Just like the commercial says, "having children changes everything". My first Christmas as a parent I decided that I was going to start some traditions that we would do every year and that hopefully my kids would cherish and continue on with them when they had their own familes. Some of the things that we do are....the kids get to open a present on Christmas Eve...this present is ALWAYS going to be new pj's so the pictures look good in the morning!=), Santa brings ONE gift (after all, he can't carry too much in that sleigh (the rest are from mom, dad, and family), Santa leaves a bell from his sleigh along with a thank you note for the milk and cookies, we are going to have birthday cake for Jesus, and Elvis hangs out at our house for the month leading up to Christmas!!! Yes, you read that correctly, I said Elvis hangs out here at my house!=)
Elvis is the name that we gave our Elf on the Shelf. My sister, Marie, gave him to us last year. The Elf on the Shelf is a book that she got that basically tells the story of this elf that comes to your house and watches over the kids. He flies to the North Pole each night to report to Santa about the kid's behavior. The next morning he is sitting somewhere different so the kids KNOW that he left and returned! He sure helped to keep Tyler in check last year!=)
We got the tree up today. I decided not to spend my holiday season yelling at the kids so I didn't hang up all my good ornaments and went easy on the decorations. I let the kids help decorate the tree that went out front and they were good watchers when Marshall put up the tree. Tyler did help me with some of my family ornaments before he went to bed but I finished the rest after the kids were asleep.