Christmas Traditions & ATB Day 12 Training

Every family has traditions for the Holiday Season. In our family one of our annual traditions during the Holiday Season is to head on down to the local Dollar Store and purchase Reindeer Antlers to put on the dogs. It’s has become an annual tradition because the dogs always end up eating the antlers I have bought for them and I find Jinglebells in their poop for weeks … ungrateful assholes.


“Please call the SPCA ASAP!”

Christmas can be an overwhelming time. Holiday parties, pageants and concerts start filling the calendar at the end of November and don’t let up until the New Year. Shopping makes me want to hide under a cozy duvet, only coming out after February 2nd when the groundhog tells me Spring in going to be early.

blanket kittyPhoto Source

When our Big’s were still little we lived across the country, far from family and the traditions we had. We began building our own traditions as a family of 4. Christmas Eve we would all have new pj’s waiting for us under the tree along with a family game. After dinner we would put on our new Christmas jammie’s and gather around the table for some Mouse Trap, Operation or Sorry before tucking two very excited little Big’s into bed for the night.

Christmas morning would dawn, the little Big’s would head downstairs to see what Santa had left under the tree for them and dig into their stockings. In our home Santa does not wrap the gifts he has left under the tree. Our first year living in Alberta was rough for me and I was homesick most of the time. Our families began shipping their gifts to us in late November and by the time we put up our tree on December 1st there would be a mountain of presents spilling out into the middle of the living room. It took the two little Big’s almost two days to unwrap everything under the tree, it was overindulgent and overwhelming.  As the Big’s grew bigger they came to expect this kind of Christmas and I knew these expectations needed to stop. If you asked them now what was wrapped up and under the tree they couldn’t tell you but they do remember the Fisher Price Wild West Town Santa left for them that year.


A few years ago we started a new tradition in the Dunwaetin home. I created a Wish List for the Big’s and Little that has 5 simple columns in it. Something I Want; Something I Need; Something to Wear; Something to Read and Something to Give. They can put as many items in each column as they want and we chose 1 item from each column for a gift. Under the Something to Give they chose a charity/event they want to give back to during the holiday season. Of course there is still a surprise from Santa under the tree for the now big Big’s and Little too.

There was some grumbling from the Big’s when we introduced this new tradition, I expected it, but like all traditions is has now become a part of our family Christmas along with new pajama’s, a board game and tucking excited children into bed on Christmas Eve.


ATB Training Update



What are some of your Holiday Traditions? Since starting this new tradition I no longer dread looking at my credit-card statement in January.

Does Santa wrap his gifts in your home or leave them unwrapped?


Meet Anita

I am a wife to a retired Army Captain and present day shepherd, a mother to two Big's (20 & 19) and one Little (6) and new to running at the age of 42. I am hopelessly addicted to Starbucks Peppermint Mocha's. My family thinks I am crazy. The voices in my head say they may be right.

2 Thoughts on “Christmas Traditions & ATB Day 12 Training

  1. I love that Santa’s gifts come unwrapped at your house. I am sure he would love to deliver ours unwrapped but he started a tradition with wrapping his gifts in a certain paper every year. I’m sure he can’t go back on that now! :)
    Lacy @ Running Limit-less recently posted…A Runner’s Christmas Wish ListMy Profile

    • I like the idea of Santa having his own special wrapping paper! Most of the gifts from Santa over the years were big (hockey nets) and difficult to wrap so it was easier for Santa to leave it under the tree (or beside the tree) unwrapped.

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