We’re so close to Christmas, you guys!! Is anyone else beyond excited for the holidays? Because I’m thrilled right about now. This is our first holiday season with Allie in our home state and I can already tell it’s going to be quite different than last year. Last year was quiet and low-key which we absolutely loved, but this year, we’ll be surrounded by pretty much every single member of our family. It will be quite the event.
While I love being surrounded by our loved ones, Zack and I also love the idea of having our own traditions in our home with our little one(s). I was raised with much smaller Christmases with just my parents and sisters whereas Zack was raised with much larger holidays that included absolutely everyone. So having traditions in our home is our way of meeting in the middle and ensuring we’re able to give Allie the best of both worlds. So here are 7 super fun traditions you can start with your kids this year.
Create a Christmas Eve box
I just recently came across this idea on Facebook and instantly fell in love with it! A Christmas Eve box is a box you give your little ones (on Christmas Eve, of course) which typically contains a new pair of pj’s that they can wear that night, a Christmas movie, hot cocoa, their favorite treats, etc.
Of course, the contents of the box can be whatever your heart desires, but I love the idea of creating a fun, cozy night in with our little one (and future little ones) where we can all relax as a family, watch Christmas movies, and eat junk. How fun does that sound?! AND it gives them something to open on Christmas Eve.
The NORAD Santa Tracker (hosted by The North American Aerospace Defense Command – aka NORAD) allows kids to track Santa via Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube so little ones can see where Santa is around the world. They even have volunteers readily available to answer calls and emails from around the world to help keep everyone informed on Santa’s location. The website also contains fun games and activities for kids to play while they watch Santa’s movement across the globe. This can be a super fun activity for kids who still believe in Santa.
Have a gingerbread house contest
This is another great one for the whole family. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are all welcome to join in the fun. Everyone can test out their gingerbread house skills and see who can come up with the best design. Anyone who doesn’t want to join in the fun can be a judge. If you have little ones under 5, then it’s probably easiest to build the house for them and then allow them to decorate it. You can even take it one step further and arrange a fun prize or goodie bag for the winner.
Cousins slumber party…at grandma and grandpa’s
I can’t wait until the day when Allie has cousins. My sisters and I never had cousins growing up and I always envied those who did (which seems to be a good majority of the population, ha!). But for those of you who have kids with cousins, I highly recommend hosting a fun slumber party! Even better, host it at grandma and grandpa’s house so all you adults can have a night to yourselves. All the cousins can get matching pj’s and spend the night eating goodies, playing games, and watching movies.
Bake cookies for Santa
This is a super fun activity for little ones who still believe in Santa. You can take the kids to the grocery store and have them pick out their favorite cookie to make. We love sugar cookies in our home so those are always a hit with our toddler. To make it even easier, you can pick up the ready to bake cookies so you don’t have to deal with the big cleanup later on. And don’t forget the milk and a treat for the reindeer!
Go caroling through the neighborhood
Teach the little ones some of your favorite Christmas carols and take them through the neighborhood to sing them! Allie isn’t quite at a singing age yet, but she loves jingling a bell to Jingle Bells. So if you have toddlers who may be too young to sing, then hand them a fun instrument instead! This allows them to join in the fun in their own way.
Take a drive to see the Christmas lights
This is something my parents always did with us girls growing up and we did it with Allie last year as well. We pick the prettiest neighborhood(s) in our area and load up the car to go see them. In New England, we drive, but when we lived in Southern California we dressed warmly and walked through them with Allie in her stroller. Be sure to pack up some tasty snacks and bring along some hot cocoa!