Creating fun Holiday traditions
Christmas can be a stressful time of year! It’s important not to lose sight of what’s important in all the hustle and bustle of the Holidays. Focus on creating experiences together. The kids will remember fun times together much more than the gifts they receive. Making family memories and revisiting the holidays through the enthusiastic eyes of your child will help make the season more enjoyable.
- Traditions don’t need to be expensive or take a lot of work.
- Make or buy a countdown calendar. You can make a paper chain and cut off a ring each day. This is really good for kids who need advanced preparation or have a hard time waiting. Tip: You can start this whenever! The countdown doesn't need to begin December 1st. Even starting three days before Christmas, helps kids to prepare and know what to expect.
- Add to advent chain by writing a small activity on each ring. Then as you take off the ring, you do the activity that day. Some examples: drink hot chocolate, sing a Christmas carol, do something nice for a family member, write a letter to Santa, etc..
- Make or buy cookies and take to an elderly neighbor.
- Have your kids go through their toys and donate some of them to the good will. This teaches them the importance of giving and makes room for new toys.
- On Christmas Eve, open one present before bed. New pj’s are fun, but it can be anything: a small treat or book. Be creative.
- Read Christmas books every night. Remember you can go to the library!
- Drive around and look at lights then come home and have hot chocolate.
- Watch the same Christmas movie as a family every year.
- Have Christmas music playing while you make dinner.
- Help kids focus on giving by taking them shopping for their siblings or helping them make a picture or gift for their siblings. Have them earn some money or give them a small budget and take them on a one-on-one date to buy gifts for their family. When they ask for something they want (this never happens, right?!), say, “That’s a great idea! Let’s put it on your Christmas wish list. Today we are buying gifts for the family. What do you think ______ would like?”
- Decorate the tree together or let the kids have their own tree. Letting the kids have their own tree was one of my favorite traditions. This way I got to have the tree I wanted and the kids could feel the empowerment and fun of being in charge of their own tree. I let the kids use all the ornaments they made at school each year. So, pop popcorn, turn on the Christmas music and let them decorate the way they want to.
- Have the kids send a picture and love note to grandma. You can do this even if grandma lives close by! Tip: Just put it in a normal envelope with a stamp and leave it in the mailbox for the postman to pick up. It doesn't need to be fancy; no trip to the post office necessary.
- Take treats to the school secretaries.
- Make the same breakfast or dinner every Christmas Eve. We make broccoli cheese soup every Christmas Eve. My kids look forward to it every year.
Keep it simple, make it fun!!!