Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
Jack Frost nipping at your nose.
Jingle Bells on the radio for the hundredth time.
This can only mean one thing: The Christmas season has arrived!
It’s the most wonderful tiiime, of the year!… Alright, alright. Enough with the song and dance. You get it.
It’s a magical time of year when kids of all ages anticipate the coming of Santa Claus, breaking into their homes and stealing the family’s homemade cookies… er, I mean… leaving gifts and love for all!
Christmas is probably, by far, the most exciting holiday for youngsters. If you really want to instill the spirit of Christmas AND everlasting memories into your kiddos’ hearts (and technically brains), I’ve got two words for you: Family. Traditions.
Some of my fondest memories as a child have to do with our Christmas traditions: driving around and looking at lights, going to Christmas Eve church service, falling flat on my arse after slipping on a sheet of ice… Oh wait, that last one wasn’t a Christmas tradition, but it did happen pretty much every year anyway!
Traditions are so easy and fun to do. Really, any little thing can become a tradition so long as you do it every year.
But what’s that you say? You don’t have any ideas you say?!
Well, just call me Santa Claus because below is my gift to you; 8 fantastic Christmas traditions that are fun and easy, and they’ll make Christmas time even more special for you and your family.
1. Advent Tree Calendar
This is the first year I’m doing this with my kids and it was pretty last minute, so please bear with me on the crookedness and sloppiness of my little advent tree. My kids don’t appreciate the artsy things I do yet anyway, so why should I, right?? That’s what I’m going with.
Just put a surprise in 24 disposable cups, cover with green tissue paper and a rubber band, then number each cup 1 through 24 and tape them to a board. Every day leading up to Christmas, your child can punch one of the cups and pull out a surprise!
My advent tree “surprises” are just Christmas activities my children can do each day (make cookies, write Christmas cards for grandparents, etc.), but you can put candy or little toys into your cups instead if you so desire.
2. Christmas Eve Gift
My parents never allowed my siblings and me to open even just one gift on Christmas Eve. It was always such a bummer because we would beg and plea, but to no avail.
Letting your kiddos open a gift on Christmas Eve is like running into a field full of puppies; you’re gonna get A LOT of love and kisses.
At our house, we like to make the Christmas Eve gift the same every year: pajamas, a Christmas movie (though different each year), and snacks for the film. After the kids open it, they put their new PJs on, pop in the movie, and snuggle up to daddy and me. ☺️
3. Cookie Making
Of course! Holidays are about sweets, treats, and more sweets! If you can’t eat candy and cookies during the Christmas season, then you’ve really gotta loosen up, lady. Christmas comes but once a year!
If you think you’ll end up eating all the cookies, try wrapping some up and giving them away as gifts for family and friends. People love getting homemade presents, especially when they taste good!
4. Christmas Countdown
This one doesn’t require any craftiness on your part at all. Just purchase a Christmas countdown piece from any store and you’ve got yourself an easy tradition. Your kids will love watching the days go by on something festive and fun like this snowman head!
5. Looking at Lights
My son adores Christmas lights, as do most kids. However, he has an obsession beyond the norm. But I find it a-ok because I just so happen to love Christmas lights, too.
They’re so festive, bright, and beautiful!
Lucky for us, there’s a free Christmas light display at a tractor supply store in a nearby town. It’s HUGE, and it’s always a fun time. If you don’t have something like this near you, fear not; just do lights the old-fashioned way and drive around to local neighborhoods. Make it extra special with a thermos of hot cocoa to share, and pile into the family van for an outing to remember!
6. Advent Book Calendar
This one is my favorite because my kids l-o-v-e, LOVE books. All you’ve gotta do is buy 24 different Christmas books at the store, wrap and number them, and you have a unique advent calendar for you and your kiddos to share for the next 24 nights before Christmas!
I bought Christmas books throughout the year at second-hand stores, like Goodwill. They have so many great children’s books for just 0.69 cents here in Indiana! They even do a store wide, 50% off EVERYTHING sale the first Saturday of every month, so books go down to just 0.35 cents a pop! I do have to fight the crowds sometimes because that place sure gets busy. But to me it’s worth it because, at those prices, it’s even better than garage sales!
7. Making a Gingerbread House (or Man)
My kids are young so we’re really just starting this tradition, but my son did decorate a big ‘ol gingerbread man last year. I bought it from Big Lots for just $5! It was lots of fun and I look forward to doing it again this year, but we’re going to try the gingerbread house this time around. It seems more fun to build!
I actually purchased a gingerbread house kit last year for half off because it was after Christmas. I’ve saved it and I’m going to use it this year. If my kids decide to eat some of the candies or gingerbread (which I’m sure they will), I won’t have to worry because it doesn’t expire until February of 2018.
If you want to start this tradition AND save a little money, purchase your goods for next year after this year’s Christmas. Just be sure to look at the expiration date. Just in case.
8. Making Ornaments out of Tree Stumps
Do you buy a real Christmas tree every year? We do because that pine smell is just deeelish. Every year, we cut off a piece of the tree stump (pictured above) and turn it into an ornament.
All I do is drill a little hole near the top (so I can put some ribbon through it), use a permanent marker to write the year directly on the stump, then apply a polyutherene clear coating to ensure it lasts for years to come.
And those are the 8 Christmas traditions that we do every year to make the holidays a little more special. What Christmas traditions do you do with your family? Let me know in the comments below because I would love to hear them!
Don’t forget to share this on social media so everyone can be as excited about Christmas as you and me!
Until next time…