December 17, 2018
As the kids get older I start thinking more & more about the family traditions I want our family to have around the Holidays. It’s a time I want them to think back on and have fond memories of being together as a family, giving to each other & those in need & celebrating the love & goodness in our lives. Sharing a few traditions we have started along with some I love.
1// Read Christmas Books – In the weeks leading up to Christmas we keep a basket of Christmas books out. Each night the kids pick a few to read. We’ll add to our Christmas book collection each year, and then I just store them with our Christmas decor. When we get them out each year, the kids are excited to see their favorites again, and some feel like new!
2// Drive around to look at Christmas Lights – After dinner we’ll put the kids in their matching Christmas jammies and go drive around & look at lights. Take a little treat like milk & cookies or hot chocolate. In Kansas City we love to find a light show that we can park at so the kids can get out their car seats and dance to the music. Our favorites are Deanna Rose, Candy Cane Lane, Vince & Associates (103rd & Metcalf) & neighborhoods around 131st & Metcalf. I shared some of my other favorite Kansas City lights & activities here.
3// Make & Deliver Cookies – Sutton loves helping me in the kitchen, so we try to spend a morning or afternoon making Christmas treats. A fun tradition is to deliver these to family, neighbors, local fire & police station, UPS, FedEx & Postal Service. We try to keep in mind those who are working extra hours during the Holidays & on Christmas day.
4// Make Magic Reindeer Food – Sit out bowls of oatmeal, sprinkles, chocolate chips, marshmallows, “anything reindeers might like” and then let the kids scoop items in a bag to make a mix of Magic Reindeer Food. Tie up the bag with baker’s twine and add a tag. Fun to make with cousins or friends or for cousins & friends. This would be a fun activity for your Elf on the Shelf to bring!
5// Make Gingerbread Houses – Who doesn’t love decorating with candy?! Whether it’s an adult party/contest or a kids activity, making a gingerbread house is always a fun activity. A Gingerbread House kit is another fun gift that your elf on the shelf can bring.
6// Watch Classic Christmas Movies – I love showing the kids both the classic Christmas movies and the newer ones that are out. Our favorite classics are Rudolph & Frosty and our favorite newer movies are The Grinch & the Elf on the Shelf movie. Don’t forget your hot cocoa & popcorn!
7// Elf on the Shelf – This is the first year Sutton has really got into Elf on the Shelf. She gets so excited each morning to look for Chippy. She is also loving the book & the movie. I am also thankful for the kits you can buy for assistance in getting creative each day!
8// Shoe Box Drive – It is important to us to give to those in need during the Christmas season & thinking of others is something we want to teach our kids. Sutton’s school does a drive for Operation Christmas Child, so we have done that the past few years. If you don’t have a drop off location near you, you can also build a box online to donate!
9// Advent Calendar – Both kids look forward to opening their advent calendars each morning! We got a Jurassic Park one this year, but if you’re planning ahead and want to get a personalized one you can use year after year, Pottery Barn Kids has theirs on sale now!
10// Secret Santa – Our family does a Secret Santa gift exchange each year. I posted about other gift exchange ideas too! There are so many creative ways to exchange gifts and I love hearing the gift traditions different families have.
11// Letters to Santa – Elf on the Shelf has a cute letters to Santa kit that makes their letters into keepsake ornaments. This would be a fun tradition & be able to look back at their letters over the year.
12// On Christmas Eve Track Santa’s progress across the globe on NORAD & read The Night Before Christmas at bedtime.
13 // Christmas Morning – Wear matching pajamas & if you’re not able to be with your family on Christmas morning, call or have a video chat with them. The kids get excited to show them what Santa brought and what a perfect day to connect with your loved ones.
What are some of your favorite family Christmas traditions?