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No matter which holiday you celebrate this time of year, it’s important to have traditions. Christmas Eve traditions create memories that last a lifetime and are something families look forward to and carry on.
Here are some ideas of new traditions you can start with your family this year.
Many of the traditions we had during my childhood have now been carried on and shared with my children, as well as some new ones that we have started ourselves.
While I love sharing traditions from my childhood, I have been looking for some fun new ideas to incorporate into our holidays to make our own. Maybe you are looking for something new to start with your family, too.
These are my favorite ideas and some we will definitely be starting this year. I can’t wait to begin starting new memories and traditions that maybe my sons will also pass down to their future families.
Make a Christmas Eve box
Remember wanting to open just one gift on Christmas Eve? I love the idea of making a Christmas Eve box for the kids with pajamas, Christmas stories, a DVD, snacks, or an ornament.
Christmas movie night
Get excited for Christmas morning by having a marathon of your favorite Christmas movies. Serve cookies and hot cocoa and the night is complete!
Give to the less fortunate
Christmas is a hard time of year for many families. If you are one of the more fortunate families who has plenty to eat and gifts under the tree, why not give a gift to a needy child or family?
There are many ways to do this such as dropping a gift in a donation box, choosing a child from an angel tree, or being matched up with a child through many different organizations.
Bake Christmas cookies
This is such a simple, yet meaningful tradition in many families. Not only does baking with your family create happy memories, who doesn’t love having a bunch of delicious cookies in the house?
Cookies also make great gifts for family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors if you end up with too many. But, really, is there such a thing as too many cookies? I don’t think so.
Take the kids out every year to choose their own ornament for the year. We love to pick up an ornament whenever we travel or go somewhere unique, even if it’s in the middle of July. Christmas shops in your area are also a great place to find that one-of-a-kind ornament that will remind you of the year you bought it.
Either have your kids pick out their own or pick one out for them as a special gift in their stocking or on the night you put up your Christmas tree.
Family game night
Card games, board games, any kind of game. With a larger than normal group of people, games are even more fun!
Break out a deck of cards or some board games and have some laughs and good times.
Go on a Christmas light tour
If you have a festively lit neighborhood, take a walk and look at the lights. If your neighborhood is on the more tame side, take a ride to look at lights in other neighborhoods. Some towns even have a list of the best lit houses.
Make reindeer food
Go above and beyond leaving a carrot or an apple (like we do) and make some “real” reindeer food with the kids. I love this idea from Smart School House and think we will be trying it this year!
If you do Santa in your house, track him with the NORAD Santa Tracker. My kids both love seeing where Santa is and as an added bonus, they often get to learn about new places in the world. This is one of my family’s favorite traditions.
Donate old toys
To make room for new toys, put together a box or bag of outgrown or no longer loved toys to donate. You could donate to a thrift store, shelter, church group, or other charitable foundation in your area. Make a child happy while decreasing clutter. It’s a win-win!
Read The Night Before Christmas
As a kid, my grandfather used to read The Night Before Christmas and I loved it. It always got me so excited to go to bed and see what goodies would be under the tree when I woke up.
I hope you now have some ideas to start with your family this year and for years to come. Warmest wishes to you and yours for a happy holiday season.