New Year’s Eve Countdown Bags With Kids


Ring in the new year with a bang.  Celebrate the ending of one year and the fresh start of a new year with your family.  Our New Year’s Eve celebrations may look way different now than they did before kids.  But not in a bad way.  We are in a season of young children and you can still have a fun and festive celebration with your family.  Last year we started a fun tradition of hourly countdown bags.

So how does it all work?  Each hour, leading up to midnight, the kids open up the corresponding countdown bag.  Inside each bag will be all the details on that hour’s fun activity.  The kids will be excited and sure to love it.

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Christmas Eve Box Tradition

Christmas Eve is right around the corner.  All the activities, between the Advent calendar and the Santa visits, have the level of anticipation for the big day running high.  Getting the kids to sleep Christmas Eve night just might take a small miracle.  One way to help calm the excitement is with a Christmas Eve box.  This is an up and coming new tradition that seems to have made serious headway in the last few years.
There is still time to get on board with this.  Do you need help on where to start or simply need ideas on what to put in the box.  I will share some Christmas Eve box ideas with you all.

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Christmas Book Countdown Tradition – 50 Favorite Christmas Books

There is just something about the anticipation behind unwrapping a present to reveal the surprise that just can’t be put into words.  Seriously, what kid doesn’t like to unwrap gifts?  Years ago, I started this tradition where the boys took turns unwrapping a Christmas book every night to read.  This tradition gives back in many  more ways than just simply reading a good story.
You are probably asking yourself, how do I start and what Christmas books do I include?  Detailed below is a list of our favorite books and ideas on how to begin this tradition in your home.

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Start a Santa Sack Tradition


Does the thought of your kids accumulating more toys at Christmas send you into a slight panic?  You love your kids but if they get one more toy then your house will likely bust at the seams.  So I have a fun new tradition to try this year and to share with you.  It’s called Santa Sacks.  You may have heard of them before but let me share with you how it all works.

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Elf On The Shelf Door Tradition

You bought into the whole Elf on the Shelf idea and now what?  You will inevitably get the question from one of your kids that will leave you stumped and looking like a deer in headlights while racking your brain for an answer.  All the while trying not to look like you just made it all up.  The question of how does the Elf leave and get back into the house everyday.  Kids say the darnedest things don’t they?  Be prepared with your own Elf door.
Not sure where to start?  Find out all about how to make your own Elf (fairy) door and add in some adorable finishing touches that will surely create magic in your home, right here.

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Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendars: Plus Over 60 Advent Activities

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The Christmas season is upon us and it is time to start thinking about the plans with your family.  One of my all time favorite traditions is the Advent calendar.  We started this when my older boys were 1 and 2 years old.  Every morning they would run down the stairs straight for the Advent to see what treasure and fun activity was in store for them that day.  You can just see the magic of the season come to life in their eyes.

Are you sold on the idea, yet?  Whether you are new to this whole idea or you just want to jazz up your current Advent calendar then you are in the right spot.  Listed below are several options for you to choose from.  It can be simple or elaborate.  You get to decide what works with your family.  Also included are over 60 daily Advent activities.

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A North Pole Breakfast to Welcome Back the Elf on The Shelf

It is almost time for his big arrival from the North Pole.  No I am not talking about Santa, but actually our Elf on The Shelf, Snowball.  Our boys have totally embraced this tradition.  So much so that it is a good way to keep these boys in line by telling them that Snowball is watching.  Anything to help my boys is perfectly OK in my book.
Each year he comes back with a big North Pole Breakfast.  Usually this occurs on December 1st but I will be honest here.  If December 1st doesn’t fall on a weekend then his return is delayed.  After breakfast, we snuggle in and watch the movie, An Elf’s Story.  This movie really makes the whole concept of the Elf on The Shelf come together for them.
So this year start the tradition of bringing back your Elf on The Shelf with a North Pole Breakfast too.

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Plan A Yearly Halloween Themed Dinner

Plan a Halloween dinner that will make their skin crawl.  This year we did just that with a spider theme.  Every year we strive to have a themed dinner with the family either on or around Halloween night.  It can be simple or extravagant.  The point is to have a little fun and create memories with your kids.  Like the time I tried to create an spooky setting by using a fog machine indoors.  In case you didn’t know, a fog machine will set off the fire alarms in your house.  And now you know.  All that frantically running around to turn off the alarms lead to the kids being upset and not wanting to eat.  That’s a memory that they may not forget.

So this sounds fun and you would like to do it for your next Halloween but you want a few ideas to get you started.  Here are a few creepy crawly ideas to help you plan.

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The Ultimate Guide to a Spooktacular Nightmare Before Christmas Party

This is Halloween.  Having a child with a birthday around Halloween only means one thing, that eventually they will have a Halloween themed birthday party.  Since our love for Disney runs deep, then what would be better than incorporating the theme from the movie Nightmare Before Christmas.  If you haven’t seen the movie yet than you are missing out.  Yes it is over 25 years old, but did you know that it was a stop motion picture (kind of like puppets) and it took one whole week to make one minute of film?  Sorry for my nerdiness coming through.  They started filming the movie before the ending was written and it took them 3 years to finish it.  Crazy I know.  So now when you watch it you will surely appreciate it just a little more.

So how do you plan a Nightmare Before Christmas party?  The answer is pretty simple really and you could do it yourself too.

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10 Family Photo Styling Tips

It is family photo season and the photography sessions pop up this time of year like crazy.  Fall is the perfect time to get family photos done.  However, I know for some this can be stressful.  I can totally relate.  The pressure from getting the coordinating outfits just right to capturing that perfect photo for your next holiday card can all seem daunting.  If I am not stressed getting them all ready and to the location on time then I am stressed during the photo shoot hoping that they cooperate.  Then I say a little prayer that we got a couple good ones.  I am convinced that the photographers, I have used, work miracles.

So, where do you even start?  Deciding what to wear can be half the battle.  Here are a few tips to help make picking out your family’s wardrobe for your next session a little more manageable. Continue reading “10 Family Photo Styling Tips”