Creating Christmas Traditions at Home
Most of us have some rituals that we carry out at Christmas, in the lead up to December 25th, or on the big day itself. Often these stem from things we did as children ourselves, but sometimes it’s difficult to think of new traditions when we have our own children.
There are obvious things to do over the festive season, such as visiting Father Christmas, writing letters to him with wish lists, going to midnight mass on Christmas Eve, or leaving out treats for Father Christmas on Christmas Eve.
If, however, you are looking for something a bit different to do as a family, we’ve put together some ideas for you.
Why not find something different to a chocolate for your children to open and enjoy each day in December? It could be that you wrap up 24 Christmas books and read each one together each night (you could wrap books from last year, library books, or try charity shops, so that it’s not too expensive). Or why not choose a festive activity for each day and write out a little voucher for the day to pop in an envelope with the date on it?
Christmas eve boxes
Put together a gift box that you open together as a family that evening. It could include Christmas pyjamas to go to sleep in, some cookies, a sachet of hot chocolate, a decoration to hang on the tree, or even a Christmas DVD to watch together. These don’t necessarily need to be extra gifts, if you’d rather keep costs down, but gifts that would have been given the next day, in stockings, etc or homemade things.
Find a plain tree skirt (or use red crepe paper) and each year, draw around your child’s hand and write their name inside. It’s a great way to see how much they are growing throughout the years.
Christmas lights tour
When the children are ready for bed in their pyjamas one night in the week before Christmas, take them out in the car to see all the local Christmas lights and see if you can find the North Star (the brightest one in the sky) and tell them it’s Father Christmas and his elves working through the night to get the gifts ready for all the children.
After Christmas each year, ask your children to write down their favourite memories and gifts from the period in a diary, which you add to each year. If they are too young to write, you can write it with them or for them, or get them to add pictures or colouring. This ends up in a fabulous keepsake to look back on when they’re older, not only to see what happened each year, but also how their writing, etc improved as the years went by.
Photo credit: Writing by ben.timney licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
As well as receiving gifts, it’s important for children to understand the importance of giving, and also that many people are not as fortunate as they are. Consider putting together a shoe box of treats for a local homeless shelter, or donating one of their toys each to a hospice, and deliver them in person.
Photo credit: Gifts by Andrew Mager by CC BY-SA 2.0
Each year, hide one of each child’s Christmas presents around the house, so that once the big opening session is done, they will go on a hunt for the last gift.
We’d love to hear your Christmas traditions, so do pop over to our Facebook page and tell us what you do to make Christmas special in your house.
This post was written by Georgina Dalton