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One way of creating lasting memories for your family and children is by integrating a holiday tradition each year. They can be quite a bit of fun and it's never too late to start if your family hasn't started one yet. Take an idea from these moms below or make up your own. Your family will love you for it for years to come.

A Christmas tradition my mom started with me that I have carried on is wrapping presents all in different wrapping paper. When I was young, my Mom had many rolls of paper, ribbons and tags. They were all so beautiful, you wanted to use them all. And that we did! Every package was wrapped in different paper so that each person rarely had any two packages to open that had the same paper. We also saved all the paper scraps to wrap the stocking presents with. Nothing goes to waste. Today, I do this with my own family. I have a big box with about 25 rolls of paper. When one roll ends, I open a new roll, so I always have about 25 rolls open. I have guy-type paper, with deer and a more masculine look. There is also the pretty paper with birds and flowers for the ladies. Then the fun kid paper with kitties, snowmen and such. Another tradition is that Santa wraps all the presents except for one. Santa uses paper with Santa on it. Add the fancy ribbons and colorful bows and it makes for a gorgeous scene under the tree on Christmas morning.
Pamela Sabedra President - Keystone Connect

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Christmas has always been a very special time for our family. Growing up my mom would make sure to decorate every corner of the house with snowmen, Santa's, lights, greenery and much love. My dad, although not much of a decorator, was always in charge of picking out just the right tree.

Our family has grown quite a bit over the years with new spouses and children, extending our immediate family. With this, we each wanted to be at home on the 25th with our new families and start our own traditions. To do this we decided to make the weekend before Christmas the time when all our families would come together to celebrate the holidays.

One thing we've done to help each other with the expense of a large extended family is that we all buy for the children, but we draw names for the adults. We decided that the gifts for the adults would all be handmade, which has added a very special touch to the meaning of "giving with ones heart". This has actually worked out wonderfully for our family and the gifts that have been given over the years have been truly incredible. Another tradition we have is rather than having a formal sit down dinner, each person brings his or her favorite dish and we set it up buffet style and eat all day long.


How fun is that?!?! My mom makes her prized Seafood Bisque and Cheese Fondue every year (my personal favorites). I make my "secret" buffalo style chicken wings and the list goes on. This has brought us so many lovely memories in sharing the spirit of Christmas together as a large extended family over the years.

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Every year after Thanksgiving, my children go up to their rooms and choose five toys each that mean a lot to them and we donate them to charity. Then, we sit down and they get to go through catalogs, look on the internet, or tell mommy what they'd like for Christmas. My son is turning five this Christmas Eve, and he's been doing this since his first birthday and he really likes taking the toys to others for them to enjoy. My daughter, who is three, is still getting used to the idea of parting with some of her toys.
Heather Mitchell - Owner, Azure Star

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