Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Merry Christmas, "Ya Filthy Animal!"

I can NOT wait for Christmas.  I've already blown up my Pinterest boards with Christmasy ideas, and have ordered so many decorations from Etsy that my husband is beginning to worry (just a little) from the amount of packages being delivered.  It's totally fine.  I do not have a shopping problem.  {At least, I don't *think* I have a shopping problem.}  I'm nesting, people!

Christmasy traditions I can't wait to continue this year…(these are a mixture of classroom related…and not classroom related stuff)--and, get ready, because I'm going to quote a ridiculous amount of Christmas movies in the following list:

1.  Watching Elf while putting up our family Christmas Tree the day after Thanksgiving!  {"Santa!  I know him!!!"  and "These toilets are GINORMOUS!"}

2.  Baking and decorating sugar cookies with my mom to remember and honor a sweet family friend who passed away years ago.  She made the absolute BEST sugar cookies in the world.  Even though I try, I still can't make them the way she did!

3.  A new tradition--thanks to inspiration from my friend, Cara Carroll--random acts of kindness! {Check out Cara's blog for her list of RACKing ideas!} I do this at school with my students too!  We discuss fun ideas to help out and make someone's day--and we talk about how this is the season of giving.  I explain that they are never too little to brighten someone's day.  I love how the kids get into it!

4.  Our grade level (teacher's only) "Dirty Santa/white elephant" party!  This year, I'm super pumped to be hosting the party at my house.  I love nothing more than planning a good party.  Below is the invite I created for it…{please know--if you've never watched the movie Home Alone, then you will NOT get this invitation!}  "Keep the change…ya filthy animal."


5.  Christmas Around the World scrapbooks!  Ahhhh!  I love doing this every year!  I am really excited because I have recently updated the scrapbook--everything in it looks 110 percent better-- in my opinion!  Please, if you bought this packet from me in the past, go download the new version under "my purchases" on TpT!  I hope you will love the new look, and new activities I've added!  :)  If you are interested in purchasing it, please click the pictures below:



Side note: {This unit takes me about 2-3 weeks to complete!  We "fly" to a country and complete new activities every two days!  The scrapbook comes with a teacher's guide, boarding passes, passport and stamps, letter home, and so much more!}


6.  Watching A Christmas Story on Christmas Eve {"You'll shoot you're eye out!"  "I triple-dog dare you!" and "It's a major award!"--leg lamp, anyone?}  while also eating a late night snack of mashed potatoes and corn.  (Yep, mashed potatoes and corn--the hubs and I have done this every year we've been married.)

7.  Polar Express Day at school!  I love that we all wear PJ's, enjoy hot chocolate, and watch The Polar Express!  Such a cozy and fun day.

8.  Having my whole family over for Christmas Eve.  The whole night, everyone randomly recites quotes from the movie Christmas Vacation--and we all laugh like it's the first time we've ever heard it...  "Is your house on fire, Clark?" I swear, my whole family could probably reenact that entire movie.  Cracks.  me. up.

{So, I just realized...almost all of my traditions involve movies! Ha!}
 
I love hearing about family/classroom Christmas traditions!  If you tell me about one of your most unique/special/cherished Christmas traditions (in the comments), I might just pick you to win a free copy of my updated, new and improved Christmas Around the World Scrapbook!  Leave your comment and your email address!    

P.S. If you don't follow me on Instagram, please do!  I have been better lately at updating my Instagram with fun classroom ideas than updating my blog--it's just so easy to snap a picture and write a quick little note!  I'm @firstgraderatlast  on Instagram!


 

31 comments:

Lovely Nina said...

Love your traditions and your Around the World Packet looks awesome!!

Debbie Teise said...

The last day of school before Christmas Break I cook up a Christmas feast with pancakes,eggs,bacon and OJ. Festive plates and napkins add to the atmosphere.... Just my way of letting my students know that I care about them.

Debbie.teise@gmail.com.

Reagan Tunstall said...

I WANT TO COME!!!!

Teacher At Heart said...

All of my memories involve Christmas movies too! One thing we do is a couple nights before Christmas, we all put on Christmas pjs and bring down sleeping bags and the kids have cocoa and fall asleep watching Christmas movies. Sometimes we make a craft or two :) We call it our "Sleepover Under the Christmas Tree"!

Teacher at Heart
teacheratheart123@gmail.com

Ashley said...

I know this might sound incredibly cheesy, but my family always goes to the later Christmas Eve w/ candlelight carol singing service. We just have to sing with candles in our hands! Also, another favorite tradition is just driving around town to see all of the beautiful Christmas lights/sets people put up to preparing for town decorating contests. There are some houses we go back to each year!

K @ The First Grade Clubhouse said...

Every year we decorate the Christmas tree while listening to our Bing Crosby Christmas record. I have done this since I was a little girl and I can now continue it with my family. My own three children love listening to music from a record player during this special time.

Miss Kindergarten said...

You are too cute Sarah! I can feel your excitement!

Becky Thompson said...

I love doing a Christmas advent calendar with our son and I'm thinking about making an abbreviated one for my student Christmas gift, in which I would give them simple ideas to do with their family and fun little trinkets to open :) BTW.....I would really love a copy of your Christmas Around the World unit. I'm new to 2nd grade and I'm trying to come up with a plan on doing Christmas around the World in my classroom.

Suzy Q said...

I love to make Christmas cookies! I make zillions of different kinds and then make huge plates for family and friends...and still end up with some in the freezer for later! I would LOVE a chance to win your updated packet...it is absolutely gorgeous!! tokyoshoes at hotmail dot com

Diane Peck said...

My favorite family tradition is going to Bristol Motor Speedway to see the "Speedway in Lights". You get to drive on the racetrack and see over 2 million lights. Quite a sight to see! dpeck@wise.k12.va.us

Southern Ladye said...

Thanksgiving night we go to a place in the country called the Lewis Lights. It is a family that decorates their entire house and yard in lights and wooden cutout characters. They have paths set up in the yard where you can walk through and look at all of the woodwork. They even have an elf family living in a hollow tree and angels on top of the roof overlooking the manger. They have the Christmas story on one side of the house for you to read and "Twas the Night Before Christmas" poem on the other side. When we finish our little tour, we head to the local donut shop for hot glazed donuts and coffee or chocolate milk! Yum, yum! simmons1993@yahoo.com

Jennifer White said...

Your party sounds like so much fun! Love the updated pack!
Jennifer
First Grade Blue Skies

Laurie said...

Love this packet!! One of the BEST purchases I've made.

Laurie
First Grade Lyons' Den

Laurie said...

Every year my family and I drive to cut down our own Christmas tree. We go on a tractor ride, drink hot cocoa, and sing Christmas songs. It is always a blast! This year is my nephew's first Christmas and the whole family is SO excited to go....only 9 more days but who's counting!
Laurie

Laurie said...

Oh i forgot my email address! Laurie
lshee3qx@gmail.com

Andrea said...

This year our team is doing a favorite things party. Sorta oprah on a buget style:) raya1212@hotmaul.com

Andrea said...

This year our team is trying a favorite things party. Sort of Oprah style...that is on a budget:) raya1212@hotmail.com

The Primary Patch said...

In my class we always make a community countdown chain until Christmas and at home we go to the same tree farm each year. Bryn
bryneven@Hotmail.com

Breanne Simons said...

We LOVE baking sugar cookies together. And watching Elf...at least 5 times. :) My dad loves watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation every year. Too funny!

Breanne
breannesimons@gmail.com

Kristy said...

We celebrate "Last Chance Day" on December 15 at our house. Santa comes that night and leaves a little gift and a note if you've been good or just a note if you've been not so good. This gives the kids 10 days to straighten up and change their behavior if they need to move from the naughty to the nice list or to encourage them to keep up the good work if they are already there!

Jennifer said...

We do Polar Express day too just like you. But add this twist to it. You'll love it! Our kids create train cars from large cardboard boxes, decorated for the holidays. Then they parade inside their train cars, wearing pajamas, as holiday music plays. We parade through the whole campus and all the other grade levels come out to cheer us on. Santa walks at the end of the parade, waving to all the kids. Then we take class pictures with Santa and he gives every child a small candy cane to eat with their hot chocolate as we watch the movie.The kids LOVE it!

Jennifer said...

We do Polar Express Day too. But you need to add this twist. Our first graders create a train car from a large cardboard box and decorate it for the holidays. Then we hold a Polar Express Parade where the kids parade through the whole campus. They are inside their train car and wearing their pajamas. All the other grade levels come out to cheer us on and listen to holiday music. Santa is walking at the end of the parade waving to all the students. Then each class has a picture taken with Santa and he gives each child a small candy cane to eat while drinking hot chocolate and watching the movie. The kids LOVE it! Jennifer Wolff jwolff@eanesisd.net Austin TX

Jackie said...

We watch Christmas vacation every year as well. Only every time someone says "Clark" in the movie you have to take a drink :) It often turns into a pretty fun night! I love your Christmas Around the World scrapbook!
brosimom@sbcglobal.net

Jenni Moyer said...

I love the updated packet--this will be year three for me and I can't wait to go around the world again with my little guys and our scrapbooks. I was thrilled when I saw the update on TPT and have already printed it out. Yay! Here's one of our {fairly unique} family Christmas traditions: one year when our big boys were still little, one of them somehow conflated Christmas stockings and Easter eggs and made it clear he expected his stocking to be hidden. My sweet hubby obliged and quickly hid the stockings. It's a hilarious tradition we've continued ever since, though each year my husband has had to get more and more creative about where to stash them. He has stuck them in every appliance we own, virtually every cabinet or drawer, in the umbrella stand and even up in the chandelier. One year he sneaked in after the boys were asleep and hid them down inside their beds by their feet. It took the boys forever the next morning to find them! The real capper was when he put our oldest son's stocking inside a trash bag and hid it inside the tank part of the potty! We had to give him lots of clues before he finally figured out where it was. :) Happy Advent!

siva s said...

Thanks for a great post. Just love it ! I love it so much, that the greedy visual-data gnome in me wants more !
Play school cds

Angela said...

Every year since I have been little, my grandmother, mom, aunts, cousins, and now my own little girl get together several nights before Christmas to make Christmas candy together.... that we then give to neighbors, friends, and co-workers. Each year my husband's co-workers always ask if we are still doing it this year! angela.wheeler@monroe.kyschools.us

Anonymous said...

I always liked getting to open one present on Christmas Eve. I didn't realize until I got older that it was always a pair of pajamas. :)
Holly
hollydiakite@gmail.com

sherri brown said...

My family started a tradition where you collect a stack of christma themed books and throughout the night each person takes turns reading one. We may put a tist on it this year, my husband found an idea of our shelf lf bringing 25 wrapped books(they will bot all be new) and each night, like an advent calendar, the kids will open one nd we will read it. Room5kinders@gmail.com. I love your packet, definitely adding to my wishlist to buy!

Courtney said...

OH my GOSH I adore Christmas. Everything about it. My favorite tradition would have to be my family's not-so-traditional Christmas Eve dinner. We always go to the candlelight service on Christmas Eve, and no one ever felt like cooking afterwards. (Ok, most of us in our family never feel like cooking, ever.) So one year we drove around until we found the one restaurant open on Christmas Eve- a little family owned Chinese restaurant with some FABulous crab rangoons. And so, tradition was born. :) Love this Christmas cheer filled post! ckuhlman@trinity.edu

Mrs. Glick said...

We just had our first child this year so we are excited to start new family traditions! Christmas jammies and a Christmas book on Christmas eve are the first ones!:)
Congrats on your new bundle, they're lots of fun!
katrina.glick3@gmail.com

Jennifer Jones said...

Cute invite Sarah! Will you share where you got the cute crazy chevron background paper? I love it.
Happy Holidays!
Jen

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