Christmas is my favorite time of the year and a great time to start family Christmas traditions. Not only do I love to decorate the house but I also like to make Christmas as magical as I can for the kids.
Family traditions have helped to bring our family closer together. They also have helped to make Christmas a bit more magical for the kids. Each year they look forward to many of our traditions.
One of the important things that I hope we have taught our kids during the Christmas season is that Jesus is the reason for the season. Also to help those that might be in need of help in some way.
Of course, giving back is something that we try to instill in the kids all year not just during the Holidays. Here are some of the family traditions that we have started with the kids over the years.
Christmas Traditions List
- Decorate a tree or multiples~ For quite a few years now we have had multiple Christmas trees in our home. The main tree that is in our living room is for the perfectionist that is me to decorate. The second tree is one that is dedicated to the kids, this tree is for all of the homemade ornaments that they have made over the year. And each of the kids has a small tree in their room.
- Christmas Movies~ What better way to have family time than sitting and watching a movie together. My Family Christmas Movie Nights post tells you some of the things I do for this tradition.
- Christmas Light Tour~ We love jumping in the car stopping to get snacks and touring our area to see all the beautiful Christmas lights.
- Cookies~ Cookies are a great way to spread Christmas cheer. My kids have always loved to be in the kitchen baking with me. This teaches them so many things.
- Elf on the shelf~ Okay maybe ours is the cheaper version of Elf on the shelf but our kids really took to this idea. As a parent, it can be kind of fun, let your imagination run with this. As the kids got older they were able to join in the reindeer games when it came to our Elf.
- Christmas Eve gifts~ We started this tradition by giving the kids Pajamas as a gift. It seemed like the kids always needed new pajamas so this was a perfect time. As the years have gone by we have changed it up some. Now we exchange names and buy pajamas for that person. It's amazing to watch the excitement on their faces when their person opens the gift. My favorite is to see how much they know each other, makes this mom's heart glow.
- Crafts~ when the kids were young and I ran the in-home daycare we would have craft days. One of my favorite to do with them was to trace their hands and make a reindeer or Santa out of them.
Random Acts of Giving
Like I said we have been doing our best to teach the kids to give back to others. Here are some of the things we have done.
- Donate food to the local food pantry. Our Church has a special mass before Thanksgiving that we always donate to. There have been years that the kids' classrooms will take collections for food or money.
- Donate old clothing and toys~ We do this throughout the year but during the winter months, I feel it's important that we donate any winter gear that the kids have outgrown.
- Salvation Army Bucket~ We love to drop loose change into the bucket and wishing the bell ringer a Merry Christmas.
- Cookies~ We like to bring cookies to the kids' Doctor's office. After all, they have helped to keep these kids healthy all year.
- Pay for the person behind you in line~ I remember getting the kids breakfast once at McDonald's and we decided to pay for the person's order behind us. The cashier said that in an hour's time there had been multiple people paying for others' orders. Now that is a giving community!
- Giving Tree~ Our Church has a giving tree each year. Since we have three kids we pick out three names, then each of our kids picks out a gift. The "can we pick names off the giving tree" never gets old to hear.
- Toy machine~ Oh my goodness this one has to be one of my favorites. Do you know those candy/toy machines at the grocery store? We put quarters in them and turn the nob just a little bit. I have always wanted to wait and see the excitement on a child's face when they realize they can get a free gift from the machine.
- Teachers and secretaries ~ when the kids were in elementary school they would bring gifts to their teachers. Really want to surprise that special teacher? Bring them in breakfast, coffee and a muffin have been a big hit for us. Drop off cookies to the sweet office ladies that might get overlooked during the holidays is another great idea.
- Parking meter's~ When parking meters took change we would go downtown and add coins to meters. Seeing three little faces lite up because they thought they were helping someone from getting a parking ticket was something else to see.
As the kids get older family traditions might change. My guess is that they will always remember some of these fun family Christmas activities that we have done together.
What are some of your family's Christmas traditions?
Many Blessing to you and yours ~ Jen
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