1. DECORATE THE HOUSE ON DEC 1ST
Having the whole month of December to enjoy the decorations. And growing up I loved that there was never a question of WHEN we would decorate. We always got the tree up and all the lights on as soon as December hits. To this day on Dec 1st, I blast the carols, drink the wine, and deck the halls.
2. SPECIAL ADVENT CALENDERS
It doesn’t have to be the standard chocolate variety, but my goodness I have reservations about the 25 book variety – unless you plan on buying them all second hand and donating them after! If your kids are a little older, I think it would be fun to have each family member decorate their own re-usable advent calendar – that way you can go with the standard edible stuff and throw in the odd little toy or special treat (maybe for the Christmas eve drawer?).
3. DITCH GIFTS ALL TOGETHER AND TAKE A VACATION INSTEAD
You could even SAVE money by forgoing the trimmings and jumping on a plane to Disneyland (if you do that, make sure you grab discount Disney tickets), or maybe spending a quiet week on a beach in Hawaii is more up your alley? Memories you’ll make will last far longer than legos you buy, and YOU’LL actually enjoy the break too!
Related: Giving the Gift of a Family Vacation at Christmas
4. MAKE A FAMILY HOLIDAY BUCKET LIST AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MONTH
On December 1st, sit everyone down and let each person pick one thing they’d like to do (as a family) in December. It could be skating, going for a drive to see the lights, building a snowman, baking cookies – whatever they want! Then try to pick dates and schedule the activities so everything on your “holiday bucket list” gets checked off.
5. FILL SHOE BOXES WITH TREASURES FOR LESS FORTUNATE KIDS
Take the whole family shopping for shoebox supplies and teach your kids that Christmas is not ALL about getting. (If you’ve never looked into filling shoe boxes before you can get more information on this awesome opportunity to bless kids here.)
6. MAKE A GINGERBREAD HOUSE
This is never as much fun when you have to do all the baking of the gingerbread house pieces… but after they came out with pre-baked gingerbread houses, we did one every year. (Tip: we found we never ate the house anyhow because after sitting out for three weeks the cookie part is pretty gross. Try to find the kits on clearance right after Christmas and save them in the freezer for next year – save a LOT of money!)
7. HAVE A FAMILY SLUMBER PARTY
Everyone’s allowed to stay up late and build forts in the living room! (OR have them build forts in mom and dad’s room – this way mom and dad still get to sleep in their bed, but it’s still a party.) Read Christmas stories and drink hot chocolate. Talk about all the wonderful things that happened throughout the year – and write them in a special journal that you can add to every year. Or make pretty paper chains. (Threading popcorn for garland might be fun too!)
8. CHRISTMAS MOVIE NIGHT
For as long as I can remember, we’ve had family movie night (sometime during the week that is Christmas week) and my family always watched National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. With popcorn and hot chocolate, and when we were older, slightly stronger hot chocolate. We still do to this day! On whatever day my family gets to celebrate together, we still sit down and watch Christmas Vacation. This is maybe the simplest of all family Christmas traditions on the list.
9. FAMILY GAME NIGHT
Just like movie night, this is one my family never misses out on. Hands-down favorite game is Settlers of Catan. It’s a little bit like risk, but 23 times more awesome. Settler’s is too involved for the really little people; it might be fun to invest in something festive like Rudolph Monopoly and play it every year. (Another favorite when we were too little for settlers was probably Yahtzee or Uno.)
10. FONDUE NIGHT
It’s so out of the ordinary, and so much fun. Taking fruits and goodies to the next level with dark, milk or white chocolate is fun for all ages, especially kids.
11. AFTER THE KIDS GO TO BED – HAVE “JUST YOU GUYS” CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS
Tradition can be super simple, but it’s important to focus on each other once in a while.
12. CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLELIGHT SERVICE
It’s so easy to forget that Christmas is all actually about the fact the Christ came here for us, to be with us, to save us. This is something I will do with my kids, every year. Take the time out in the busy Christmas season to focus on Jesus, and thank Him.
13. CHRISTMAS EVE GIFT BOX
Your Christmas eve box could include a movie, matching family pajamas (One favorite are pajamas, the best in the whole world are Lazy Onesies – I would do a whole family set of these…), and snacks.
Related: The Ultimate Clutter Free Christmas Gifts Guide for Toddlers – Teens
Related:The Ultimate Clutter Free Christmas Gifts Guide for Her, for Him and For Grandparents
14. CHRISTMAS MORNING MUSIC AND HOT CHOCOLATE
No one ever made us “eat a healthy breakfast” on Christmas morning – it was straight to the gifts, with hot chocolate and Christmas music. Almost always Elvis.
15. CHRISTMAS TREE ORNAMENT
Pick out one new tree ornament, and add to your growing collection of “special” ornaments. Or better yet, MAKE a tree ornament every year. You could make salt dough handprints and paint them (these will be precious forever), cut a ring off the bottom of your tree and date it, or dip pine cones in glitter!
16. CHRISTMAS MORNING FAMILY PHOTO
Everyone in their jammies, with their hair crazy, surrounded by wrapping paper. We set the camera on self-timer. These are some of my favorite photos to look back on.
17. SPECIAL “SANTA” WRAPPING PAPER
My mom had this massive roll of gorgeous holographic wrapping paper (that she kept hidden for literally YEARS) and every Christmas morning there was one more gift there than there had been the night before, wrapped in the special paper that only Santa used.
18. WANT, NEED, WEAR, & READ GIFTS
This isn’t something that we did growing up, but it’s absolutely something I would like to do with my kids! And it’s a great Christmas tradition to start with a toddler or a baby! I really want to keep Christmas from getting too materialistic (and I hate the idea of cluttering the house up SO badly). I love the idea of gifting everyone with something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read.
19. CHRISTMAS CRACKERS AT DINNER – YOU MUST WEAR THE HAT
I buy the crackers after Christmas every year and put them in storage with the wrapping paper for the next year. (I get them for 75-80% off generally, so it’s a pretty cheap tradition.) Just in case you didn’t get any last year – there are some pretty affordable ones available on Amazon.
20. BOXING DAY APPETIZER DINNER
I know I keep saying “this is my favorite tradition”, but I can’t actually pick one! After the busy and rushing (and cooking) of Christmas, we love to do next to NO cooking on boxing day. We buy a heap of finger food type appetizers and do an appetizer only dinner.
Related: Free Printable Christmas Menu Planner
CREATING CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS FOR YOUR FAMILY IS A VERY PRACTICAL WAY TO PARENT “ON PURPOSE.” I think making a point of creating family Christmas traditions is one of the most “on purpose” things we can do for our families – these are the things that will stand out in our kid’s minds when they look back on their time at home. (And remember, their time at home is brief!)
Making the time to enjoy the holidays together is something you will NEVER regret.
Article Provided By: Mommy On Purpose
Our Family here at Liquid Video Technologies wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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