Real Life Wednesday - Christmas Traditions

Happy Wednesday friends!

Today on Real Life Wednesday, I thought I'd talk about Christmas traditions.  Our little family of four is on the newer side, and this is the first year that Chandler is "getting Christmas" so I've tried to start/do a few things that I hope we can carry on as a family tradition.  They aren't fancy, or expensive (well, if you don't count the tree - haha, that was a little expensive but worth it) but I think they bring joy and are fun to do.
Christmas PJ's
This one is totally for me.  I think Chandler would be all in if I could find Christmas PJ's with tractors on them, but sadly those aren't available to my knowledge so tradition PJ's it is.  I had one pair left over from last year (Leverette, that I bought on Zulily) that Chandler wore on Christmas day so I'm planning on having Cal wear those Christmas day this year and I bought a similar pair from Macy's for Chandler.  One tip - you need to buy these early.  I bought mine in early November (or maybe even a Columbus day sale in October....) and even then, the sizes were limited which is why Cal has a two piece set and Chandler has a footie set in the same pattern.  I wait for a decent sale, buy them and then don't look back.
In addition to the set for Chandler, to match the ones he wore last year that Cal will wear this year, I also picked up the set below....but I have yet to make it thru a night in this pair, without Cal spitting up all over them.  And I've tried multiple nights, lol. 
Hopefully that isn't a sign of his thoughts about Christmas PJ's.  ;)
A few weeks ago, he lasted a whole half hour in them and I got a few pictures of them playing on the bed.

Christmas Trees
Yup, plural.
I have a big artificial tree in our living room (I know, my Oregon friends are scolding me because our state is a leading producer of REAL Christmas trees....but it is just so easy) and a smaller one in the boys' room.  I love the little one that glows all night for the boys, and it makes a great night light.  Chandler ooo'ed over it for a week when I first put it up.
I also get them each an ornament that represents the year.  This year Chandler got a dump truck (closest thing I could find to a tractor) and Cal got his "1st Christmas" rocking horse.  Chandler's ornament last year was a glass blown rocking horse from NFR that Terry & Anna gave him so I tried to stay with that theme for Cal.

And here's the thing - the lights are on both trees (because they're pre-lit) but I don't have a ton of ornaments on either one of them - and I'm not worried about it.  It's not worth the stress of worrying about Chandler pulling one down or breaking one - so I have a few that I mentioned above up high on the big tree, and a sweet banner my mom gave me, and I might add more towards Christmas - but not having it full of sentimental ornaments is kind of a big stress reliever. 
Fewer Presents
We did this last year, and I'm trying to stick with it.
We do stockings for the boys, and one big "Santa" present but then they each get from us four things:
1. One thing they need
2. One thing to wear
3. One thing they want
4. One thing to read
I figure if we start small, they don't have unrealistic expectations built up.  I really think giving gifts is fun....but it can also be really stressful, and so we just try to not go overboard.
Although let's be real (this is Real Life Wednesday) - I want to buy Chandler every tractor he runs and shouts for glee at.   And I really want to buy Cal all of the cute onesies I see in the store.  And I want to buy every cardigan on sale for myself, lol.  But I'm trying to show restraint.
Christmas Lights
My sister and I were talking about this last week - we both vividly remember our parents "making us" go look at Christmas lights every year after Christmas Eve service at church.  Growing up, we got to open one Christmas present on Christmas Eve (and then the rest the next morning) and my parents knew we were itching to get home after church, so they'd string us along and go look at lights.
Funny now.....but I remember SO wanting to be home, lol.

I think Chandler's babysitter Kelley makes a big deal over Christmas lights (which I love & appreciate) and so he "Oooooh"'s every time we drive by a house with lights up.  Last Saturday, while Clint was at the UCCA dinner I did baths early, loaded the boys up in the van and we drove around Hermiston looking at lights.  It was super fun for me, Chandler loved it....and Cal slept thru the whole thing.  :)  Hermiston families do a GREAT job with lights (we did a lot of zig zagging between 4th & 10th streets in the Highland Hills area) and I was really impressed with how many houses were decorated.
See?  Simple.
Honestly, I think the holidays can be really stressful - and by just doing a few things, we really get to enjoy this season in life.
What real life Christmas traditions do you have?


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