Christmas traditions with kids

Joyfull kid decorate the Christmas tree with little toys.

 

There's nothing in the world more magical than Christmas - especially for kids. When you think back to your own childhood, you probably remember participating in all kinds of traditions with your family, and now it's time for traditions with your own children! You'll love keeping old traditions alive as well as creating your very own.

Santa traditions

Santa Claus is a huge part Christmas for kids. Your children will surely want to write him a letter, telling him how good they've been (naturally), along with all the things they're hoping to find under the tree on Christmas morning. Did you know you can actually send a letter to the North Pole through the Postal Service AND receive a response? Imagine how magical it feels for a child to get a letter from Santa Claus!

 

Christmas tree decoration as a special place for Santa letters.

 

Of course, your littles will be perfect angels until Santa arrives, If you call on the help of a special little elf, whose job it is to give a full report to Santa each night.

Happy family hugging, with 2 elfs toys in the arms of the kid.

 

You can come up with all kind of ideas for how and where your elf will pop up next. It’s such a fun and creative way to entertain the whole family, regardless of age.

Think back to when you were little — did you run to the table on Christmas morning to be sure Santa’s milk and cookies had disappeared during the night? This “proof” of Santa’s existence adds a lot of magic and joy to the holiday, too — so why not play this up for your own kiddos?

Milk and colorful cookies with a special letter dedicated to Santa near the Christmas tree.

 

Maybe write, "Thanks! Love, Santa" on a napkin next to the empty cookie plate. You could even leave a few bootprints or reindeer tracks in the snow! No snow? Consider using flour, chalk, or water-soluble paint to create some.

If you want to kick the 'real' factor up even further, grab one of those apps where you plunk Santa Claus into a pic of your own home! Your children will love seeing what was going on when they were asleep - and what better proof that Santa's real than an actual photo of him arranging presents under your tree in your living room?

If your little sugar plums are worried that Santa won't find your house, start a tradition of sprinkling "magic dust" or reindeer food outside to attract his reindeer. Those reindeer would probably appreciate a few carrots to munch on, too!

The Christmas tree

There are countless traditions centered around the tree. If you opt for a real one, driving to the tree farm and picking out the most perfect tree is a tradition itself. It can be hard for everybody to agree on one, so consider drawing names to see who gets the final say or simply alternate who chooses each year.

Once you have your tree, either artificial or real, you obviously have to decorate it. Maybe you do this in new pajamas, or while your favorite Christmas songs are playing. A fun, slightly less common tradition is having a sleepover under the tree the night you decorate it.

Since kids love crafts, partly because they love making messes and partly because they love spending time with you, round up some popsicle sticks and glitter and have a family craft night, where everybody makes an ornament to hang on the tree.

The countdown to Christmas

Half the fun of Christmas is the anticipation, so consider starting a tradition that helps your children with their countdown. If you love the idea of an advent calendar, put your own spin on it and leave little notes with a compliment instead of candy (not that there’s anything wrong with sweets!).

 

Beatiful kid with her dad making the countdown for Christmas.

 

To make the countdown even more exciting, each day could bring a Christmas-related activity, like “have a snowball fight” or “hang the stockings.” Write these on small slips of paper and have your kiddos take turns picking the day’s activity out of a jar or bowl. Tack the activities to your advent calendar so you can keep track of all your fun!

You could also consider putting together a Christmas countdown chain. You know what we’re talking about — those simple chains you made out of construction paper when you were a kid. You could write a fun activity, joke, or compliment on each link!

Christmas movie night

Did you watch a certain movie every Christmas when you were a kid? If so, you probably still know the entire thing by heart, and you probably still remember how warm and cozy it felt to watch it with your loved ones. It’s time to find a movie to watch with your own children every year. Maybe it’s the same one you watched, or maybe it’s a new one.

 

white and red cups with hot chocolate drinks.

 

Perhaps you’re super-lucky and everybody in your home loves the same Christmas movie, and there’s nothing else anybody wants to watch. But if not, you could have each family member write down their movie pick and then draw the winner from a stocking; or you could alternate who decides every year. It could also be really interesting to have your kiddos ask a different loved one what their favorite movie is each year and have that be this year’s movie. Either way, pop some popcorn, heat up some cocoa, and snuggle up with your incredible family to make some memories!

The spirit of giving

You’re awesome, so you probably plan on instilling in your children the importance of giving during the holidays. To teach them that it’s as rewarding to give a gift as it is to receive one, consider adopting a family and picking out Christmas gifts for them together. There are numerous organizations to choose from, and those are definitely great options, but chances are you know somebody who had a trying year, so leave a little gift on their doorstep, ring the doorbell, and run! The anonymity is half the fun.

Christmas lights

Even if your own house is decked out in lights, there’s nothing like piling the family into the car and driving around the neighborhood to check out all the festive houses. A game of Christmas Lights Bingo could be a blast; make a list of decorations to look for (e.g., Santa, The Grinch, Elsa), and see who spots them all first. Don’t forget to blare the Christmas music!

Sweet Memories

It’s no secret that holiday baking is as much about making memories as it is about having delicious and pretty treats around the house. Decorate cookies, make gingerbread houses, and let the kids make a perfect, atrocious mess in your kitchen.

Christmas really comes alive again when you experience it through the eyes of your children, so bust out some old traditions, add a few new ones, and have yourself a merry little Christmas!

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