The holidays are a special time, but a big part of what makes them special are the traditions we associate with this time of year. Christmas traditions are very important and they help build memories. Many of us take at least a few of our own family traditions and use them with our children, but you can build your very own holiday traditions, too.
10 Christmas Traditions
There’s no time like the present to start enjoying fun Christmas traditions! Here are a few that you may want to start implementing:
1. Make an Ornament
You’ll fun thousands of ideas for DIY ornaments on Pinterest, so why not try a few out? We like this popsicle stick reindeer craft for little kids and the fingerprint ornaments for all ages. If your child makes a new ornament each year, you’ll soon have a tree full of special memories. Just remember to write names and dates on them somewhere!
2. Build a Snowman
If you’re not building a snowman every year, you’re missing out on a prime opportunity for terrific memories, not to mention great photos. No snow where you live? There are other options! Try making one out of paper, fake snow or doing a snowman craft. If you have snow, however, it’s a must to make one outside and decorate it. Then take pictures of the kids with their creations.
3. Make Christmas Cookies
Even if you don’t fancy yourself Martha Stewart in the kitchen, there are plenty of really easy recipes you can use to make your own Christmas cookies. Baking with Mom is something your children will remember for the rest of their lives, so it’s one of our top Christmas traditions. I try to make time for at least one batch of cookies every holiday season. Pro tip, if you’re really pressed for time/ability, you can buy sugar cookie dough and just let the kids cut it out in fun shapes. We love this bucket of holiday cookie cutters from Wilton.
4. Host a Movie Night
When it comes to Christmas traditions, doing something fun as a family is key. Pick a favorite Christmas movie and make it an annual thing to watch it together. Our movie is The Polar Express. It never gets old! However, a good tradition is memorable, so make it extra special. I usually make white chocolate popcorn with sprinkles for watching the movie and then serve hot chocolate with marshmallows right as they serve it in the movie. My boys look forward to this tradition, even though my oldest is nearly 12 now.
5. Do a Good Deed
The holidays should be about giving back, so why not make it a tradition to do something nice for someone else during the holiday season? This Christmas tradition will help others, as well as make memories. You can do something as simple as shoveling the driveway of a single mom or elderly couple, or you could put together a food basket and deliver it to a family in need.
6. Write a Holiday Letter
Stockings are usually filled with fun toys and trinkets, but you can make them extra special by writing a letter to each child and tucking it into their stocking. If your stockings are from Santa, the letter could be from him. Let the child know that they’re special and highlight a few of the awesome things they’ve done this past year. Make sure to save these for the future, so your children can read them again and recall the fun activities.
7. See the Lights
Find out which neighborhood in your area is best decorated for the holidays and take a trip there after dark. Even if this means staying out past bedtime, the memories will be invaluable. Walking along a street that is completely lit up with lights and decorated to the nines will be something your children will remember for decades.
8. Watch a Play
Enjoying the theater together can be a wonderful experience and you may be surprised at how even small children will enjoy it. I took my children to see The Grinch several years ago, when my youngest was three and he loved it. Look at schools, theater groups and churches to find free or cheap shows that you can see. It’s fun to see the same one, but you can mix it up and enjoy a different play each year, too.
9. Take a Family Photo
It’s a good idea to have a set date to take a family photo and Christmas is a great time to do that. You don’t necessarily have to have professional shots done. The idea here is to capture your family on the same date each year. The photos are amazing to look back on! I recommend a family shot in front of the tree, but really anything will work. In the future, you’ll look back on these pictures and be amazing everyone looks.
10. Christmas Eve Pajamas
Every year growing up, my sisters and I got to open one gift on Christmas Eve. That gift was always a pair of brand new pajamas from my grandmother. It was extra special to snuggle into bed on Christmas Eve, eagerly awaiting the joys of the morning, in snuggly new PJs. I’ve carried this tradition on with my own boys, only I usually make their Christmas Eve pajamas. It’s a fun and very easy tradition to implement, yet it yields years of memories.