Oh, the holidays…a time for fun, laughter, and lots of holiday traditions!
I thought I loved Christmas before, but now watching it through the eyes of my children is just pure magic!
If your kid is anything like mine, they want Christmas (and all the cookies, candy canes, and gifts that go with it) to be here the day we put up the tree. And in my house, that’s usually the week before Thanksgiving. #sorrynotsorry
But I do everything possible to get my 4-year-old to slow down and enjoy all the moments of the holiday as each day passes with many of our favorite seasonal activities.
While I understand it’s difficult and exhausting to do something holiday-related every day, we do have one tradition that I started planning for before I even had kids. We have a Christmas countdown by opening one Christmas-themed book every night before bed.
It’s fun because we get to see and experience what other “people’s” Christmases are like, talk about it, spend quality time together, and of course their favorite part–they get to open a present.
And while it’s impossible to accomplish all the holiday things in 25 days, I wanted to share a list of some of the fun holiday traditions we try to get in.
The primary reasons I love traditions are 1) they are incredible moments for memorable interactions with loved ones which gets children looking forward to them every year and 2) most of them target some aspect of developmental: physical, mental, emotional, social, language, etc.
25 Traditions for Kids & Families
See which ones you can work in or change up slightly to fit your family’s needs in order to get everyone in the holiday spirit.
1. Make Wish Lists (write or cut out pictures)
2. Host a Gingerbread Decorating Contest with Friends
3. Head to a Christmas Tree Farm and Cut Down Your Own Tree
4. Decorate the House/Tree
7. Use an Advent or Holiday Countdown
9. Donate to a Local Food Bank
10. Send out Christmas Cards
11. Visit a Nursing Home
12. Go Caroling
13. Make Homemade Gifts
16. Start a Collection – we buy a new snow globe every year!
17. Hide the Pickle
19. Watch Christmas Movies
20. Go See Holiday Light Displays
21. Buy a Meaningful Ornament Every Year
22. Wear Matching Jammies
23. Visit Santa
24. Take a Train Ride (like the Polar Express)
25. Go to the Movies on Christmas Day
Over the next few weeks, I will be going more in-depth on a few of these ideas to share the developmental benefits of getting the kids involved in some of these holiday traditions.
Let me know in the comments, what you do or how you change things up so myself and others can keep our holidays fun and engaging for years to come.