Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gift Traditions

Every Family has Christmas gift traditions.  Do you open one on Christmas Eve, and the rest in the morning, or all of them on the eve?  Do you fill stockings?  Do you have a tradition of drawing names among the adults, or of making homemade items?  We all celebrate Christmas gifts with traditions that can be unique to our family.

One tradition I loved growing up was from an Aunt of mine.  Every year she gave me a nice set of pyjamas and some perfume or shampoo that was way more pricey than I would  normally use.  Each year I looked forward to her present and always opened it on Christmas Eve so I could wear the new pjs….except I had to rethink that once I got into my teens and she sent me a bra and panties set.  Not what a 14 year old wants to open in front of her brothers and male cousins!  Okay, but that memory makes me laugh now!

We’ve started some tradition gifts of our own too.  Each year since having kids, we’ve given them a board game for Christmas.  I can’t say enough good things about them.  So good for kids, fun for us, and a great activity for family nights.  It’s getting a little harder now that our kids are further spread out in age and abilities.  Baden loves chess.  Lily is not interested in anything except throwing the pieces around.  Colleena is somewhere in between, loving games like Candy Land, Guess Who, and Life on the Farm.  Othello has been a good compromise between the older two, since it’s strategy is like chess and appeals to Baden, but it’s simplicity attracts Colleena too.

Over the last few months, both Baden and Colleena have been interested in “mystery solving”.  We’re reading them Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys.  I got out my old “Clue” the other night, and we played it with the kids.  Colleena had to be on a “team” since her reading, at 4, is limited and she couldn’t read all the words on the clue sheet each player gets.  They both loved it so much, however, that it sparked an idea for my Christmas list.  This year, their annual board game will be Clue Junior.  I’m looking forward to hours playing it and solving the mystery of the missing carnival prizes.

Do you have a tradition gift that you give your kids each year?  What are your favourite children’s board games?

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