Written by Caroline Meyer
Christmas is a time for family and making memories that will last a lifetime. We may have some traditions that have been carried over from parents and grandparents that we still practise today as part of our celebrations. It is nice to start some new traditions with your family as well that they can carry forward to the next generation. As kids get older, they may forget the gifts they received and even the day to day living, but the occasions that are made special tend to leave a lasting impression. You can add any traditions that suit your family and you believe will make the holiday season just that little more special. Here are a few ideas to give you some inspiration.
START DECORATING EARLY
Traditionally decorations go up on the 10th of December and come down again 10th of January, making for a full month of cheery colour and fun. Why not start your decorating early. You can even do it over a few days and spend the time to make the decorations really stand out. Encourage the festive cheer by playing carols and spending time together as you put up the tree.
GET THE KIDS INVOLVED
Get the kids to help make homemade Christmas Cards to send out to the family. Get them to help you bake sweet treats that you can share with other family members or even the less fortunate. Let them help you put together a playlist of favourite Christmas songs to play every year. You can even get the whole family involved in some community work to add extra joy to the occasion.
GO ON HOLIDAY
Agree on small gifts or skip the gifts all together and go on a family vacation together. This time of year usually means time of work for most people. Use the time to bond closer as a family while exploring somewhere outside of your home. If money is a bit tight, look for fun things to do in your own area or nearby cities and towns that can be done on a budget. Go camping or on road trips. The main thing is spending time together as a family and having some fun. You can get the kids involved by making a list of activities and allowing them to choose what they would like to do.
HAVE A MOVIE NIGHT
You can put out sleeping bags or cushions in the lounge or a bedroom. Play some fun Christmas movies, eat some popcorn together and have a slumber party. Drink hot chocolate and other festive drinks while enjoying time together as a family. You can eat Christmas treats such as gingerbread and mince pies and enjoy some mulled wine or egg nog for the adult family members. You don’t have to restrict this to only one night; you can have a few movie nights over the holidays if it goes well. You could also do crafts together or play games such as Pictionary, Uno, Monopoly or simple Snakes and Ladders and Ludo with the little ones.
Have a snack night where you can put out finger foods for everyone to enjoy. This is a great time to experiment with different flavours and ideas. We do samosas, pigs in a blanket, cherry bacon pops, peanuts, chips and dips, mini hotdogs, cheese puffs, spring rolls and more. This gives us a range of different tastes and flavours and there is something for everyone to enjoy. We usually do this on Christmas Eve and allow the kids to open 1 gift before bedtime. It helps calm down the night before Christmas vibes so they can get some sleep as well.
CHRISTMAS MORNING PYJAMAS AND HOT CHOCOLATE
We had a rule in our home growing up that no gifts could be opened until everyone was out of bed. This did make for some early mornings but everyone got to enjoy watching the excitement of gifts being distributed and opened. Put on the kettle, make some hot chocolate and everyone can sit around in their pyjamas as the gifts are opened. This is a simple, yet fun tradition that can bring a family closer together.
MAKE SPECIAL ORNAMENTS EVERY YEAR
Allow the kids to make or decorate one special ornament every year. They can add their names and the year to the ornaments. This allows your ornament collection to grow every year and adds a special memento that you can eventually pass on to your kids and grandkids.
These are just a few of the many, many possible traditions you can start with your family. As long as it is fun and brings the family closer together, any festive tradition may good to introduce this year. If it doesn’t work out that great, you can try something different next year. That’s how traditions are created after all. Make those memories and enjoy spending tome together as a family!