Although we have never formally made a list of things we like to do leading up to Christmas, I think the kids would agree that there are certain things that belong on a bucket list of sorts when it comes to experiencing all we like to experience in December. Just a few of our traditions are light-looking (several trips, at least one involving hot cocoa), making cookies and chocolate covered pretzels, adopting a Children's Wish family to buy for, watching holiday shows/movies, hanging lights outside, making gingerbread houses, preparing Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes, decorating the house, reading the many Christmas books we have, homemade spaghetti and meatballs for Christmas dinner.... I guess that's more than just a few.
Maddux and Eli decorated small Christmas trees in their rooms, including lights. Next year Eli tells me he wants to 'really blow it out' with the outdoor lights. Interesting since I'm the only one ever setting them up. I told him he'd have to be more involved if he wants me to add to the many strands I already put up.
Each year we have the kids open their gifts to each other on Christmas Eve, mostly as a way for those gifts to be set apart from the rest and for them to be able to really focus on the thought behind them. This year, both older kids chose to give each other experiential gifts (with no prompting!). Maddux got Eli a fun football game and a dinner date to Doc Cheys. Eli made Maddux a small blanket (weaved) and a dinner date to Chipotle. They both loved their gifts. Maddux was SO excited for Eli to open hers; she sat next to him on the couch and watched his expression when he opened it, smiling at the slightest indication that he liked his gift (which he did). That girl loves her brother! Ruby got the kids walkie talkies which they were crazy excited about. They kept them in their rooms, chatting for a while after we put them to bed. Eli and Maddux got Ruby a small bean bag chair (which she loved).