We, at Graco, love Christmas! It really is our favourite time of the year! With so much fun and excitement, it is a great time to really focus on creating some special family memories. By creating some family Christmas traditions you ensure that you have time to reconnect and strengthen family bonds. Your little ones will fondly remember what really is important at this time of year and may even celebrate your traditions with their families in the future. Read more for some of our great ideas.
Traditions are passed down from generation to generation, and that can be a very powerful thing. They can be used to bring families together at Christmas time and ensure that everyone takes time out to be a family. Christmas can help you to make new memories while also remembering the past.
Create a "night before Christmas" box
This is one of our favourites and the littles get very excited at the prospect. Decorate a box for every member of your family (whether it just be just the kids or dad and mom too!). In the boxes include a pair of Christmas pajamas, a Christmas themed movie, hot chocolate and some snacks to enjoy the show. Dressing up in a Christmas outfit creates a sense of excitement for your kids. Watch the movie all together as a family and enjoy each others company. You can get some ideas from Potty Mouthed Mummy.
Christmas Activity Advent Calendar
We love this idea from the Dear Beautiful family. Make a list of all the Christmas activities, such as decorate the tree, bake Christmas biscuits, hang the Christmas wreath, etc. As a build up to Christmas do one of these activities every night in December as Christmas approaches. Otherwise you can buy Activity calendars that have a treat hidden behind a "window". Every night the child gets to open one of the windows to find a treat behind. A great idea is to make your own and use matchboxes filled with small treats, like sweets. There are lots of great tutorials for this, these are some of our favourites.
See the lights
Take the kids on a fun car trip to see the Christmas lights. (This will depend on the age of your kids). Often Churches have Nativity Scenes that are decorated with lights visible to the public. This is a great time to tell your kids the Christmas story. A trip out after dark will be a lasting memory for your little ones and is bound to have everyone feeling festive.
If this is your little ones first Christmas, invest in an ornament to remember the occasion. If your kids are a little bit older, a fun family activity can be to make your own ornaments to decorate the house. They make great keepsakes for when your children are older, or can even be given as special gifts to family. We love the idea of using baby's handprint or footprint to decorate baubles as a gift for gran.
This can just be a special pillow case that is Christmas themed and only used during December. The excitement of knowing that Christmas is just around the corner can be a great tradition to inspire dreams of dancing sugar-plum fairies at bedtime and help to count down the sleeps!
Holiday themed family card
A family photo that is themed to be used on your Christmas card/ Christmas email can be a great way to keep track of the years. You can all dress to a theme or match in terms of colours. This activity can be a lot of fun for the whole family, so try different poses or do something different. Have a look at some of the funnier examples from Tigerlilly Quinn.
Create your own Christmas cards
This can be a fun activity for families of all ages. Break out the paint and get stamp, painting, cutting and crafting to create some unique cards for all your friends and family. Here are some more great ideas:
Go to a Carol Service at your local Church
This can really be a magical experience and be a great family tradition to start with your family. Or have a sing-a-long at home teaching your little ones all the classics like "Rudolph the red nosed reindeer".
Decorate the Christmas Tree
Choose a night that everyone is not busy and spend time together decorating the tree. Increase the festive feel by playing some Christmas carols or all singing together. Make some Christmas biscuits and drink Hot Chocolate and Eggnog. Children all love the magic of the tree and letting them help decorate makes them feel like they are a part of the festivities.
Elf on the Shelf
He visits every December and is always found the next morning getting up to mischief. What will he be up to this year? Here are some clues.
A visit from the Kindness Elves
The Imagination Tree blog started the idea following on from Elf on the Shelf. The Kindness elves encourage children to do some good deeds. What better time to teach your kids about thoughtfulness and good-will than at Christmas.
Setup a Nativity Scene
This can be a fun way to teach your children about the Nativity Story by making decorations that can be used year after year. Christmas time is usually focused on the birth of Jesus, create some other decorations to remember some of the other times in Jesus's life.
Santa goes hi-tech
Visit the site Norad Santa and you can track Santa's progress around the world. This can be very exciting for little ones and helps to keep the Christmas story alive. If you really want to ensure that they believe some parents ring bells softly so that the little ones think that the sleigh is flying over.
Write a letter to Santa
Spend time asking your children what they would like for Christmas and write a list for Santa. They can spend time decorating it to make it really special. Here are some links for some printables that you can just fill in. Remember to also leave Santa some snacks and something to drink after his long trip. You can also use flour or icing sugar to show Santa's footprints as proof that he visited.
We would love to hear your traditions, post some other ideas in the comment section below.