We love the idea of making our own Christmas traditions as a family. When you look back to your own childhood any traditions you might have had are always the ones you remember fondly. Here's some of our favourite ideas that you could start this year with your family!
1) Make a family Christmas bucket list at the beginning of December
On December 1st, sit everyone down and let each person pick one thing they’d like to do (as a family) in December.
It could be skating, going for a drive to see the lights, building a snowman (if there is snow!), baking Christmas cookies – whatever they want! Then try to pick dates and schedule the activities so everything on your “Christmas bucket list” gets checked off.
2) Have a family slumber party
Everyone’s allowed to stay up late and build forts in the living room! (OR have them build forts in mom and dad’s room – this way mom and dad still get to sleep in their bed, but it’s still a party.) Read Christmas stories and drink hot chocolate. Talk about all the wonderful things that happened throughout the year – and write them in a special journal that you can add to every year.
3) Have a Christmas movie night
Such a simple idea but one they will always remember. Dedicate a special night each year to a family Christmas movie night. Gather on the couch, pick some Christmas favourites to watch, have popcorn and hot chocolate, make some festive treats and when we they are a lot older, slightly stronger hot chocolate! (wink, wink!)
4) Get a new Christmas bauble each year for each child
We love this idea - each year you or with your child depending on their age pick out a new Christmas bauble for the tree that represents something they are into that year. Maybe they took up piano, or love Marvel or maybe started ballet! It's such a lovely talking point for years to come when you can go through each one and remember the year it represents.
5) Create a book advent calendar
Our little boys just eat books up and there is always great excitement in our house when we've been to the library or bought a new book! This is a really nice idea whereby you can buy a load of books (or get some from the library too) and do either a santa sack lucky draw each night and they get to pick a new one for bedtime or if you want to take it a little further you could create a mini treasure hunt each evening and give them a clue where to find the book for that evening. There are lots of great websites like the book depository which do really reasonable bundles of Christmas books so you won't have to spend loads to do this.
6) Create a reverse advent calendar
Everyone loves advent calendars, but have you tried making a reverse advent calendar with your children? Instead of opening their calendar and getting something every day, with the reverse they have to put something in instead.
You can do it items of food or clothing that can then be taken to a food bank or charity, and donated to help those less fortunate that are struggling at Christmas time.
7) Take the kids on the Christmas light express
On an unremarkable December evening, get the kids ready for bed as normal, but leave a very special surprise under their pillows – a ticket on the Christmas Light Express! Load them into the car (well, they can stay up past bedtime just this once…), give them each a hot chocolate and a cookie and take them on a journey around town to see all of the best and brightest Christmas lights. It costs next to nothing, but it’s a night they’ll remember forever!