Between all of the present shopping, parties and baking, it can be easy to lose sight of what the real purpose of the holiday is – to spend time with our love ones. Having wonderful family holiday traditions allows us to take a moment, mark the moment and enjoy the moment with one another. Traditions are great ways to build memories and strengthen bonds between one another. They are something not only children will look forward to every year but adults as well. It is never too late to start a new family tradition.
Here are some of the best holiday traditions to incorporate with your family:
25 Days of Christmas Books. This is a fun way to count down to Christmas Day. Acquiring Christmas books is not that hard, especially if you keep a lookout throughout the year. You can usually by the second hand at garage sales or at mom 2 mom sales. Collect 25 and wrap each one. For each night, your child gets to unwrap and open a Christmas book to read before bed time. This definitely helps build the excitement to Christmas day while spurring your child’s love for books and reading.
A Thankful Heart. This is a wonderful tradition that helps children as well as adults recognize each other by taking the time to say thank you for the things that people do for us just because they love us. You make small fabric hearts (great if you have a lot of scraps lying around your craft room) and put them in a basket. Then when someone does something thoughtful or you want to recognize someone that you are thankful for, you color the heart on a sheet to match the fabric heart you are giving and write the reason why the person is receiving the heart.
A Christmas Bucket List. This is another great way to count down the season. The goal is to fill the bucket with presents but these are not toys you will be wrapping! They will be activities and things to do as a family. Some ideas include coloring books, Christmas movies to watch together, a gingerbread house decorating kit and supplies to make a Christmas craft with each other. They can also include envelopes that have fun activities to do such as baking Christmas cookies, sorting old clothes to take to a homeless shelter or writing a letter to Santa.
Christmas Lights Scavenger hunt. This is a fun activity to do, especially if you have a large family. You can break out into teams and have a list of different types of Christmas decorations to look for throughout a neighborhood. The list can include a light up Santa, red lights, a reindeer, etc… Take a photo with someone’s camera phone to capture all the items on your list. The first team back at the house with all the photos of everything on your list wins and gets a prize!