Good morning and welcome to Coffee Chat!

The weather here is hanging around a balmy -5 Celsius,  (that's just cold no matter how you translate it), but I got my fire and hot cup of mocha to keep me warm.

Also, polar fleece pj's and fuzzy slippers.

Which reminds me: I have to go buy the annual Christmas Eve gift to be opened.
It's tradition.
It's pajamas; if you were wondering.

I am not sure the kids are as thrilled by the new pj's on Christmas Eve tradition as I am.

Honestly tho?   Take the hint kiddos!
You've been bugging me all day to open Just One Present Mom!  Mom!!
So I let you open one.
It's pajamas.

Granted, some of the our other traditions:  Way more fun.

Time out for Mom

Tuesday, December 2nd/14
It's now officially December and the countdown to Christmas has begun in our home!  
What are some of your favourite pre-holiday preparations? 

I already shared one of our very favourite traditions last week:   the annual town Santa Clause Parade!
We live in a small town.   It's a small parade.    Maybe takes about 15-20 minutes max to watch it all.
Somehow I still require a wheelbarrow to get home all the booty from the kids favourite tradition  of throwing candy canes and other candy to spectators.

Then it's hot cocoa.   And then..... go to bed.

The Santa Parade is the official kick off to the Season in our home.    Closely followed by Candy Canes for breakfast.
Or, at the very least a chocolate from the kids Advent Calendars.

The exterior holiday lights will come next.
Then I will take my time decorating the house while the kids are in school.
Slowly but surely snowman and angel candles will replace the every day.
The nativity scene will appear above the fireplace.... and elf clothing hung below to dry.

Who says you can't have a sense of humour AND honour a Saviours' Birth?

The house will gradually feel more and more like Christmas.

We got decorations.   We got the lights.   Everything is Big and Bright...... but....

one thing is still missing.

The Tree!!
Going to the tree farm to get the annual Christmas tree is by far my favourite tradition.   It's the one that reaches all the way back to childhood spent trekking through the woods, family saw in hand.   Over the years we let some traditions go, we add new ones on..... but some, we hold on tight because for some reason, that One Thing..  is just Christmas to us.

me with last years winning tree!
Currently, Left Brain is away on training, but upon his return, off to the Tree Farm we will go!
I can't wait.

The last thing we do before Christmas Eve and the Big Day, is take one night to drive around and look at all the Christmas lights while sipping hot cocoa and eating shortbread or gingerbread cookies. 

The kids will also have their annual Children's Christmas Pageant at our local church.   I picked the performance this year and have been busy helping the kids learn their songs and lines!

If you want to hear the songs for our program Unplugged Christmas - go here!

Finally,  a new tradition I am adding this year, is to really refocus my children on the GIVING part of the Holiday spirit.   Let's just the Christmas Demands List was a bit OVER MUCH this year.   So they all got tossed. 
Instead... we are going to focus on Less for Us, and More for Others.
I found this Random Acts of Kindness calendar to use as my model, although, I think since they are young children, we will pick 12 and do 12 Days of RAOK. 

Here is the link to the calendar I am using if you should want to join us in spreading Holiday cheer!

My mom - because she is amazing - is on board with this new tradition, and thus gave each of them $20 that they have to spend in a charitable manner.    No ZooZoo --- you are NOT a charitable. 

Angel Girl wants to pick a name from the Angel Tree,  ZooZoo wants to buy food for the local Humane Society Animal Shelter, and Monkey Boy will donate to the Christmas Families community outreach through our church.   All Very good causes!

Colour me proud.

What kinds of traditions does your family enjoy during the Holiday Season?

NEXT WEEK:   More about our Random of Acts of Kindness!   What acts would you add, and will you join our challenge?

About The Author
Leslie Botchar, aka "RoryBore", is a SAHM enjoying life one day - and one cup of coffee - at at time.
She has had several articles published in The Huffington Post, and hopes to one day marry her skills as Word Wrangler and Photo Ninja. Leslie spills it all on her blog Time Out For Mom, and invites you to join her for some Mom "Me" Time.
Connect with her: Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.