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we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things—not the
great occasions—give off the greatest glow of happiness." -Bob Hope
Twenty years from now, your children probably will not remember
much about what you gave them for Christmas this year. They probably will
not remember if they got everything or nothing that was on their list. But what they will remember are the sweet, simple moments they spent with
you, creating lasting memories. In the crazy rush of December, my husband
and I make sure to slow down with our two boys and take the time to enjoy the
season as a family.
Here are a few Garcia-Conrod established traditions that we look
forward to as Christmas approaches:
Shopping for a family in need: There are a lot of wonderful local charities that run toy and
food drives for families in need. Ask at your local church, YMCA, or Boys
and Girls club. You can also donate to larger foundations, such as: Toys
for Tots, Make
a Wish, Operation
Christmas Child, Angel
Tree and The
Christmas Spirit Foundation, among
Trimming the tree together: Instead
of making a chore out of decorating your tree, make it an afternoon of fun. Warm up some hot chocolate and eggnog, put on some holiday music and
stop worrying about how unevenly your kids are placing the ornaments.
Baking a family holiday recipe: Make it a tradition with your children to bake a recipe
that has been passed down through generations—cookies, a pie, a bread, etc. If your family does not have coveted recipe, start one yourself. (Who cares if you get it from foodnetwork.com? Nobody has to know.)
Taking a night to enjoy the lights: Walk around your city or drive around your town and enjoy all of
the decorations. In Manhattan, we always go to see the Rockefeller Center
tree and watch the people skating on the ice rink. I also love to walk by
Saks windows with my boys every chance we get.
Reading classic holiday books before bed: The titles on high rotation in our house are: Polar
Express, The Night Before Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Olive,
the Other Reindeer.
Watching classic holiday movies by the light of the Christmas
tree: A few of our favorites include: Miracle
on 24th Street, A Christmas Story, It's a Wonderful Life, A Muppet Family
Christmas and A Christmas Carol.