Welcome back to The Parenting Panel! I LOVE learning from other parents and viewing the world through different perspectives. I started the panel in hopes that we can all come together as a parenting community, rather than continue to judge the choices other families make. There is not one right way to parent…NO ONE has all the answers and there is no catch-all solution that works for every family. We’re all different and we all wake up and try to do the best we can for our kids. Let’s learn from each other and see if we can take away any ideas or realizations from others’ experiences! While this is still a fairly new feature on the blog, you can check out the Parenting Panel Archives, HERE!

Today we are talking holiday traditions…FUN! It has been so much fun for me to start to develop my own family’s set of traditions around the holiday season. We both chose a few things from our childhood that were important to us, but have also worked to build new traditions for our kids and our family. I loved reading what my fellow panelists do…getting new ideas and just sharing in the holiday fun with other moms! Read and enjoy today! Today is casual and fun, and I hope you are inspired with an idea or two!

For today, I hope you’ll find the opinions expressed useful…re-assuring…helpful…I know I do! I have come to appreciate these women and love their vulnerability each time we post!

What are a few of your favorite holiday traditions?

Panelist: Bekki (Chasing Supermom)

Who She Is: mom of three kids (5, 3, 10 months, and one coming in February!)

Find Her:http://www.chasingsupermom.com http://www.facebook.com/chasingsupermom @chasingsupermom

Response:  (We have so many, so I”m just going to give you a big list!) Every year on the 23rd, (my husband is a pastor, so he is busy with church stuff on Christmas Eve), we make homemade pizza, look at Christmas lights, watch the Charlie Brown Christmas movie with the kids, and then my husband and I stay up and watch It’s a Wonderful Life. My husband and I try to get away on at least one holiday themed date each season..typically to a Christmas play, and we love that time together. The kids each get a new Christmas book (or two or three) each year, as well as a Hallmark ornament. We read The Night Before Christmas each Christmas Eve, and the Christmas story from the Bible every Christmas morning. We open our stockings when we first wake up, but we take turns. We each take a turn opening one gift from our stocking at a time. This teaches the kids patience and also helps them see the enjoyment we all get from the presents we’ve given. Then we eat our special breakfast, and then we do the presents, again taking turns. One thing we decided to do early on was to keep Christmas nuclear. The only family we see on Christmas itself are my parents. (I’m an only child.) We see our extended family on different days and do our celebrations before or after Christmas day itself. I grew up rushing around to three or four family things, and never got time to play or relax…I love the casual way we’ve approached the day.





Who She Is: all-natural mama of 1 (17 months)

Find Her: chasesview.blogspot.com

Response: Last year was our first family Christmas (where it wasn’t just my husband and I). I decided to buy my daughter Christmas pajamas for Christmas morning that she could open on Christmas eve.  Other than that, we haven’t really started any new traditions.  I’d rather our traditions start organically instead of being forced- perhaps something my husband and I did as children, or something my daughter might decide to do every year.  My mother and grandmother have always made “Christmas Candy” consisting of homemade fudge, divinity, pecan tassies and aunt bill’s (don’t ask me why it’s called that!)  These are recipes that have been passed down from my great-grandmother.  My husband’s mother always makes Christmas sugar cookies.


Panelist: Tracy

Who She Is: mom of 3 (16, 13, and 9)

Find Her: Her blog/site: www.superblakebooks.com On Facebook:  facebook.com/superblakebooks On Twitter: twitter.com/superblakebooks

The tradition that my kids talk about most often is our Christmas Eve tradition.  We attend our church’s Christmas Eve service and then come home and they get to open one present.  Their present every Christmas Eve is pajamas.  They love putting them on and preparing for Santa’s arrival.


Panelist: Brandi

Who She Is: homeschooling mom of 4

Response:I could go on and on about them! I LOVE traditions and we have many. My favorite however is the celebration of Jesus birthday. We throw a HUGE birthday party for Jesus on Christmas eve. All of our extended family is involved and we prepare months in advance. We sing happy birthday and order a birthday cake that says happy birthday Jesus on it, we play pin the tail on the donkey, let off some small fire works and poppers, and have a feast of finger foods galore. My favorite part of his birthday is the gifts we offer Him. Everyone in the family gives him a gift of a talent that we have been blessed with. For instance my daughter (5) did a ballet dance, my son when he learned to read, read a Christmas story to all of us. My daughter has also written a book about her favorite things about Christmas, complete with pictures. We have done skits, played guitar, piano etc…. My brother-in-law is an amazing game “maker upper” (if that’s a word), so he always creates a game we cam all participate in. We have taken meals to families in need or other items. We have washed eachothers feet, recited verses, sing worship songs and we always attend the christmas eve service at church. So fun and amazing to see what everyone comes up with to give to God and serve others in his name. We all love it, big and small.

 Some other traditions we do are the elf on the shelf, ginger bread houses, we buy Christmas ornaments for each child from hallmark every year, we all get christmas jammies, bake together, do the advent calendar, and celebrate the 24 days before by doing something Christmas themed everyday. So fun I love the holiday and we go all out on traditions.


Panelist: Farrah

Who She Is: Mom of 3 under 3!
Find Her: http://thethreeunder.comOn Facebook, On Twitter

Response:We are just starting to make our own. Every year a boy will get his own ornament, which I wll pass (some) of them down to him when they are older. I also have a hardcover Christmas Memories book where I record the card, Christmas Eve events, then it takes you through the day of Christmas. I look forward to filling it out every year.

Panelist: Virginia

Who She Is: Mom of 2, one with Aspergers

Find Her: http://lifewithmybutters.blogspot.com/,  On Facebook, On Twitter

Blog Info: Alvin has Asperger’s syndrome  which is a form of autism and sensory processing disorder that goes along with it. He was diagnosed at 3.5 and until then we just thought he was a number wizard and  quirky. On the blog I talk about the highs and lows of dealing with his condition and along the way try and educate and share our experiences with others.

Response: We don’t really decorate until about half way through the month. On Christmas morning we make a breakfast casserole that my mom used to make. Since this is our first year in WA after moving in February from AL we will probably be making new traditions.

Panelist: Ruby
Who She Is: Newlywed without children (yet!)
Response:Some of our favorite holiday traditions including attending a Christmas or Christmas Eve service, opening a single gift on Christmas Eve, singing Christmas carols, and reading from the book of Luke. In my family, it’s also been a tradition for years to go to a movie on Christmas afternoon–after all the gifts have been opened and the mess of wrapping paper has been cleaned up, of course!


*Chasing Supermom does NOT tolerate negative/judgmental commenting. If you disagree with someone on the panel, that is great, and you are free to believe in what works for you….One reason I set up this panel was to allow people from differing points of view to express themselves. I disagree with several people on the panel on several issues…and love this. Bottom line: My blog is not a place of judgment. Every parent is free to be wholly themselves and true to their family and their children.