The Beginning of Our Christmas Traditions!

December 1st is a pretty big deal around here. It rivals Halloween, Thanksgiving (possibly bigger!) and even the First Day of School (for me and Ava anyway). Yes. It’s big. It is our big family kick off to Christmas. So many of our favorite traditions start on December 1st. Today I’m going to share all of them, so you can join in with us too!

  • Tiny. Tiny arrives on December 1st. Who is Tiny you ask? Tiny is our Elf on the Shelf. I have a love/hate relationship with Tiny. Tiny came into Jack and my family years ago with much much excitement. Years later, Tiny still continues to come to our expanded family, only now it’s with less excitement and less funny hiding places. (#tiredmom) But he will still continue to watch over the kids and ensure they are ready to celebrate and enjoy the holidays. Caleb and I will also be on high alert to new teeny hands trying to touch said Elf, you know so the magic won’t disappear.



We have the standard original version. Want hiding ideas? Check out these Pinterest Boards. Happy hiding!

  • Countdown Calendar to Christmas/Advent Calendar. When we first moved into our house, I saw all these cute Advent calendars on Pinterest and I fell in love with the idea. Each year before I’d have a special type of countdown and I really wanted to streamline it. I was running out of ideas! And, I liked having something tangible for the kids to focus on while waiting for Christmas. So I went to my official seamstress and she delivered one of the whole family’s favorite decoration (thanks Mom!) We have a special fabric calendar that has 25 pockets for each day of December. Caleb and I fill the pockets with all sorts of goodies like candy, christmas trinkets, prayers, bible verses, little toys and so much more. Each night after dinner, one of the kids gets the honor of pulling out whatever is in the pocket and sharing the treats with the rest of the kids. This is the first year Harv will get something from it! We’re excited to fill it up and we’ll begin our shopping this weekend!
Embroidered pockets were sewn onto canvas then secured around a curtain rod.
  • Pajama Elves. Years ago I got this book for Jack and I fell in love with it and the tradition behind it. Long story, short (ok not really long-it’s a kids picture book) little elves come on Christmas Eve with special PJs for the children to wear so they sleep soundly through Santa coming. Well I didn’t want Christmas Pjs for just one night, so I extended it to all of December. So the Elves put out the book on December 1st with (now 4!) wrapped packages of Christmas PJs. It’s a great tradition.

Ok so some of the things I’ve been eyeing up for the kids!


  1. Carson likes short sleeves and shorts. That’s hard to find. These are close and still festive!
  2. Ava loves winter dresses. Who knew.
  3. This looks as Minecraft and Roblox-ish as I could find without actually buying into for Jack.
  4. That moose though. Cute chunky baby thighs in these? Yes please. (They won’t be shipped till AFTER Christmas though, be warned.)
  5. Holiday thermos! They won’t fit in the calendar pockets, but we’ve encountered that before by just hiding them in the closet. Creative right?
  6. Chapstick – Ava’s into the EOS but the boys will probably get Chapstick brand. It’s necessary in the winter around here.
  7. Candy – lots of candy coins, santa shaped chocolates, and Lindor truffles. Everyone loves Lindors here!
  8. Minecraft/Shopkins – they’re all into the teeny packs of figurines.


We have a babysitter for the crew tonight, so we’ll be shopping and preparing for December 1st! We plan on picking up sushi on the way home and having a picnic in front of our favorite show. It’s going to be a great night!

What traditions do you have that help prepare the excitement for Christmas? Any countdown ideas? I’d always love to hear more! And if you have great and EASY hiding places for the Elf on the Shelf, clue me in too please!


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