My oldest child is 3 years old and this is the first Christmas she understands. It is November and she is ecstatic by all things Christmas. I remember the family Christmas traditions I grew up with and how much I loved the magic they created. Our Christmas traditions magnified the excitement I felt as the days, hours and minutes lead towards the arrival of Santa Claus.
Now is the time for my husband and I to start the family Christmas traditions we wish to create for our daughters. This is the list of traditions we are starting in our family:
1. Decorate the house as a family
We did this when I was a child and I want to continue this tradition with my family.
We would set a date for decorating day (normally the 1st December) and make it an event. Christmas carols would play in the background (with Dad signing along), and Mum would make a platter of yummy hors d’oeuvres. This provided the backdrop for family fun as we decorated our Christmas tree and hung Christmas lights.
I loved the magic of Christmas decorating day.
2. Have a family movie night watching a classic Christmas movie
There is no better was to ignite the imagination of a child at Christmas time then to watch a Christmas movie.
Make some popcorn and fruit mince pies, dim the lights, cuddle on the sofa and let the magic of Christmas take over.
This year we will be watching one of these movies with our daughters:
3. Play a Christmas carol album regularly during December
I grew up listening to ‘Bing Crosby’s White Christmas’.
I can hear Bing singing “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas………..” as clear as if he was standing beside me.
The first Christmas after I left home, my Dad gave me a Bing Crosby’s White Christmas CD. It was a great gift, especially as I can now play it to my children as they grow up.
Some other great Christmas albums are:
4. Each family member makes a decoration for the Christmas tree
This is a great weekend activity we can do as a family. As an added bonus, it will become a special reminder of the Christmas’s past when we display our home-made decorations from previous years.
For ideas on what to create, have a look at my Pinterest Board “Christmas With Kids’ (and while you are there don’t forget to follow me!)
5. Walk around the neighbourhood and look at the Christmas lights
We live in an area where lots of people create elaborate Christmas displays at the front of their houses. On Christmas Eve we walk around our neighbourhood before bedtime and see the amazing light displays.
7. Make a special Christmas breakfast
Christmas day is full of food so there is no point making a big breakfast. But I plan to start a tradition of pancakes and ice-cream.
This is something the kids won’t eat for breakfast (we are a sugar free household) except on Christmas morning making it extra special.
8. Make an advent calendar with the children
There is nothing more exciting for children then counting down the days until Santa visits!
This year we are making a creative advent calendar to count down the days to Christmas. For ideas on what to create, have a look at my Pinterest Board “Christmas With Kids’
9. Make special Christmas cookies to give to family and friends
We are a sugar-free house (most of the time!) so we make a sugar free version of Christmas cookies. For some great ideas, visit my Pinterest Board “Christmas With Kids’
10. Personalised Santa sacks for the kids
My sisters and I grew up with a personalised Santa sack (actually we still have them!). We would lay them beside the tree every Christmas Eve and in the morning, they would be full of presents!
Both my daughters also have personalises Santa sacks so I can carry on this tradition
11. Buy a present for a child in need
There are many charitable organisations to donate gifts for children. We donate to the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal (in Australia).
I take my daughter to Kmart leading up to Christmas and ask her to choose a toy for a child in need. We then wrap the toy and place it under the Christmas tree at the front of the Kmart store. These gifts are distributed through Salvation Army and Mission Australia to families in need. Visit the Kmart website for more information
12. Write a letter to Santa clause
This year my 3 year old daughter is wishing for a mermaid, a doll and a pet fish.
We have written a letter to Santa with lots of drawings asking for these presents.
In Australia, our national postal service will hand deliver the letter to Santa clause and work with Santa and his elves to write a letter back. For more information, visit the Australia Post website
My wish is for these 12 family Christmas traditions to create a childhood full of magical Christmas’s for my children. They are fun activities for us to do as a family, and hopefully easy to maintain.
What family Christmas traditions do you have?