Holiday Traditions - Great Falls,MT

Updated on November 03, 2011
C.L. asks from Great Falls, MT
12 answers

Now that Halloween is over, I'm already thinking about the holidays.. It is indeed my favorite time of year for many reasons. This will be my first holiday season as a family (me, my fiance, and our daughter will be about 9 1/2 months old).. Growing up my family had a few traditions to look forward to but now I'm thinking of MY family and future kids and what traditions I would like to instill for them. Does anyone have any spectacular, fun, or unusual holiday tradition ideas for me?

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answers from Great Falls on

On December 1, we begin a "good deeds chain." I have a lot of red and green paper strips. Each evening we try to think of something good everyone did that day. Nice if brother thinks of something nice that sister did, but kids can toot their own horn, too. Mom and dad can put down good things they did or saw happening, too. We make a paper chain and try to see how long it can grow by Christmas.

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answers from Los Angeles on

We open one small present on Christmas Eve.

We drive around to look at lights.

We always have hot cocoa w/whip red sprinkles, cream & peppermint stick.

Play Christmas music in the morning when we open presents.

We take pictures opening gifts.

We each get a new ornament

Christmas morning breakfast w/tamales, beans, sunny side up eggs, coffee & mimosa, holiday cookies etc.

The kids had their picture taken w/Santa when little.

Some times we drive up to a nearby town where it sometimes snows & they have a holiday outdoor fair in the evenings w/roaste chestnuts etc.
So fun.

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answers from Killeen on

We spend the weekend after Thanksgiving picking out our tree and theme for the year then we decorate everything..the tree and the house inside and out. Every year on Christmas eve our kids get new pjs and a new ornament that represents what they were into that year. When they grow up I will give them each their own collection of ornaments for their tree representing each year of their childhood. We also always make Christmas cookies together. We go to the parade of lights and the drive in movies the day before Christmas eve.

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answers from Dover on

We order Chinese food for dinner on Christmas Eve & then I always let my kids open 1 present which coincidentally ALWAYS ends up being new jammies for them to wear that night & me to take pictures of while they're opening presents the next morning (funny how that works out, huh?).

My mom always did a whole bunch of hot snacks for dinner on Christmas Eve, but I decided not to do that for 2 reasons: 1. with all the cooking to do the next day & last-minute stuff (wrapping, etc.) to get done that night, I do NOT want to spend hours in the kitchen making 7 or 8 different hot dips, chopping veggies, etc. & 2. Several years it was just Mike, Hailey & I for Christmas Eve dinner because we don't go up to my parent's until Christmas Day & when my DH was still working rotating shifts for the sheriff's department most of the time he would be working that night so it REALLY didn't make sense to go to all that trouble for myself, a 6 year old & a 7 year old (which is how old they were when I started the Chinese Christmas Eve dinner tradition). ;)

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answers from Dallas on

On Christmas Day, we ALWAYS go to the movies. We've done this for 25 yrs.

You'd be surprised at how crowded it can be too!!

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answers from Pueblo on

I grew up with a lot of the basic christmas traditions. But when I started my own family I wanted something different. SInce my kids where little we do santa photos and each year make a scrapbook page with the new photo. we do advent calander made of socks with little gifts or candy in them to. the kids love it. we also do everyone gets a stocking in our house along with the cookies, ornaments, etc...whatever you decide to do remember to enjoy it and have a great holiday season.



answers from Denver on

Have a Christmas elf come and visit you!

Your daughter is probably still a little bit too young for this tradition, but it's a good one to start thinking about and planning for. We found our elf on (I didn't like how the Elf on a Shelf looked). He comes a week or two before Christmas to learn about the Christmas spirit in the human world and sometimes gets into a bit of mischief (like decorating the Christmas tree with socks and underwear!). We are on our 3rd year of having an elf and the kids always look forward to him (and now his sister) coming back to visit. I only wish I had known about this tradition sooner!

The other thing we do is have Santa bring the kids a special ornament each year. A lot of times it is something specific to what they have done or accomplished that year - this year the kids are getting something with a hot air balloon theme since they both got to go up in a balloon. We always enjoy reliving those memories when we decorate our tree. And in the future they will have them to decorate their own trees with.


answers from Asheville on

My family always goes Christmas tree hunting and my sister makes a gingerbread house and we all decorate cookies together. The last two years we've gone on little weekend vacations together: last year it was a cabin in the mountains and the year before that we went to Great Wolf Lodge. We also watch Christmas movies, "Miracle on 34th Street" in particular, and drive around to see Christmas lights. The whole month is filled with constant coming and going between each other's houses as well as a ton of family sleepovers.



answers from Savannah on

Love this question because I love talking holidays! Gets me excited! A lot of things have changed from when I was growing up (the monster Thanksgiving party at an aunt's house, or the big Christmas party at Grandma's---due to age, geography, and a lot of people have passed away and all). SO we've had to do our own family traditions too, but they're special to us!
Our "holiday season" starts on Thanksgiving day. After a great time outdoors (weather permitting), watching the Cowboys play football, some family games, we have a wonderful (not necessarily huge, but awesome) dinner. At dinner we talk about things we're thankful for, and make sure to pray and give thanks. At some point after dinner, we discuss our options (which are a topic during the month of November) for what special project we'll be taking on, what we'll be sponsoring---either a missionary friend, a special event through Compassion International, or local opportunities here. If we're going to choose another country, we build a care package for them of things they may miss (even toilet paper if it's a friend of mine, because that's a joke between all of us, peanut butter, some treats that are hard to come by, some things that let them know we're thinking about them, whatever we can think of, ETC). If it's a group that will take clothes, shoes, toys, candy, etc, then we will do that for children. But we lay our plans out. If it's a foreign country we also do a little research during the next month and find out some celebratory foods and customs they may have and will do that on Christmas day.
On Thanksgiving we MAKE a gift, card, or write a letter to say how thankful we are for our loved ones.
I go to bed early for a "night nap" on Thanksgiving so I can do Black Friday shopping!
We begin decorating and setting up for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving.
We always hit a parade, watch old Christmas movies together a little at a time (one a week), take the annual family photo, take the kids to get pictures with Santa, go to the local special events be it the tree lighting, a church or school play (our neighbor's kids, lol), concerts, a ballet, or a real play. We do volunteer on AT LEAST one local project. We give the gift of a date to our friends (babysitting their children one night) and then they let us have a date by babysitting our children one night. We love to make Ghiradelli hot cocoa with a shot of peppermint schnapps and a shot of Godiva liqueur and cuddle up outside. Sometimes the crisp cold air seems to make great star gazing so we'll do that. We must go look at Christmas lights. We display cards that we receive. On the days coming up, we do read Christmas themed books we've received from previous years. We have some great ones: a beautiful, beautiful Night Before Christmas with all kinds of need things in the book to pull on or play with, The Cajun Night Before Christmas, The Homeless Christmas Tree, The Polar Express, Room for a Little One, Legend of the Christmas Stocking, The Grinch, etc.
On Christmas Eve, we have a family party that will more celebratory, expected Christmas feast kind of stuff (not really the same stuff every Christmas though---the feast is the good part, not exactly what's on the table...but always something great). We invite family, friends, coworkers to join us for some time together. We sing songs, play games, etc. We open the gifts from family and friends on Christmas Eve, and we include an ornament for each of us that means something specific about that year. (Reminds us of a trip we took, or an inside joke between my husband and I, or the latest favorite cartoon character or hobby for us, etc). Like Sky, I'll give the boys their personal ornaments later, but for now, the Christmas tree is like a story of us. We read the Christmas story together on the couch, say our prayers, and go to bed. Santa comes at night (and Jeremy took up what my dad used to do for us when we were little---he goes outside and rings the jingle bells so the boys hear it out the window. In the morning, we do play Christmas music while opening the gifts. We have a rule that when they wake up, they come get us before opening presents so we can see too! Santa always mysteriously leaves unexpected little gifts for mom and dad too, because we're good. We have our stockings as well, with the same stuff in them that my husband and I grew up having every year: orange, apple, different kinds of nuts and candies, and then a couple little toys or surprises. After that, we can Skype with family and friends around the world (we're spread out everywhere), play with toys and stuff, etc. We very often go to the movies later that day. Instead of another dinner, I'll put out trays of food (leftovers from last night's party and some cheeses, crackers, dips, etc) and it's just a grazing kind of day, which is VERY rare for us. That way I don't get aggravated that I've cooked (again) and trying to pull people away from friends and new toys to sit down and have dinner and like it darn it! We just let it be casual and we can sit if we want, or come to the table a little later if you want. We cuddle up and read the year's new special Christmas book (we get ONE new Christmas themed book every year, often autographed, to read). We sleep, make cookies, play, do some scrapbooking.


answers from Philadelphia on

cut down a xmas tree and go to dinner with family
pictures with santa-when she was 3 and up and liked it
riding arnd and looking at lights
going to a holiday village arnd town and going to fairs
going to town and watch the lighting of the tree
xmas eve my ex's famiyl has a big family party and the aunts and uncles exchange gifts
xmas morning- take a pic walking to the tree- if you have stairs , down the stairs
open awesome stockings with tons of awesome gifts inside, open awesome presents sants left and a few from mom and dad
the park nearby has horse drawn carraige rides
make xmas crafts for my daughter to give out to appreciate giving
take tons of photos
Lay under the tree=)



answers from Los Angeles on

For Christmas, Elf of a Shelf. You can find it at Target. It's really fun for the kids and a great tradition, even if she's still a little young, it will be really fun when she gets older.

Opening one present on Christmas Eve.



answers from Naples on

Your daughter is still a little young for this but, Christmas Eve my family always did the same thing:
1. Go out to eat.
2. Drive around looking at Christmas lights.
3. Go home and watch a Christmas movie.
Simple enough, but I always LOVED Christmas Eve.....sometimes even more than Christmas day itself. :)

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