Christmas Boxes – My New Favorite Christmas Tradition

Christmas Boxes – My New Favorite Christmas Tradition

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house…  I’m writing this post by the light of our Christmas tree with instrumental music playing in the background.  Now that we were finally able to hang ornaments on our tree, it is finally starting to feel like Christmas.  I am very excited to share our family tradition of Christmas Boxes with you.  They have become one of my new favorite Christmas traditions.

Growing up our family always did the same thing on Christmas Eve.  Mom would put the ham and potatoes in the oven.  We would go to Christmas Eve service at Church.  After, we would come home and eat Christmas dinner on mom’s fine China.  Everyone helped clear the table, put away all of the food, and handwash all of the dishes.  Then, the event my brother and I couldn’t wait for…we were like “kids on Christmas”.  Oh wait, we were kids on Christmas!  It was time to OPEN PRESENTS!!!

When my husband was growing up, Christmas presents weren’t opened until Christmas day in his house.  This caused us some challenges as we worked to figure out what the tradition would be in our house.  He did it my way for many years.  Several years ago we adopted the tradition of going to the midnight service at our Church.  The service starts at 11 pm and ends just past midnight in a dark sanctuary with everyone holding a candle and singing silent night.  We have continued this tradition even though this means we have to wake our children up and bring them to church in the middle of the night.  When we started doing this, we stopped opening presents on Christmas Eve so our kids could head to bed early and get some sleep.

A New Tradition is Born

Christmas Eve BoxI found these great boxes at a craft store last year and immediately knew that they held the magic for a great new family tradition.  I had an idea that would allow me to feel like I was honoring my childhood tradition of opening presents on Christmas Eve while honoring my husband’s family tradition of opening on Christmas Day.  And so the tradition of Christmas Eve boxes was born in our house.  I have purchased a box for each of my three children.  I fill the boxes with lots of Christmas love and goodies.

Ideas for what to put into the boxes

  • Christmas PJs (to wear to bed on Christmas Eve)
  • A Christmas Book
  • Hot Chocolate & Marshmallows
  • Mug (for the Hot Chocolate)
  • A Christmas Snack
  • A Movie to Watch as a Family
  • Slippers
  • A Cozy Blanket

The kids get to open their boxes before bedtime on Christmas Eve.  Last year they all changed into their PJs, enjoyed a cup of hot cocoa and we read their Christmas books before they headed to bed.  This year I purchased a new movie for us all to watch together on Christmas morning.

To make our tradition even more special, I have asked each of the kids to write their favorite memory from Christmas that year.  Their memory goes into their Christmas box before it gets packed away.  Each year they will get to read their Christmas memory from all of the past years.

Just for fun…here is an outtake from our Christmas Eve boxes Christmas Eve Box Outtake

I love sharing this tradition with my kids.  I hope you have enjoyed it as well!  What is your favorite Christmas tradition in your house?

Christmas Banner for Cute Christmas Card Display

Christmas Banner for Cute Christmas Card Display

One of my favorite signs of the Christmas season is receiving Christmas cards from many of our friends and neighbors.  I used to just stack up all of the cards, not really knowing where to put them.  A few years ago I decided to hang them up on the wall in our kitchen and a new tradition was born.  Now our kitchen wall transforms into the “Christmas Card Display Wall” each year and lovingly displays all of the cards, pictures, and letters we receive.  This year I decided to make it even more festive by adding this adorable (and really simple!!) Christmas banner.

I used my Cricut Explore and the entire project only took me about 15 – 20 minutes.  I’m going to share my template with you so if you want to make one of these adorable banners for yourself, it couldn’t be easier!

Step 1 – Choose your Paper and Ribbon.

I used three different colors: color 1, color 2, and color 3.  I didn’t measure the ribbon but started with a fairly full spool of my chosen ribbon.

Step 2 – Open and Sign into Cricut Design Space

You can complete this project on an older Cricut if you don’t have the new Cricut Explore.  If this is the case, you will either need to find a cartridge that has a similar Banner (the specific banner I used was from Birthday Bash and the text is from Everyday Fonts), however, feel free to choose something else depending on what you have.  If you are using an older Cricut, cut the banner directly on the machine and jump down to step four.

Step 3 – Open the Christmas Banner Design

I’ve done all of the hard work for you.  You can simply open the design, load your mat and start cutting.  I made my banner fairly small.  Each flag measures 2 1/4″ tall.  You can feel free to adjust the size of the flag to suit your needs.

Layout of Cricut Explore Template

Step 4 – Assemble each Letter of your Banner

This is perhaps the most time-consuming part.  You will need to glue on the border and the letter to each flag.  My absolute favorite glue for projects like this is this one.  It glides on easily and can go over the openings in the letters smoothly.  I could not craft without this glue!  I used this brand new tool that I got for the first time for this project and I loved it!  It’s really inexpensive and was perfect for picking up the letters and holding them down while I glued them.  I usually get glue all over my fingers and was thrilled when I was able to keep them sticky free!

Christmas Banner In Progress

Step 5 – String Banner together with Ribbon

Start with the last letter in each word and thread the ribbon from the back through the right hole, across the front of the flag and then back down the left hole.  Then continue threading the ribbon through the rest of the letters in the word.  You can decide if you want the full “Merry Christmas” to be on one line or to separate it.  I chose to separate mine.  Be sure to leave the ribbon long on each of your ends so you can decide how you want it displayed on your wall.

Thread Ribbon Through Each Flag

Threading Ribbon on Christmas Banner

BONUS STEP: You can add eyelets to each of the holes with a Crop-a-dial.  I didn’t take this step with this banner but it is a really nice touch if you are giving this as a gift or really want to make sure it stands up to years and years of use.

Once it is complete, you can attach it to your wall with a bit of invisible tape and that’s it!  This banner is versatile so you don’t have to limit it to a Christmas card display wall.  You can hang it on your fireplace, dress up your kid’s bedroom or door, decorate your office or cube at work…  The possibilities are endless!

Christmas Banner on Wall

I hope you have enjoyed this quick and fun Merry Christmas Banner tutorial and idea for a Christmas card display wall!  What do you do with your Christmas cards once the holidays are over?  Be sure to check back soon because I’ll be sharing with you the absolutely adorable crafty tradition I started to save all of my Christmas cards.

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