Category Archives: Christmas

Christmas Traditions: Gift Wrapped Doorway and Christmas Blocks


Christmas Morning Tradition: Gift Wrap Doorway

When Santa was here on Christmas Eve, not only did he leave presents for the children, and leave his messy boot prints all over our room…but he also gift wrapped the doorway!

Santa gift wrapped the doorway!

Now the Christmas tree and the presents were trapped behind a wall of wrapping paper. The only way to get to the gifts…was to bust through the wrapping paper!

Busting through the gift wrapped doorway on Christmas morning!

It was actually harder than it looks to bust through that paper! Because of the way our doorway is set up there were actually two layers of wrapping paper to get through.

Busting through the gift wrapped doorway on Christmas morning!

Perhaps at your house the bedroom doorway gets wrapped instead of the living room, or perhaps it’s tissue paper or streamers instead of wrapping paper.

The great thing about the gift wrapped doorway tradition is that it can work for so many different families, whether Santa visits your house or not! It’s one that mom’s and dad’s can do themselves without Santa’s help. It’s one that teenagers can enjoy and look forward to as much as little children.

Busting through the gift wrapped doorway on Christmas morning!

Another Christmas morning tradition that we have in our family is the ceremonial knocking down of the Christmas blocks. Okay, it’s not ceremonial at all…but it is fun! In the photo below Jonathan was almost 11 months old and he crawled right to the blocks to knock them over.

Knocking down the Christmas blocks

It will be interesting to see how long it takes the kids to knock the blocks down this year. Will they be more interested in Santa’s footprints or the presents? Or will they knock the blocks down right away? Will they fight over who gets to knock the blocks down or cry because “So-and-so knocked the blocks down first and I wanted to do it!”
I mean, of course I like to purposely implement traditions that will inevitably create discourse amongst the children…who doesn’t?! 😉

So far knocking down the blocks has been a fun little Christmas morning tradition, we’ll see if it remains fun as the kids get older!

2013 Update: Our wrapped doorway was a little less exciting this year. Check it out here: Merry Christmas 2013! Jon seemed a little overwhelmed on Christmas morning, but when my husband pointed out the blocks to him he was thrilled to knock them down! 🙂

Christmas Morning Tradition: Gift Wrap Doorway

Does Santa gift wrap your door way?
What are some of your fun Christmas morning traditions? Let me know in the comments!


Santa Proof: Santa leave sooty boot printsSanta Proof: Phone Calls from Santa

This post is linked to:

SITS Sharefest 12/21/2013

Creative K KidsmainbuttonThe Weekly Kids Co-OpLink-Learn-fall-2012

Christmas Book Countdown

Christmas Book Countdown Advent

Here’s a quick and easy activity we do to countdown to Christmas day. Unwrap and read a Christmas book each day until Christmas!

Christmas Book Countdown Advent

It’s already December 2 and I haven’t wrapped the books yet this year. Oops. I always tell myself that I’m going to get these things done before Thanksgiving and then I always forget, or someone gets sick, or I’m distracted by something shiny. Maybe I should wrap them this year before I pack them away. That sounds smar…Squirrel! Wait, what was I saying?

Christmas Book Countdown Advent

How does your family countdown to Christmas?
What are your favorite Christmas books?
Let me know in the comments!

Christmas Morning Tradition: Gift Wrap Doorway10wayschristmaspjs1


Santa Proof: Magical Santa Bootprints

Santa Proof: Magical Santa boot prints in your home!

I’m not sure what it is about our house but legendary figures are always leaving messy footprints in our house after a visit. First Leprechauns, then the Easter Bunny, and now…Santa Claus!

For the past two years Santa has magically descended our non-functioning chimney and left his sooty boot prints on our carpet on his way to the Christmas tree.

Santa leaves his dirty boot prints!

In 2011 Santa left a trail directly to the tree.
He must’ve ran out of soot on the way back.

Santa leaves his sooty bootprints on Christmas morning!

But in 2012 Santa wasn’t quite so neat.
He left footprints everywhere…what a mess!
Luckily Santa’s boot prints vacuum up quickly and easily.

Santa Proof: Santa leaves his sooty bootprints on Christmas day!

…and we noticed something interesting. Santa’s boot prints are truly magical indeed, in fact they change while he’s walking! Every so many steps he would leave a “Ho Ho Ho” or “SC” foot print behind.

Santas Magical Bootprints

In some homes Santa leaves white snowy boot prints with magical North Pole snow that doesn’t melt. For us, it’s soot. I’ve also heard reports from some families that get reindeer hoof prints inside their house! I guess it’s a good thing that we set our oats and carrots for the reindeer out on the back porch.

Santa Soles, make Santas sooty boot prints!
The product used to create Santa’s plain soot boot prints was Santa Soles. While I’ve seen many other products for creating Santa’s snowy boot prints, this is the only one that I’ve found that imitates soot. Visit and like the Santa Soles Facebook Page
Santa Soles allow you to create Santa’s footprints in your very own home, adding to the magic of Christmas morning. Santa Soles are the footprints that dreams are made of!  Santa Soles are templates that allow you, along with our non-toxic, non-staining “soot” to create Santa’s footprints right in your home! Our “soot” is safe for use on all types of flooring and vacuums up easily, making clean up a breeze!

Other stencils/templates used: “Ho Ho Ho” and “SC
Hohoho Santa BootprintSC with Snowflake Santa Bootprint

Disclosure: I found, purchased, and reviewed the product “Santa Soles” and the additional boot print templates on my own. I was not given the products for free, I was not compensated in any way, and I was not asked to post a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Santa Proof: Santa leave sooty boot prints

Does Santa leave boot prints in your house?
Let me know in the comments!

This post is linked to:

Creative K Kids

Santa Proof: Phone Calls from SantaPhotos of Santa in your home!Watching Santa feed his reindeer


Merry Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas!

The Cool Family

Adaline (3y) and Jonathan (10m)
Rocking our Ugly Christmas Sweaters!

I’ve been taking a long blogging break. Things have been really busy here in the real world and the family is my priority. I’ll be back eventually, but I’m not sure when. Until then check out my archives for great family fun ideas.

This post is linked to…

Related Posts:
*Merry Christmas 2011
*Merry Christmas 2010

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

How to Celebrate LEON Day! (6/25)

How to Celebrate LEON Day

Happy LEON Day! Leon is “Noel” spelled backwards and Leon Day, June 25, marks the halfway point to Christmas…just 6 more months!

Here are some ideas of how to make Leon Day special!

1. Celebrate a mini-Christmas: Get out some of the Christmas decorations, Santa hats, and Christmas books, movies, and music, put on those Christmas jammies and ugly holiday sweaters and get into the Christmas Spirit a little early this year!
(The easiest way to do this is to get some cheap, tacky Christmas decorations on clearance after the holidays and stash them in their own little box just for this occasion!)

2. Christmas Luau: To really celebrate a summer Christmas, have a Christmas Luau! Use silk poinsettia flowers in your hair, tinsel garland for leis and grass skirts, and hula away to Mele Kalikimaka.

Mele Kalikimaka Hawaiian Christmas Party @ Lynlee’s Petite Cakes
Also featured here

Mele Kalikimaka Christmas Freebie Tag @ Loralee Lewis

Tips on Hosting a Hawaii Theme Christmas Party!
Planning a Hawaiian Christmas Luau

3. Have a backwards day:
Since Leon is “Noel” spelled backwards you can have a backwards day.
(You can incorporate this with the Christmas stuff or do it alone.)
A few backwards ideas:
*Write backwards, read backwards
*Wear your shirt/clothes backwards
*Walk backwards, talk backwards, sing backwards
*Turn the furniture backwards or sit backwards in your chairs
*Backwards meals:
-Serve breakfast for dinner or serve dessert first.
-Set the dinner table with all of the plates, cups and utensils upside down or backwards (cups where plates would go, etc.)
-Serve food in a glass and drinks in a bowl or on a plate?! (Messy!)
-Sit on the floor and eat off of your chair.

How do you celebrate LEON day with your family? Let me know in the comments!
Enjoy LEON day and I can’t wait to see you back here
in about 5 months for some great Christmas posts!

How to Celebrate LEON Day

*Originally posted on June 25, 2011


Uncle Ugly’s Christmas Sweater Jamboree 2011

In 2010 our family started a new Christmas Eve tradition: Uncle Ugly’s Christmas Sweater Jamboree, which is just a fancy way of saying “Ugly Christmas Sweater Competition”. It was a hit and my very own Cool Daddy came away as the victorious champion!

Ugly Christmas Sweater Tradition (Coolest Family on the Block

For 2011 some contestants upped their game, others dropped out altogether (party poopers).

2011 Ugly Christmas Sweaters Tradition

Let’s start things off with a group photo of the cool family.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters Tradition

Here is Cool Daddy, last year’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Champion. We were all relieved that he chose to ditch the creepy mustache from last year.

It’s difficult to describe what’s happening with his sweater, because I honestly don’t know. He’s sporting a lovely lady’s sweater vest with flashing snowflake lights on one side and candy cane garland on the other. Look closely and you will see a gold and a red tinsel tree on either of his shoulders (blends into the background, boo!). He added some Christmas underwear from the Dollar Tree because…well, I don’t know. I have no idea why anyone would pin underwear to their sweater, but it happened. I apologize.

He paired his sweater with some Christmas tree pajama bottoms and a snazzy plastic candy cane cane. Yes, a cane cane.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters Tradition

Here I am rocking an ugly Christmas sweater, maternity style! I was almost 8 months pregnant with Jonathan.

Maternity Ugly Christmas Sweater

I trimmed a red sweater vest with tacky multi-colored disco ball garland. My baby bump is adorned with a Christmas wreath with flashing snowman lights. The wreath is topped with double bow goodness, a giant felt red bow and a giant shiny silver gift bow. A Santa Claus stocking on the side is the perfect place to tuck the battery pack from the lights.

Maternity Ugly Christmas Sweater

In 2010 my sister totally flaked out on the sweaters and barely participated. This year she wore a red sweater, which was an improvement. She altered the sweater by writing “Merry Christmas” in magic marker and attaching a baby onesie, or is it a dog shirt? She’s wearing a baby bib around her neck. Why? I don’t know. I’m confused by the whole thing. Perhaps the “bah humbug” on her shirt is the key to it all. I do enjoy her headgear which is actually a tissue box cover.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters Tradition

Last year after my sister dropped the ball my brother-in-law was stuck with a completely un-Christmasy sweatshirt. He did bring home the title of “Most Naturally Ugly Sweater” in 2010 because his was the only one completely unaltered. In 2011 he was in it to win it. This completely unaltered black sweater vest has charming plaid accents that add country appeal. The sweater is perfectly complimented by a turtleneck covered in poinsettias on a field of green.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters Traditions

My mom is stuck on Christmas in this red sweatshirt accented with puffy Christmas stickers in the shape of a Christmas tree. The children had taken quite a few of her stickers off of her shirt before I could get a picture. A sticky situation to say the least! (bah-dum-ching)

Ugly Christmas Sweaters Tradition

My cousin, Ben, took the loss hard last year. He had come with his game fast on, an entire Christmas tree on his chest, and presents on his feet and he still failed to bring home the title of “Ugly Christmas Sweater Champion”.

In attempt to keep history from repeating itself, Ben kicked things up a notch with this celestial beauty. A swatch of blue framed in fluffy fiber fill is the perfect heavenly background for this dollar store plastic doll posing as an angel. Perched on a tuft of cloud she is just out of reach of her harp made of Styrofoam. She is accompanied by a few other heavenly hosts and doves. Accessories include a marabou halo, angel wings, and puffy cloud shoes.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters Tradition

My cousin Aunia is a brick house, or at least her sweater is. Strategically placed strips of white foam on a red shirt creates the illusion of bricks. In the center sits a door decorated with a lovely lit wreath. That’s not all…open the door to find a festive living room complete with Christmas tree and presents! Ugly or adorable?

Ugly Christmas Sweaters Tradition

Now is your last chance to guess who was the winner of the 2011 Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest.
Click below if you need a refresher on the rules.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest Rules

Announcing the 2011 Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest Winners…

Ugly Christmas Sweater Champions

Ben was more than pleased to earn the title of Ugly Christmas Sweater Champion. My baby bump and I waddled away with the title of “Most Overall Festive Attire”, and Matt claimed the title of “Most Naturally Ugly Sweater” for the second year in a row.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Champion

Just a boy kissing his trophy. Nothing to see here, people, move along.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Tradition

Ugly Christmas Sweaters Tradition

Which sweater gets your vote for ugliest? (Mine!)
Does your family have an Ugly Christmas Sweater Tradition?

Ugly Christmas Sweater Competition Tradition (Coolest Family on the Block)Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest Rules10wayschristmaspjs1


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