they say it takes one to know one!

Love you,

P.S. I’ll spare pointing out that at one point in the video you mention putting little things in each box as you approach HALLOWEEN! ooops…did I say that 🙂 Gotta keep you humble, girl!

46 Janet November 20, 2008 at 10:58 am

You’re the cutest “dork” I’ve ever seen. Well done. I love your advent house.

47 Elle Pea November 20, 2008 at 11:20 am

You looked adorable and friendly. I love your advent house. My idea of a fun size Milky Way would resemble a small car.

48 Kelly November 20, 2008 at 12:02 pm

Hi Kimba! 🙂

Although I could not understand you in your video.

But I can see why your family adore you and people want bits and pieces of you.

You are an “adorable dorkette”! 😉

49 Our Complete Family November 20, 2008 at 12:20 pm

Hi Kimba!
How sweet your video was! I loved it!
We always had tiny Advent stockings growing up and now we have an Advent type box that has an ornament for each day to put on a little tree. My son loves doing it each day. Love your house though~ I’ve never seen one like it.
The 3 gifts you do is a wonderful thing, too.
Happy Thursday~ Les

50 Sugar Mommy November 20, 2008 at 2:35 pm

We have implemented the 3 gift limit, as well. And I’ve even told the g-parents, to follow that rule, too, and I think they appreciate it. 3 of our 4 kiddos have a birthday between Nov 4th (same as you, Kimba! our newest just born this year on election day!) and January 2nd, so no one really needs to be bombarded with gifts like that. And no one’s wallet needs to be bombarded either!!

When I was growing up, we always had a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas Day. A red and green Jello-Poke cake with Cool-Whip icing. My dad and I would make it together. Not only do we have really great memories, we grew up knowing about the gift of salvation born to us through Jesus Christ.

Before we had kids, we made the cake to share with family and friends on Christmas day, which was a wonderful reminder to us as adults what Christmas is all about.

Now, my hubby and I have shared that same tradition with our own children. They love singing “Happy Birthday” to the baby Jesus and making the cake with me.

51 Courtney November 20, 2008 at 2:58 pm

Our Pastor’s wife told us about the 3 gift tradition. We are doing it this year for the first time.

52 Pretty Organizer November 20, 2008 at 3:19 pm

my favorite… 3 gifts! We grew up with a house FULL of kids (6- our magic number growing up too!) and there were way too many gifts! This year, they’re all getting 3 stacking Pretty Organized boxes with gifts inside… that’s it! Grandparents… we’ve moved them to see the light in avoiding bulky gifts or ones that expire when the batteries do… they give an experience. This year we’re all going to Lion King when it comes to town. Last year, boys did Globetrotters and girls Disney Princesses on Ice!

LOVE YOUR DORKNESS… My kids will testify I’m dorky too!
Love ya lady,
Pretty Organized

53 elizabeth November 20, 2008 at 3:30 pm

I’ve heard of other families who follow the three gift rule, too. The first gift (J) is for Jesus – something that will help you grow in your relationship with him. The second gift (O) is for others -something you can do with others. The third gift (Y) is for yourself – that one special thing you really want to receive. I think it’s a great idea and it keeps the focus where it should be, on Jesus and the Joy we have when we know him as Lord and Savior.

54 Em @ Bunch of Scrap November 20, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Okay, I am totally starting the 3 gifts tradition! My kids get way too much from the grandparents anyway! I am going to do a traditions post on my blog too, great idea!

55 Merrie November 20, 2008 at 4:51 pm

How cute are you? And now of course I want one. Great tradition!

56 Stephanie November 20, 2008 at 5:53 pm

We just had our first baby in Feb so this will be her first Christmas and my hubby and I were discussing the 3 gift idea and I think it is fantastic. My sister does it with her son and I think it will really help show them that Christmas is not about gifts but about so much more. Thanks for sharing oh and your not a dork.

57 keeper of the chocolates November 20, 2008 at 6:01 pm

you did not look like a dork! i loved it :)great video. i love the 3 gift idea…do you mind if i steal it 🙂

58 tardevil November 20, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Cool traditions. I love the photo…I actually came over to your blog today (not that I’ve never been by before) because of the photo…it looks like a magazine shot.

59 Julia @ Hooked on Houses November 21, 2008 at 5:24 am

Well, aren’t you getting fancy, using a video and everything! I’m impressed. I did well just to get my photos taken and posted last night for Melissa’s party today. 🙂

What a fun idea for an advent calendar! I’ve never seen anything like this little log cabin. Too cute.

I’m also intrigued that you only do 3 gifts. I keep everything under a certain dollar amount but never thought about restricting the actual number of presents. Interesting!

60 Heather November 21, 2008 at 10:56 am

I love the three gift idea. We will be doing that this year. We tried last year but my husband kept coming home with more and more. He just cant be helped sometimes but he is on strict orders this year!! I really want my kids to know, understand and appreciate the true meaning of Christmas, even now at their age.

61 Sarah @ ThriftyDecorChick November 21, 2008 at 12:14 pm

You are TOO stinking cute!! I am making my own version of an advent calendar right now. I love yours!! (I noticed the Halloween thing too, wasn’t sure I was going to say anything…but it makes you cauuuter!!)

62 Chris November 21, 2008 at 6:24 pm

I was so nervous for you while I was watching it! Why was I nervous? Did I think you were going to mess up? Who knows? It was a great video, and I am now coveting that advent house. 🙂

63 Diane@A Picture is Worth.... November 21, 2008 at 9:36 pm

That was so sweet of you to take the time and go to the trouble to make the video.

Thanks for all your great ideas.

64 angela | the painted house November 21, 2008 at 9:57 pm

You are adorable.

And, yes, there is nothing “fun” about “fun size” candies. It’s just enough to tick a person off.

65 Katie @ 3 Blondes and a Redhead November 23, 2008 at 12:28 pm

Admiring intently is coveting. 🙂 You’re hilarious and I AM COVETING your Advent House!!! I made a little Advent Scrapbook this weekend that I intend to start using, but candy definitely doesn’t fit in the pockets…

66 Blissful Nikki November 26, 2008 at 10:52 am

what a great advent! Im so wanting one of those!! hehe I dont think your a dork at all! Or maybe we are all dorks so we dont notice! hehe Anyway, your video was great!!

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