Do you and your family share family holiday traditions? If so, do you find it hard to find the time to do them? Today I'm going to be sharing why it's so important to make time for family holiday traditions.
With our overscheduled schedules, it's hard to find time to do those things that really matter the most to our kids. We have holiday parties, shopping, decorating, baking, okay you get it, the list goes on and on.
December seems to be the time warp of months. If we let it, the time will get away from us and then we miss out on the important little things that our kids will remember when they're grown.
So let's talk about it. Why is it so important to make time for family traditions?
I want you to close your eyes and think back to your childhood Christmas's and think, what made them so special?
Was it the gifts that you were given? Or was it the activities that you did during the holiday season?
When I think back to my childhood Christmas's, I can only remember a handful of gifts. What I do remember are the times I spent baking cookies, looking at Christmas lights, and on Christmas eve, my dad reading The Night Before Christmas before we went to bed.
The world we live in goes so fast. We live in "have-to land" 95% of the time and it's worse this time of the year.
If you don't have holiday family traditions and you'd like to start I'm going to share a few simple ones with you.
Baking cookies are on the top of my list of traditions because there are a few types of cookies that I only bake this time of the year. These are recipes that my great-grandmother used to bake and have been passed down year after year.
Having cookie recipes that have been passed down 4 generations (my oldest is now baking them on her own now) makes this tradition more special.
Christmas light viewing
One night grab the kids and drive around some neighborhoods. This is something that my grandfather used to do for my mother and uncle and us when we went to visit.
When we weren't visiting my grandparents for Christmas my parents would drive us around local neighborhoods.
When I was a child the lights weren't as amazing as they are now.
Now on Christmas eve we all hop in the car and go Christmas light viewing. When we get home, we drink some cocoa and watch some classic Christmas movies.
Which brings me to my next suggestion...
Watch some classic Christmas movies
We have a handful of Christmas movies we watch each year. Classics like, It's A Wonderful Life or, Charlie Brown Christmas are my kids' favorites. We just pop in a DVD and enjoy an evening together.
My kids look forward more to Christmas eve than anything else because they know they get to look at lights, enjoy family movie night and drink cocoa.
If you'd like to make Christmas movies a part of your holiday tradition Pure Flix is offering 5 Sundays of free Christmas movies that you can sign up for. Giving you a simple and free way to start a holiday family tradition.
Decorate the Christmas tree
Setting up the Christmas tree makes the feeling of the Christmas season real, well, at least that's how it feels to me.
What we do is, turn on some Christmas music and start decorating the tree. You can add a little bit more holiday fun by making some spiced cider or some hot cocoa. Your family and you can sip on your favorite Christmas beverage, decorate the tree while listening to some holiday tunes.
It's the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit.
Open a gift on Christmas Eve
Each year my girls get to open one gift on Christmas Eve. It's not a gift of their choosing, typically it's new PJ's, slippers, and a robe. Since they're constantly growing it replaces their worn out and outgrown PJ's, slippers, and robe.
You don't have to spend much and it can become a favorite holiday tradition.
Read T'was The Night Before Christmas
On Christmas Eve, right before bed, my father used to read us this story. We would be snuggled up in our brand new PJ's while dad read us T'was The Night Before Christmas.
By the time I was 7 I had the story memorized and always something we looked forward to each year.
Laying out milk and cookies for Santa
You cannot forget Santa! My girls get (got) so excited to lay out the milk, cookies, and veggies for Santa and the reindeers.
Write Santa a thank you letter
On Christmas afternoon we gather to write a thank you letter to Santa. Since he and his elves worked so hard all year long helping to make our Christmas special it's only fair that he and his elves receive a thank you letter.
This is a wonderful way to teach your kids about writing thank you letters and appreciating what others do for them.
I love looking back at these letters to see how they've grown through the years.
Volunteer to teach your kids about giving back
So many places are looking for volunteers. This doesn't have to be a holiday tradition, you could make this a January tradition or even a July tradition.
With all of the less fortunate people in the world, it is always good to give back. Things you could do is:
- help at a homeless shelter
- pick up trash
- visit a nursing home
- donate food to a food bank
You can check in your area places that are in need of volunteers.
Setting up a holiday family tradition doesn't have to cost anything or take too much time out of your day. Just knowing that time does fly by and before you know it, your kids will be setting up traditions for their kids, it's important to make sure you give them lasting memories.
Think back to your childhood and try to remember your favorite Christmas's. What did you do? Was it a special meal? Was it time with family? Or was it decorating cookies? Whatever those memories are, try to incorporate those memories into your new family traditions.
As always, I want to make this step as simple as possible and I've put together a Holiday Traditions checklist for you to help you start making holiday traditions a part of your holiday season.
I want to thank you so much for stopping by, I've linked a few other posts below that I thought you might find helpful.
Have an amazing day and an amazing Christmas!