This year’s been an exciting one, albeit a very hectic one. I’m really looking forward to the holidays. I could really use that downtime to spend with my family. Sometimes it feels like we’re spinning our wheels, juggling so many things, that we often miss out on what’s really important. This month has been no exception, but we’re trying our hardest to make this a special Christmas for our kids.

For my 2 1/2 year old, she’s now entering her third Christmas, but really the first one where she’s beginning to get excited about everything. She’s helped me decorate the tree, decorate a gingerbread house (with the few candies that actually made it on the house), wrap mommy’s present and she’s been pulling numbers off our homemade Christmas countdown.

I remember as a kid, being really excited about this time of year and I want to pass that excitement and those memories down to my little ones.

Home is where the heart is

My fondest memories of Christmas time involved decorating our tree, helping to hang the outdoor lights, my mom baking her delicious cookies and desserts, chestnuts roasting in the oven, all in preparation for Christmas. I come from a pretty big family, so between uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents, we had about 40 guests at our house every Christmas Eve. My late grandfather would break out into song and everyone would join in. We ate, we talked, we laughed, we played board and card games ’til the wee hours of the morning. And in the morning I would race downstairs to unwrap the gifts, sit down for breakfast and off to Christmas mass we’d go, all as a family.

Christmas is a time about being together with the ones you love. It should be a special and social gathering, a time where everyone gets together and spends time together with their family and/or friends (away from the iPads and TVs).

Starting our own traditions

So, we’re trying to create little holiday traditions of our own. The other night we bundled up our girls and packed them into the car and drove around some of the neighbourhoods around us to see everyone’s outdoor Christmas lights and decorations. And we had a blast! My 2-year old was so excited “look at that daddy…look at that!”. It was a little reminder of how the little things matter and they don’t have to cost a thing. In the end, traditions are what you make of them, so find a way to make them memorable, in your own little way.

And if you’re a parent, instead of creating traditions based on any preconceived notions of what family traditions should be, try drawing inspiration from your own children. For example, my daughter loves lights, so that’s something were definitely going to continue and find other ways to incorporate into our traditions.

Looking back and looking ahead

One thing I started doing this year, that I mentioned in my new year’s post at the beginning of the year, was to keep a record of this year’s special moments. Time just flies by and it’s amazing when you look back at a list of a whole year’s special moments and see what you’ve actually accomplished. Everyone focuses on the goals they haven’t accomplished yet. Instead cherish the little things and focus on what you have accomplished already. And plan, plan, plan for the things you want to do tomorrow. Don’t wait till the New Year to make resolutions. Set goals regularly.

God bless ye thrifty ladies and gentlemen

I want to take the time to thank all my readers that come and visit my posts week after week. And especially those who have taken the time to share, leave comments on my post and taken the time to write me an email.

Here’s a list of the top commenters on this site. I also follow all of these bloggers myself and have learned quite a great deal from them. So, please take the time to check them out.

And according to Google Analytics, these were your favourite articles of 2013:

We’ve been working our butts off this month (lots of all-nighters – not easy to do with two young children) to wrap up some big projects. So I’m taking a little time off at Thrifty Dad and will hopefully see you all back here in the New Year with some fresh and thoughtful content.

Until then, I hope you all make the very best of your holidays. To those that are celebrating Christmas, have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year to all.

If you’re looking to make a cool $500 this holiday. LowestRates.ca is holding a contest for one lucky Canadian. All you have to do is enter your name, email address, and how you plan to save money in 2014. Click here for contest details.

Also if anyone has any tips on how to take Christmas pictures of an energetic two year old, I’m all ears.

 

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