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Creating Christmas Traditions
There’s a reason so many kids love Christmas. Yes, there’s the excitement of receiving gifts, but it’s more than that. Most children love the Christmas traditions and the fact that so much focus is placed on family during the holiday season.
Most of the Christmas joy comes from the spirit of family togetherness. To make the most of the holiday season incorporate a few traditions that give your kids that feeling of togetherness and sharing joy.
They will quickly forget what toys they got for Christmas, but they’ll cherish the memories of Christmas traditions forever.
It’s never too late to start new Christmas Traditions
1. Decorate the Christmas tree
This is an obvious one, but most kids love decorating the Christmas tree. Make it a full on event signifying the start of the Christmas season. Go all out and play some classic Christmas music, Since we use the same fake tree every year, I use this essential oil to make it smell more like Christmas without the toxins of typical fragrance.
2. Advent Calendar
Start an Advent Calendar in your house. To do this, find a way to “mark” your calendar from December 1st to December 25th. This can be as simple as a small treat each day, or as complex as a “mystery activity” to complete as a family each day.
One like this is perfect for sticking in special “Christmas dates” to take with the family. You can pick 5 or 6 things to do (there are lots of ideas on this list!) and put them on a piece of decorated paper and stick them in the days that would work for the family.
You can find more beautiful advent calendars here.
3. Do a Christmas light walk
Most areas have a local light walk. Usually, an organization in the city sets up a special area with lots of Christmas lights. One of the ones in our area offered an extensive light walk, a photo op with Santa, and even a cookie decorating “workshop.” Each kid got to decorate a cookie and eat it. They love it! The little ones get pulled in a wagon.
Start a tradition where you make yummy cookies from scratch. Get all the kids involved in the process. If you have a lot of kids, consider making a different batch each week letting each kid have their “moment to shine” making the cookies one on one with you. I don’t know a single kid who doesn’t LOVE the one on one attention from their parents.
5. A trip to the skating rink
No need to buy skates, most places will rent them to you. Many places even offer lessons.
6. Create a special meal
Pick a day of the month where you have a super special meal. If you already do a big family dinner with extended family, consider a special breakfast for just your immediate family. Make lots of yummy goodies that the family will enjoy
7. A light Drive
This has been a favorite of mine since I was little. Pack the family in the car at night with cozy blankets and hot cocoa in travel mugs. Then find the best neighborhoods with lots of decorated houses. See if you can find “the best-decorated house” in the city.
8. Decorate their own mini trees with mini ornaments
My sister loved this one growing up! Give your kids their own tiny Christmas tree to decorate with mini ornaments and put in their room. It’s a great reminder of the season they get to wake up to every morning.
9. Read a Christmas book before bed each night of December
There are so many awesome Christmas books to read with your kids. You can find a way to work this into your nightly bedtime routine. It would be extra nice if you were reading by the light of their mini-tree.
10. Sneak a mini-present under their Mini Tree
What a fun tradition of sneaking a mini-gift under their mini-tree. Pick a random day to tuck in a small gift and see how long it takes them to notice. This is a great gift to give from their Elf on a shelf friend if you do that tradition in your house. Your gift could be extra special if you make it an activity gift.
11. A Christmas drive-in movie
See if there are any local drive-ins in your area offering Christmas or kids movies. Grab your coziest blankets and bring some special snacks and drinks and enjoy the movie.
12. Christmas Carols
Many local church groups organize Christmas caroling. What a fun way to celebrate together by bringing back some old traditions.
13. Check out the library for special Christmas events
Many libraries offer special Christmas readings with hot cocoa or other treats involved. If your kiddo has food allergies, just check what they will be offering and bring your own allergy-friendly treats.
14. Gingerbread house
Make your own healthier version of the typical gingerbread house. This recipe shows you how to add a healthier twist on this holiday classic.
15. Organize a neighborhood Christmas book reading
Or organize your own neighborhood reading for kids in your area. In my old neighborhood, one kind elderly couple handed out flyers for a Christmas reading inviting all the local kids and their parents to come over and hang out. It was awesome. Their home was decorated and had a warm, cozy feel. They offered hot chocolate and muffins and each kid got an icicle ornament to take home. They then read the night before Christmas.
16. Make a snowman
If it snows in your area then there’s no excuse! Get out there and make a snowman with your kids. They’ll always remember those times you did this with them!
17. Make snow angels
This is easy and fun. A great time to just enjoy the way snow feels.
18. Christmas board games
Play a board game together as a family. Turn off the lights and play by the light of the Christmas tree. Make some yummy gingerbread flavored coffee for the adults and some cocoa for the kids.
19. Make and decorate Christmas cards
List out all the family and friends you’d like to give holiday cards to. Making them together as a family and handing them out not only creates memories to share together, but helps spread joy to your loved ones as well. I especially like activities that put giving as the focus.
20. Assemble a train under the tree
Setting up a train under the tree can be very exciting for smaller kids. You can approach this in two different ways. You can get a train set like this one to put under the tree for the Christmas season. Or you can get a wooden toy set like to set up for Christmas morning that they can enjoy for the whole year.
21. Make your own holiday window clings
This is a fun project that’s perfect for kids to make, then decorate with! This DIY herbal clings recipe are non-toxic window clings are made from food-grade ingredients, meaning no nasty chemicals. You can choose to color them with Christmas colors and use Christmas cookie cutters for the shapes.
22. Set up a Christmas Village
Setting up a Christmas village helps spark imagination in children. What a great way to decorate your home. You can get those traditional ceramic Christmas houses here, or stake our garage sales, I always notice people getting rid of them. If you’re crafty you could even create your own like the one above out of paper and battery powered tea lights.
23. Take a train ride to the north pole
Search your area to see if there are any local Christmas train rides. Some train stations have a special polar express ride where they take everyone on a trip to the north pole in their PJ’s. Some offer hot chocolate and cookies while they make their way to see Santa. This site lets you see where they offer the polar express train ride.
24. Go Sledding
Setting up a Christmas village helps spark imagination in children. What a great way to decorate your home. You can get those traditional ceramic Christmas houses here, or stake our garage sales, I always notice people getting rid of them. If your crafty you could even create your own like the one above out of paper and battery powered tea lights.
25. “Adopt” a family
This is a great one for kids to understand the value of helping others. Our kid’s school participates in a program where local families who may not be able to afford anything for their kids, are “adopted.” They have the kids create a list and we go shopping for them based on their likes, interests and clothing sizes. The goods are given to the family on
The goods are given to the family on Christmas. It’s nice to be able to teach our kids that serving others feels better than getting gifts. Most local churches or schools have these type of programs.
26. Have a cozy movie night
Pick an old classic Christmas movie to watch together as a family. Gather lots of pillows and blankets and have everyone get cozied up on the floor.
Creating Memories that last
Creating really memorable moments can often be as simple as crafting a special feeling through their environment. A lot of these activities can be done in your living room. Decorate it well for the season, put up lots of lights and play a mix of classic Christmas music and Christmas music your kids will enjoy, this was my favorite Christmas album growing up.
Another way to craft lasting memories with your kids is to talk about the moments as they are happening. Talk about why you are enjoying the now, and how fun it is to be with them. These are all feeling that will last with your children and bring the type of joy that will be remembered for decades.