Family Christmas Traditions
It is that time of year again when reindeer with red noses fly across the sky, snowmen come to life, and everyone makes sure to be kind to one another. Christmas is more than just one day, it’s an entire month of festivities. If you are looking to adopt some new family traditions, here is a list of our favorites!
One of the joys of the Christmas season is attending a tree lighting ceremony. Sipping on hot apple cider and spending time with family will get your loved ones in a merry mood as they watch the first tree light up the night sky. Keep the wonder of those pretty lights alive by going on a Christmas drive. Cruise through neighborhoods decorated with lights, and your little ones will have their noses pressed to the windows.
Once your little ones are a bit older, take them ice skating! Bundling up in warm clothes and testing your skill on the ice is a fun family activity that will get everyone in the winter wonderland mood. Treat them to hot chocolate and cookies afterward to warm up after spending all that energy.
Every family has their favorite shopping traditions. Some will go Black Friday shopping together to catch all of the fantastic deals, while others prefer to complete all of their shopping online. Giving to others during the holidays is one of the best feelings — especially the joy of seeing your children open up their favorite gifts on Christmas morning! If you are having trouble finding the perfect gift for your kids, there is a great resource Gift Climber that has tons of awesome gifts for kids and teenagers. You can find lists of top-rated gifts by age, for example, this list for 13-year-old boys. You can also search for gift ideas by hobby or interest!
You can’t have Christmas without decorations! Setting up a tree, hanging ornaments, putting up stockings, and placing a secret mistletoe brings merriment to the household. Make it extra special by hand-making ornaments and Christmas crafts. These are the type of items that your children will cherish and hang on their Christmas trees when they are grown up!
With the holiday season comes holiday parties, but it is nearly impossible (and very expensive) to get everyone a present. That is why it is essential to have a Secret Santa or White Elephant event. These parties are very flexible and make it so each person only needs to purchase one gift. They can be thematic, humorous, or have a spending cap, whatever is best for your band of merry people.
It isn’t Christmas without the delicious smell of baking permeating the whole house. Two seasonal treats that are a must-do are gingerbread houses and sugar cookies. These treats are excellent for children because they get to let their creativity soar.
Advent calendars have been around since the early 19th century and are a fantastic way to count down to Christmas. You can buy a pre-made one or make one yourself that you can reuse. The little treats and toys kept inside will get your kids geared up and excited for the coming holiday.
Christmas Movies and Media
Classics like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “The Miracle on 34th Street” are the staples of Christmas. As soon as Thanksgiving ends, make a Christmas music playlist and have it playing all December long. Also, make a list of your favorite Christmas movies and watch one each night until the big day arrives!
Everyone loves receiving Christmas cards because it shows that someone is thinking of them fondly during the holiday season. If you have younger children, have them write a letter to Santa! Keep photocopies of Santa’s letters and put them in a scrapbook for your children to look back on when they are older. They will have a great time remembering which Legos and Barbies were the most important thing in the world!
Christmas isn’t just about the movies, cookies, and gifts; it is about paying kindness forward and helping those in need. Engage your family in the true spirit of Christmas by donating to a toy drive, volunteering at a community center, or simply helping someone in need. It will be a lesson in love that your children will remember forever.
Christmas Eve Traditions
Get ready for the big day by trying out some of these delightful traditions.
Santa Claus works incredibly hard on Christmas Eve, delivering presents to all the good boys and girls around the world, so he needs extra fuel to get him through the night. Make Santa a platter to find when he arrives in the middle of the night. Cookies and a glass of milk are a must, carrots for the reindeer, and maybe something healthy to teach the value of a balanced diet.
Each year, Santa’s elves deliver pajamas to every member of the household on Christmas Eve to ensure that everyone is sound asleep when Santa arrives. Let everyone open their new pajamas on Christmas Eve as an early gift that they can wear on Christmas morning.
“The Night Before Christmas” by Clement C. Moore is a classic Christmas tale that is perfect for Christmas Eve. It will create an air of magic and excitement, reminding everyone that Christmas day is just hours away. If you have any other favorite Christmas tales or personalized Christmas books, it would be a delight to read them before bed.
Many families enjoy letting everyone open one gift on Christmas Eve. Set aside one present that isn’t too big, but still lots of fun, to help ramp up the Christmas cheer in anticipation of the big day. It will give the young ones something to play within the morning before everyone is awake and keep them on the edge of their seats for opening the rest of their presents.
Christmas Day Traditions
Merry Christmas! The big day has finally arrived, and you are wondering what to do after presents and before dashing off to see family for Christmas dinner. Try one of these relaxing traditions.
Homemade Hot Chocolate
Christmas morning is one day when waking up early is a tremendous amount of fun, especially when the kids are bouncing with excitement. Before opening presents, take your family into the kitchen to make some homemade hot chocolate. Forget the watery instant cocoa and make it from scratch. The rich aroma and delicious flavor will make for the perfect Christmas treat and help wake up anyone still a little bit sleepy.
Opening presents may take an hour or two, but this is a day of spending time with family, so you don’t want everyone running off right after! Have Santa leave a new game under the tree for the whole family to play, like a board game. This way, your family will have something to do together in the afternoon.
Christmas is a day where you can relax, with all of your obligations put on hold. Once everyone opens all of their presents, take the time to make a fabulous Christmas themed breakfast with everyone pitching in. Try eggnog French toast or Santa-shaped pancakes!
Every holiday tradition holds a special place in the heart. It provides memories that will be looked back on for decades to come. We would love to hear some of your favorite family Christmas traditions! Let us know your favorite ways to spend the holiday season.