In such a fast paced world, it’s even more important than ever to sustain or create family traditions that your children will always remember and cherish and one day pass on to their children. It’s not the gifts that your children receive that they will remember year to year, but the fun and loving memories created this special time of year.
I’d like to share with you some personal traditions and those of friends and family as well as some I have read about. All of which have brought a smile to my heart and want to pass them along to you as ideas for creating your very own family traditions.
Attend a beautiful Christmas Eve service. Come home and enjoy a traditional (whatever that may be for your family), Christmas Eve dinner with family and friends.
I have my children come up with a gift idea that they can give to their siblings and grandparents that does not require them purchasing it from a store. Whether it be a heart-felt letter, a promise to do their chores for a week, a craft project, something that has more meaning than money value.
Christmas Stocking Tradition – 12 little gifts in each stocking individually wrapped. Count back 12 days from the 24th (December 13th) and everyone can open one stocking gift a day with the last one opened on the 24th.
I go to local hobby shop and buy blank wooden ornaments for each child as well as paint and glitter. On Christmas Eve, each child designs their own ornament, puts their name, age and year on the back and hang it on the tree. When they’re adults and have their very own Christmas trees, they can hang these beautiful memories on them and add to it with their own children’s ornaments. More meaningful than store bought ornaments.
On Christmas Eve day, we make gingerbread men, using M&M’s and gumdrops to decorate the cookies. If you’re brave, you can even attempt a beautiful Gingerbread House.
Make Reindeer food and sprinkle it on your front lawn Christmas Eve. I tell my kids that this special food helps Santa’s Reindeer’s find our house. Recipe: Oatmeal and Glitter (mix and sprinkle).
My mom and dad used to wrap the doorway to the room with the Christmas tree and presents in it so we had to burst through or unwrap the room the next morning. It was so much fun and let the imagination for Christmas magic run wild.
Christmas Pajama Elves. Every year we find a clever way in which Santa’s Pajama Elves leave each person in the family a new pair of pajamas to wear to bed that night. The elves leave them on the front porch because they can’t get into the house. After we put our p.j.’s on, we read a Christmas story together, put cookies and milk out for Santa and carrots our for the reindeers and this sets the stage for a beautiful Christmas holiday.
Timeless Christmas stories to read to your children that will settle them down as they drift off in their dreams to the North Pole (Christmas Story, The Littlest Angel, Polar Express, Twas the Night Before Christmas), or shows/movies to watch (The Nativity Story, Charlie Brown, Rudolph, Grinch).
A modern day Christmas traditions to incorporate as well, track Santa on your computer at http://www.noradsanta.org