new traditions

In partnership with the Elf on the Shelf.

I read somewhere, that in families, tradition gives children a sense of belonging. It made me cry. It is truly all one of my greatest hopes as a parent, to always create a place that my kids belong. I know so many of you are in the same boat, when you come from a split family it can feel like you don’t know where that is. Or maybe everyone in your family is spread far and wide and there’s not really a “home base.” Or maybe there is tension between a parent and sibling, or you and a parent or sibling, or multiple family members.

Somehow between Russ and I, we have all of these things. And all in the last handful of years. So there has been a lot of discomfort in trying to figure things out, but we have found so much peace in focusing on our little immediate family. On making it special within the walls of our home and creating traditions at home and away that create that special feeling we were looking for. It is still sad! It doesn’t change that pain, but it gave us a sense of purpose and drive. We will always belong to this Frame family of five.

This Christmas more than ever we are sort of in limbo, the house isn’t quite done, we’re in a new place, away from the home and neighborhood we spent ten years in. The aforementioned family discomforts. On top of that Hayes, my seven year old, is questioning the magic of Christmas. He is skeptical but hopeful, I can see that much just hearing him talk and ask questions. I remember very vividly the difference between my believing years for Christmas and my unbelieving. How much better are those believing years?! So I am putting all my efforts into tradition this Christmas and making every day feel special and hopeful for him. I am doing it for me, too!

Jenna and Nicole adopted their elves many years ago and I wasn’t sure. Those posts were always so fun to do together even if we didn’t adopt our own elf (check them out here!) But, this year is all about new traditions and excitement and belonging and I am excited to spend our first Christmas season doing this for myself and my kids. We started with the An Elf’s Story DVD to teach them about the ways of the Scout Elves, our Elf is coming November 24th and they are so excited they will talk of little else! I snapped these photos while they watched and I just love the wonder in their eyes!Traditions When Your Don't Know Where You Belong  We also introduced the Elf Pets’s Saint Bernard who collects the Christmas cheer in the form of acts of kindness! He fills up the barrel on his neck and brings it back to Santa so he has enough to make sure Christmas comes! I love the service-oriented angle and the boys have set up a bed for Bowser Junior and tote him everywhere. We’ve heard our Scout Elf is Our Scout Elf is the service-oriented type too, so it will be fun to see what he comes up with. 😉Traditions When Your Don't Know Where You BelongThey love that they can cuddle him and he won’t lose his magic! They also love the games you can play and fun coloring pages, and his new Christmas outfit which they both audibly gasped at. Ha!TraditionsSo, if you’re feeling the same way as me I suggest making a list of your existing traditions. It might feel like you don’t have many, but the more you think the longer that list will be. Picking a tree out, seeing the lights in your town, shopping for a family in need. Sledding, Christmas movie marathon, scouting for the best hot cocoa in your town. Make that list and look at the things you would want to do with friends and family you feel comfortable with and plan ahead, send your invites out and make it a priority. Then save the special things for just your family. And put all the love and excitement you have into it! Letter to Santa Writing PartyThis year we are having a Letters to Santa writing party. Inviting friends over where we can all write our official letters together. I am so obsessed with this kit because they write their letter and then bake it – and it shrinks down nice and small so their Elf can deliver it back to Santa and brings it back to you once he’s read it so you can keep it forever or hang it on the tree! My kids can’t wait and it was an easy way to add excitement and meaning to something that we typically don’t put a lot of intention into.

Letter to Santa Writing PartyThanks to the Elf on the Shelf for making all of these new traditions possible! Check back to see our Letter Writing Party in action!

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