Since we got together over 3 Christmas's ago my now husband and I have been putting together Christmas/Holiday Eve boxes for our kids. They've become increasingly important to us as we now live farther from family and all the (ridiculous amounts of) presents they send end up packed into Christmas morning over Skype. We like to have time to be together as a family just the 4 (sometimes 5 when my mother is in town) of us.
We aren't religious as a rule. Unless you count a sometimes affinity of Unitarianism or Buddhism. So our holiday celebration isn't really about "Jesus's birthday". For us it's about celebrating thousands of years of history, differing beliefs, and being together as a family. So each of us opening a box on Christmas Eve together is our big tradition.
This year was the first year I really got crafty with it. So I made each of my kids a re-usable Christmas Eve box.
The front of each box is their name, with a wooden letter for their first initial.
On the side I've painted "Twas the night before Christmas" on each of them.
With a slightly different design on each box. I left plenty of room to add something each year.
While I was there I bought pipe cleaners, googly eyes, a hot glue gun, and pom poms (my Walmart had a craft bag with everything but the hot glue gun in it, but I can't find it on the internet anywhere) for my next project, which to the best of my knowledge was an original idea. I already had the hot chocolate k cups on hand. We got them for a steal at Aldi. These would also make great ornament crafts for kids with used k-cups.
In case it isn't self explanatory I bent the brown pipe cleaners into antlers and hot glued them to the back of the k-cup, glued the googly eyes to the lip of the k-cup/the antlers and then glued the nose to the front. To turn it into an ornament all you'd need to do is add string or ribbon to the back where you glued the antlers.
I also used the pipe cleaners for my next project.
After these were made I also made 2 with ribbon but honestly I really preferred the pipe cleaners as it gives you much more control. You can find the snowman printouts here. After that you can either do like I did (since it's not cold here) and cut hats out of black construction paper then glue them to the top, or you can tie a glove around his head to make a hat. There are tons of these on Pinterest with different variations (like gluing on your old buttons). If you do happen to live Northerly, this is a great way to incorporate winter necessities like hats, scarves and gloves.
I also printed out this cute little poem to accompany the popcorn.
You can print them online here.
After all this I was for the first time in my life finding that I enjoy crafting so I went to a local dollar store and grabbed an inexpensive wedding figurine.
Since it's my husband and I's first married Christmas I added the year and a quote that means a lot to us "together or not at all" were the last words Amy and Rory spoke to one another before jumping off a building to save the universe on Doctor Who. We wrote the quote into our wedding vows. This kind of ornament crafting is EXTREMELY easy and will probably be my new gift giving go to.
I had my sons ornaments personalize via a groupon they had running this year. I made the fallout ornament with the same method as the one I made my husband, just a little hot glue and ribbon. My husband got me a first married Christmas ornament and I bought my mom a Christmas with nana ornament.
We all put our ornaments on the tree while drinking hot cocoa (a little Kahlua for mommy) and watching Home Alone (one of the movies on Riley's Lego flash drive)
The final product ends up looking a bit like this.
Riley got a book about Christmas traditions and where they came from. Hayden got a Winter Solstice book. Neither of them have been read yet because my kids were totally mesmerized by movies and candy.
My husband put this amazing necklace in my box and made me tear up, you can read all about his amazing gifts to me this year here.
Happy holidays to you and yours.