Written by Lindsey at These Hungry Kids
The holidays are such a fun and exciting time of year! The dull of winter is brightened with Christmas lights, cheery music, and the excitement of new gifts brought by Santa. It’s time to start holiday traditions with your kids!
But as we grow older, we realize that Christmas is less and less about the presents and shiny new toys, but rather about family. The true magic of Christmas is how it seems to bring everyone together.
Christmas through a child’s eyes
When I reflect back on Christmas as a child, I do not remember every gift I got. I loved Christmas because it meant baking cookies with my mom. Christmastime meant we would travel to visit family far away and see cousins we hadn’t seen all year.
It also meant that my brothers and I could all sleep in the same room and listen for Santa’s reindeer until we were too exhausted to stay awake. Those memories are the ones I cherish most, and the ones that I hope my daughters reflect on, as well! Let’s talk about how to start holiday traditions with your kids.
Holiday Traditions with your kids – 10 different ideas
A week ago, my 2-year-old daughter took an especially long nap, so I started making the batch of cookies I had planned to make with her while she rested. When she awoke and came downstairs, she excitedly squealed in her raspy, sleepy voice, “Yahoooo! I LOVE Christmas!”
I was elated when she said that. She has been asking to listen to Christmas music, do Santa crafts, and put red and green sprinkles on everything. I LOVE that she has already associated Christmastime with fun activities we get to do together.
I really paid attention to what Christmas traditions we should start this year, and here are some of my favorite ways to start holiday traditions with your kids:
I know I just talked about this, but that’s because it’s such a staple to our holiday festivities.
I let my 2 year old really get into it. She is measuring and pouring my ingredients into the bowl, scooping the dough onto the cookie sheet, and doing her personal favorite: rolling dough balls in sugar for crinkle cookies and molasses cookies!
When we made sugar cookie cutouts, she chose the cookie cutters and helped cut the dough. When it came time to decorate, I made her a special purple frosting and set out tons of sprinkles for her. She had a blast!
Now, this does mean I’m sacrificing the appearance of my desserts, but it’s worth it!
Christmas Tree Decorating
Now if you’re thinking, “duh, Lindsey. Everyone does this.” Then you’re right!
But this year I got my kids their own personal Christmas tree! In total, I spent about $20, and it has provided endless entertainment.
I purchased a small, silver tree from Target for about $8, and it currently sits atop the coffee table in my living room. I let my daughter pick a few ornaments from the $3 section at Target, and then I purchased some small glitter ornaments from the dollar section. She added some necklaces from her dress up collection for some extra flair. I love how creative she’s gotten with it! She really focuses on taking ornaments off and on the tree and making sure it looks just right.
For our big Christmas tree, my daughter loves making her own ornaments. I bought a pack of plain, plastic, unfilled ornaments and let my daughter go crazy. We painted one with red and green paint and glitter and stuffed the other with feathers, beads, and paper.
We also made some paper ornaments to hang on the tree. She is so proud to show off her work! And I see her admiring her ornaments when she checks out our family tree. It’s so sweet to see how proud she is!
Have a Christmas Music Sing and Dance Party
My kids LOVE to sing and dance. The moves they come up with are hysterical, and it’s a great way to get out some energy! We love putting Christmas radio on and going crazy. Get out the feather boas, silly outfits, and crazy sunglasses and go nuts!
Watch a Holiday Movie Together
Snuggle up next to the fireplace with a cozy blanket and some popcorn to watch your favorite movie! The Grinch is always a favorite in our house. My kids LOVE stovetop popcorn, there’s just something exciting about watching the kernels pop.
You don’t even have to buy anything! But walking around a mall or shopping center that has decorated for Christmas is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Big department stores tend to play Christmas music and have fun, festive decorations. Plus, sometimes its fun to just walk around and window shop!
Pick out Gifts for Siblings/Other Parent
When I was little, I LOVED going shopping for family members. My parents offered us each a small allowance to pick out toys for each other, and it was so exciting to go shopping with my dad and then wrap them up with my mom. I loved seeing how my brothers reacted to each gift and it was so fun to try to find things they liked. Our budget was probably $20 total, so the gifts weren’t big or fancy.
Mail Christmas Cards
We love getting Christmas cards and hanging them up in our kitchen! My daughters love looking at pictures of their friends and family hanging up, and we always send them in return.
While my kids are too young to do a lot in terms of mailing, my 2-year-old can help stamp the envelopes and loves taking trips to the mailbox. Every day she asks to go get the mail to see what fun letters we’ve received!
Send Handwritten Letters to Family and Friends
Or in our case, mom or dad writes the message and my kids cover the paper in scribbles and stickers. It’s fun to arrive at grandma and grandpa’s house and see the “letter” they created hanging on the refrigerator!
Make Gingerbread Houses
Get ready for a mess! You can purchase the pieces to a gingerbread house at the grocery store, and many kits come with the candies already. I recommend supplementing with additional holiday candies, but the kits really get you off to a nice start! If your kids are little and too rough to glue the sides together with icing, you can use a hot glue gun to hold the house together and just decorate the house with frosting and candies. It’s SO much fun!
I hope this gave some good inspiration for ways to ignite the holiday spirit and create family traditions! It is such a magical, warm time for my kids, and I hope it will be for yours, too! I hope this helps you to start holiday traditions with your kids this season!
Meet the Author
Lindsey is a mom-blogger at These Hungry Kids. Check out her blog here! where she helps other moms like herself navigate parenthood. She writes from her experience as a labor and delivery nurse as well as a mom to two sweet girls, and posts about everything from childbirth to raising kids, and family-friendly recipes.