8 Easy Christmas Traditions You Can Start Today!
When we were children the entire holiday season seemed to move in slow motion until Christmas Day. Now that we're adults, it seems that things have sped up and if we even stop to blink it is New Year's Day! Family traditions are a perfect opportunity to help your little ones enjoy and savor the season while at the same time providing adults an opportunity to slow down and treasure special moments that might otherwise slip away. If you're looking for ideas to create the perfect winter traditions then read through our recommendations for the best winter activities; Your new favorite tradition might be closer than you think!
1. Start an Advent Calendar
One of the best winter traditions to start, advent calendars are calendars with small pockets or drawers to place trinkets, treats, or notes to mark each day in December until the 25th. This little tradition will help your small children countdown the days to Christmas in a fun and memorable way plus they'll look forward to waking up each morning to a new treat, note, or small gift to enjoy leading up to Christmas Day. This tradition is particularly useful for curious children that are just beginning to learn about the passing of time, dates, and counting; rather than having to ask how close Christmas is each day they can go to the calendar with you and learn exactly how many days they must wait until the 25th of December.
2. View Neighborhood Lights
No holiday would be complete without delightful or over-the-top Christmas light displays. Almost every town, no matter how small, has a specific house, neighborhood, or downtown district with a full array of holiday lights. Buckle your children into the car, add some blankets for coziness, and drive around your town or city to explore the best light displays that you can find. Hot chocolate for older children is a fun addition, but if you're worried about spills in the car save treats till you're back at home. If you plan to make this an annual tradition, go to the same house or neighborhood each year, it will be exciting to see old displays come to life again or to experience light displays as they change throughout the years.
3. Watch a Christmas Movie
Every year, set a date to watch a holiday movie. This is a great tradition to share with family members or close friends. Let the older children camp out with blankets or pillows near your Christmas tree and laugh along to their favorite Christmas movie, while adults can enjoy from the couch and hold younger children on their laps. You can choose to watch the same movie every year, let your children pick the movie, or surprise them with a movie of your choice each time. This tradition is one that you can make entirely your own!
4. Make Sugar Cookie Cutouts
Create sweet memories that your children will look forward to every year with sugar cookies, cookie cutters, frosting, and lots of sprinkles! Bigger kids can help measure, roll, and cut cookies, while little ones can help by sampling frosting, holding cookie cutters, and by taste-testing the finished product. Toddlers also enjoy helping hold measuring cups and picking sprinkle colors. You're tiniest helpers can observe and enjoy the bright colors, delicious smells, and general excitement. You can choose to use the same cookie cutters each year or make an exciting event out of shopping for new ones with your children; either way, this tradition is sure to be a hit with your entire household.
5. Participate in a Giving Tree
Most communities host some form of a giving tree or angel tree where families can choose to adopt other families or a child and purchase gifts or necessities by picking a name off of the tree. A child that is old enough to enjoy the concept of receiving gifts may be old enough to start teaching about the joys and rewards of giving. A giving tree is a great opportunity to perform an act of kindness and to foster a giving mindset in your children. Let your children help you shop for gifts or necessities for your recipient. Explain that it's good to help others and why giving is important. If your child is too young to understand what a giving tree is, let them participate by picking out wrapping paper and bows, as they grow older siblings can explain the process and begin to teach the younger children all that they've learned.
6. Make a Christmas List
Whether you choose to introduce the concept of Santa Claus to your children or not, creating a Christmas wish list is a fun tradition that suits all ages. Make it a whole event by brewing hot chocolate (and maybe coffee for mom or dad), using colored paper and markers, and even letting those too little to write try their hand at a list. If you believe in Santa Claus at your house, seal, stamp, and postmark your letters and send them off to the north pole. Alternatively, you can hang the Christmas lists on your refrigerator. Keep each list and enjoy watching your child's preferences change and mature as they grow older. Someday your little one might want to show their Christmas lists to a child of their own.
7. Wrap Jammies and a Book
Christmas Eve is often a day of excitement an unrest in a household with small children. Channel that energy with a fun Christmas Eve tradition that encourages a tear-free bedtime by purchasing annual matching pajamas and a new book to read every Christmas Eve. Unwrapping a present the day before Christmas is such an exciting feeling and each year you can pick a book that perfectly suits the age range of your children. If you want to go all-out with this tradition, include parents by purchasing everyone in the house matching pajamas that are cozy, silly, or maybe both.
8. Purchase Annual Ornaments
Picking out an annual ornament is special because not only is something that you can do with your children, it's also an opportunity to bookmark any important or memorable things that happened that year. For instance, if your little one finds a new passion riding a bicycle or takes their first steps, you can go together to pick out an ornament that commemorates that achievement or moment. If your two-year-old has a cute talent or really enjoys a certain food, purchase an ornament that will remind you of that adorable time. Write the date and event on the back of the ornament and when you decorate a tree each holiday season take time to read the ornaments and remember the special moments you captured every year.
No matter the tradition, your holiday is sure to be filled with unforgettable fun and memories that will last a lifetime. If you read a tradition from our list that you love, we're delighted! Part of the fun behind a good tradition is doing something that you love with your own style thrown in, so go ahead, it's not too late to start a new tradition right now that you and your children will look forward to reviving every Christmas for years to come.
Thanks for reading! If you have a Christmas tradition that you do with your family, comment below! We'd love to hear about them!