I LOVE Christmas. And starting and carrying on family traditions is a way to pass on that love to my kids. It’s also a great chance to spend time with them away from screens and enjoy a holiday based on love, charity, and joy.
If you’re looking for a new tradition to start, check out this list of my family’s favorite traditions… and more from some awesome fellow bloggers.
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1- Read Christmas Books
We go to the library and load up on all kinds of Christmas books and read a different one each night through the month of December. It’s totally free and I cherish the time cuddled up with my kids beside the Christmas tree.
2- Decorate Cookies
Need I twist your arm for a reason to make cookies?
Each year I make a giant batch of sugar cookies and the kids and I spend a weekend decorating them. The key to limiting frustration is to provide them with all the materials they need on a well-covered work surface, then let them create anything they want without expectations. They probably won’t be bakery window worthy, but they will be made with your little one’s imagination.
3- Make Ornaments
Another thing I love to do each year with my kids is to make Christmas ornaments. We’ve made a few different ones over the years but I always try to keep it simple and fun. And they love to hang their ornaments on their small Christmas trees in their bedrooms.
4- Race To Christmas
One of the best things about living in the subtropics is the warm weather we have when those up north are buried under snow. And that means we get to do one of my favorite traditions.. run a holiday-themed race.
This year we ran a two-mile fun run with the kids. Last year we ran a holiday light 5K in the dark with glow necklaces and bracelets.
5- Help Others Have A Merry Christmas
Among the hustle and bustle and buying gifts for family and friends, it’s easy to lose sight of other families who may not be as fortunate. Each year we select a child from the Salvation Army Angel Tree and buy them gifts and necessities. I hope this helps instill the giving spirit in my kids.
6- Get Cozy
Each Christmas Eve my kids get to open one present from under the tree… their Christmas jammies. When they were really little, I loved watching them run down the stairs in their little footed Christmas pajamas to see what Santa brought them. They don’t wear footed PJs anymore, but the tradition continues.
7- Welcome Santa In Style
We always save a few of those cookies we made and decorated for Santa. The kids pick out their favorites and put them on our special plate for Santa along with some milk.
8- Kate from Homebound But Hopeful also reads a different book with her kids each day leading up to Christmas. Check out her great post on The 25 Books Of Christmas & How To Make It Work For Your Family.
9- Summer at Expedition Motherhood carries on a sweet tradition from her childhood, by decorating pop tarts on Christmas Eve and eating them Christmas morning.
10- Niki at Toot’s Mom Is Tired has another sweet tradition… cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.
11- Kristina at All Mom Does loves to make a gingerbread house with her family each year. But it can be stressful. Check out her Tips for Making Your Own Gingerbread House Without Losing Your Mind.
12- Claire at The Frugal Family loves to leave out a carrot and mince pie for Santa and his reindeer, a popular tradition in the United Kingdom.
13- Julie at Fab Working Mom Life loves to add a new ornament to the tree each Christmas to summarize the year.
14- Jenn at Make A Mom Smile collects Christmas ornaments from her family’s travels and as they decorate the tree, they reflect on the memories around each one.
15- Krystle at The Beekeepers Tales buys her children a new ornament each year based on something that happened that year or something they love. She says, “This year, my son has been obsessed with play-doh and I found the cutest ornament of a Christmas tree made out of play-doh containers. I can’t wait to see him open it.”
16- You need just the right tree for all those sentimental ornaments. Amanda at This Growing Home takes her family to a tree farm where a horse-drawn carriage takes them to a field to pick and cut down their tree. Then they each buy a new ornament. She says, “It is so much fun and so cool to look back at the family pictures each year.”
17- The favorite part of Christmas for Gabrielle from The Unpretentious Mommy came very early on Christmas morning when she was little. They were allowed to get up as early as they wanted and open their stockings. She says, “My favorite memories are waking up at 3 am to go see if Santa came yet and then waking up my siblings to go out and open our stockings under the light of the Christmas tree, our eyes still half closed!”
18- Erica from Motherhood Unbound gives her kids a Christmas Eve box that they can open the night before the big day, filled with things like jammies and books. Check out her post with Christmas Eve Box Ideas For Kids Of All Ages.
19- Ann at Kids Travel Books makes a December Daily album that holds all the memories of things her family does throughout December. “It serves several purposes,” she says, “I am more intentional about the season, working on it in December gives me a guaranteed creative outlet which helps alleviate holiday stress, and it’s an awesome memory of the season.” The December Daily was started by AliEdwards.com.
20- Rachelle at Mama Writes Reviews loves to make all kinds of crafts with her kids. Check out her post on 9 Christmas Craft Kits For Kiddos.
Check out these other posts from some awesome Mom Bloggers on Christmas traditions.