Holidays are always a great way to get young kids fascinated and a great opportunity to celebrate being together. On top of this, it is a great opportunity to create and implement your own traditions and what better way to excite children than to create a tradition this Christmas season. The beautiful thing about creating traditions is that each family creates their own, something special to them, and every year, you can experience that tradition the same way, just in a different manner.
Being a family of mixed origin and celebrating Christmas in different manners, as a kid, it was still exciting. Experiencing different ways of celebrating depending on who was visiting, and all those beautiful smells – from delicious cookies to mashed potatoes. Christmas eve and Christmas morning were always exciting.
Creating traditions for your child is something they can look forward to each year. The beautiful thing about creating these traditions is that parts of them may live on through your lifetime. Think back about things you did as a kid and perhaps things that your parents, albeit you being a parent still do today. It’s about creating magical experiences for your child and family.
If you begin creating your own family tradition you’ll create memories for your child, not just because of presents and gifts, but because they will remember the extra steps you took as a parent to make the holidays more memorable by doing (and redoing) similiar things each year. It gets engrained, and yes as children get older some of those traditions may fade, but the memories will always be there.
Whether its delicious foods, perhaps unhealthy snacks that usually are not around the house during the remainder of the year, or special activities or people that came together. Whatever you want to implement as a family, do it. Create memorable moments for your kids, that not only revolve around presents, but family.
When your thinking of this, look at it from the eyes of your child and then imagine them growing up. What do you want them to remember about Christmas. It does not always have to revolve around material things. The memories most will remember are those fond moments, the ones we all are grateful for to our parents regardless of social situation. It’s about being an example towards your children, year for year and paving the way for them to one day hopefully branch off, pass on or modify the traditions they grew up with with their families.
Now, having kids of my own, I truly understand the thought and sometimes stress that comes into planning a Christmas that your kids will always remember and think back fondly on. And I’m grateful to my parents for being a good example in implementing certain things that paved the way for the environment I wish to create for my own kids today.
You see, traditions are not limited to anything. Get creative. It can be anything from making lobster stew on Christmas eve to dancing to Christmas songs and enjoying a glass of eggnog while at it. It’s whatever you make it to be. Keep in mind children are memorable. The traditions you as a family carry out during the holiday season are elements that they will associate with good and/or bad feelings. Ultimately, it is also a bit of who they become.
Keep in mind, traditions come and go. Some stick, some don’t. Some may change slightly as the years go on and everyone gets a little older (and perhaps wiser). Nonetheless, think of things your child would enjoy doing. Involve them. From decorting christmas lights outside or setting up your christmas tree to doing something charitable.
You’re only human
For many, Christmas is always a stressful season. Thinking about who comes or goes where. What presents to get and for whom? What to eat, where to travel, what to pack, getting a tree, etc, etc. However, take a step back. Yes, it is a tireless effort to create a wonderful Christmas experience for kids and the family, however doing so does not need to be stressful if planned out.
You may be thinking – “I plan out every detail, whats gives?”
Well, remember Christmas is about love, compassion, experiences, and memories – more so than who sits where, what presents to get, when to decorate the house with lights, etc.
Plan out in advance to ease the parts you think stressful and allow room for celebrating your newly created or well-established family traditions.
Ease out the stress
Begin by creating your lists in advance of December and the holiday season. And yes, for some lists may be boring, for others annoying and for some the only way to get through a day – but create your list – section it off into main areas (groceries, decorations, presents, etc.) and then get to it.
Then once you have all that planned out, make a special family tradition list. This has to do with everything dedicated to creating memories with your family. What should you call this list you ask?
How about the Family Christmas Bucket List?
Here are a few things we have come up with. Feel free to snab some ideas and also create your own, unique to your family. Print them out and hang them on the fridge or elsewhere and make sure you check them off as the season goes by, year for year. Add, change and adapt as your kids grow. Watch the memories being created for life.
- Bake cookies with kids for family members or neighbors
- Check out the neighborhood Christmas lights
- Sponsor a child as a family and write letters and send photos (aside the monetary funding)
- Create homemade ornaments
- Christmas dance party
- Have your kids write a letter to Santa Claus with their wishes and why
- Decorate the tree the same day each year while listening to Christmas songs
- Build a snowman together and dress it up
- Volunteer somewhere as a family
- Go ice skating
- Watch Home Alone (or any other Christmas movie – perhaps a Disney film more age appropriate for younger kids)
- Craft Christmas cards and send them to family
- Do a secret Santa and have your kids draw names from a hat
- Go on a sleight ride
- Do a daily advent calendar
- Cook christmas dinner together
- Play a boardgame
- Sing Christmas carols
- Spend some time in prayer, meditation, etc.
- Read different Christmas stories each night
- Visit nursing homes with homemade Christmas cards
- Build a gingerbread house
- Take fun photos in the same pose each year (and even the same outfit)
- Create a special drink for you and/or your spouse only during Christmas
As you can see, there are so many things you can do. Be creative and involve your kids from an early age. Traditions are something we all remember and carry with us through memories, regardless of age.