What are your best Christmas memories from your childhood? The smell of pine? The presents under the tree? The anticipation? There were always traditions that we loved at Christmas and we want to pass them on to our own kid. And then there were things we weren’t so keen on and we’d rather replace them with something new. Here are a few ideas for fun holiday traditions you could start with your kids.
1. Bake Christmas cookies
We’ve been baking cookies for Santa for some time, but cookie baking doesn’t have to be limited to Christmas Eve. This year we’ve been making Christmas cookies for the fund-raising sale at my kids’ school and parties we need to go to. The kids love spending time in the kitchen, mixing and decorating. Cookies also make lovely small gifts if presented nicely in pretty boxes or decorated jars.
2. Christmas pyjama party
Lots of families get special Christmas pajamas for everyone, but if you wait until Christmas Eve to hand them out, those cute pajamas don’t get enough wear at all! So why not get them early and have a special pajama party leading up to Christmas with fun craft activities and games for the whole family?
3. A night at the lights
Every year we head out to see the Christmas lights in a street near us where the residents are competing for the best decorated house title. There’s a big park nearby, so we get there early, bring a picnic blanket and we spend some time together waiting for the houses to come to light. Then we walk around, take photos of our favourite houses and grab an ice cream from the ice cream truck.
4. Have a Christmas Eve surprise box
You don’t have to save all the fun of opening presents for Christmas day. Make the waiting more joyful with a Christmas Eve surprise box. You can include Christmas craft activities, puzzles, books, a CD with Christmas songs… anything that will add excitement and make Christmas Eve more magical.
5. Perform a Christmas play
If you have kids love to perform, help them put together a Christmas play. You can use a kids’ Christmas book to base your script on (our favourite is Dr Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”) or perform a biblical scene. The kids will have lots of fun picking their costumes, figuring out how to use household items as props and rehearsing their roles. Save a role for yourself, too! You can then perform the play for grandparents or extended family.
What’s important when you’re creating your own holiday traditions is that everyone is enjoying themselves. You don’t need another thing on your to-do list that you’re dreading. Only pick what’s fun and watch those little faces light up with joy.
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