Christmas, when you have kids, is almost as much fun as Christmas when you are a kid. It’s one of the times of year that you look forward to when you think about starting a family, and all the stress during the build-up is worth it for the look on their little faces.
Creating your own Christmas traditions for your family is great fun. You have the chance to create lasting memories for your kids, as well as introducing them to your favourite traditions from your own childhood.
You don’t have to spend lots of money coming up with traditions, sometimes the best ideas are the simple ones.
It’s also worth remembering that kids don’t forget anything! So only pick things that you’re happy to do every year.
A lot of people have taken to doing Christmas Eve boxes and Elf on the shelf in recent years (both of which I don’t do), but if you want some other suggestions for creating your own family Christmas traditions here are some ideas…
Let kids choose a new Christmas decoration
Little H loves going to our local garden centre to see all of the Christmas lights and over the top lawn decorations. I let her choose a tree ornament each year, they don’t always match the rest of the tree but she’s always very proud to hang them.
Decorate the tree together
Whilst it’s much less stressful to sort the tree yourself when the kids have gone to bed, it’s a nice way to get everyone in the Christmas spirit. Stick those Christmas tunes on, get the decorations down from the loft and get everyone involved in decorating the tree.
And then maybe do a bit of rearranging when they’ve gone to bed.
Make your own Christmas cards
Getting the kids to make their own Christmas cards is a good way to keep them amused for a bit and saves you spending a small fortune on cards. Get a pack of red and green card, some festive stickers and some glitter pens and you’re all set.
Plus grandparents love them so it’s a win-win.
Go and see a pantomime
We’ve actually never been to see a pantomime before as I thought Little H was too young to sit still, but I’m looking at the best one to see this year. I can remember going with my Nan when we were little and we always had a great time. It definitely gets you into the Christmas spirit!
Get Christmas PJs
New pyjamas are always good, but Christmas PJs are even better. For the kids, it’s like an early Christmas present, and you get to see them looking all cute in new festive pyjamas. You could even treat yourself to matching ones – you can definitely get away with that at Christmas.
Make a gingerbread house
This is one of those traditions that kind of started by accident. When Little H was 2 we bought a gingerbread house from Ikea and made it together a few days before Christmas. The following year she asked “when are we making the gingerbread house?” so we did it again. Now we do it every year, I already have the Ikea package waiting for Little H to break up for the Christmas holidays. It’s great fun, keeps the kids amused for a while, and of course yummy to eat!
Have a Christmas Eve day out
When we were kids we used to go to the dry ski slopes on Christmas Eve with our cousins and aunties. Us kids (& the Dads!) had great fun riding the toboggans down while the mums stayed in the warm with their hot chocolates. For the last 2 Christmas Eves, we’ve been to an outdoor ice-rink which has been great fun, especially as it’s usually mine and the husband’s first day off work before the Christmas holiday so helps us feel all festive.
Watch a Christmas film
In the run-up to Christmas, you’ll probably watch loads of Christmas movies, there are lots of great ones to choose from. Why not pick your family favourite to watch on Christmas Eve in your new PJs. Our Christmas Eve film is Polar Express, which in my opinion is definitely one of the better ones!
Leave out a treat for Father Christmas
All kids love this one, don’t they? We leave milk, cookies and a carrot – though last year Little H demanded that we leave a carrot for each reindeer so they didn’t feel left out! This year I’ve also bought some ‘Reindeer food’ to sprinkle outside next to Santa’s ‘magic key’.
Set a time for opening presents
If you’ve had more than one Christmas as a parent you’ve probably already got this one down. You might open stockings in bed half asleep when the kids get up at the crack of dawn, or all open your presents in the living room before breakfast, or maybe you make everyone wait until after breakfast.
Hope these ideas give you some festive inspiration! Do you have any other family Christmas traditions?