To all my mammas out there with littles, I know what it is like to wonder when and what things you want to set as family traditions. Once your littles are two years old or so, it’s time to establish those family traditions that your babies will carry with them into adulthood and hopefully share with their babies! Family traditions are so important for families because they allow us to realign and center ourselves each year. We have an innate desire to perform these traditions because it fills us in a way that only being with those closest to us can do. These traditions we start today will be the things that our kids remember as “the good old days” when they are older.
When I say traditions, I mean things you do with your family or friends regularly or annually, not just during the holidays but since we are about to roll into them, I thought I would focus this post on the holidays. The traditions don’t have to be anything crazy, they can be super simple you just have to make a ritual of it so that it feels special. For example, maybe you already watch Christmas movies around the holidays. To jazz this up and make if feel special, try adding in special clothing, food and drinks like pajamas, hot chocolate, and some popcorn or kettle corn for my salty/sweet toothers! If you have a fireplace, burning a fire each night during the holidays is a great way to make the whole season feel special. The smell will forever bring people back to this time. The same is true for music so if you are starting a cookie making tradition, playing a certain kind of music each time you do will have a nostalgic effect down the line.
I do so many things! Here is a copy of my Holiday Calendar that I share with my friends and family each year. The first year it was hectic and people were a little overwhelmed. Now, if I haven’t sent it out by October 3, I am getting emails asking where it is. This list of traditions has become so much a part of my friends’ and family’s lives that they feel something is missing if something doesn’t happen.
Here’s a blank one for you to work with: Holiday Calendar-2018-Blank
If you still aren’t sure what to do, here is a list of ideas to help you out. They are broken down by how complicated they are to execute.
Simple- can execute with little to no planning or work
- Visit Santa
- Take Family Pictures
- Elf on the Shelf (Check out these ideas for what to do with them)
- Go Ice Skating outside
- Drive to the Snow (if you don’t live in it)
- Christmas Movie Night in your PJs and with hot chocolate and popcorn
- Decorate Gingerbread houses (buy them premade with all the fixings at Costco, Trader Joes or even Target)
- Get holiday scented hand soaps for all the sinks in the house (Bath & Body Works is the BEST!)
- Burn cinnamon wax/candles in the house (or put out the scented pine cones)
- Burn a fire in the fireplace
- Go to Church
Medium – requires some planning or work to do
- Decorate Christmas cookies
- Make Cookies for Santa
- Do kids crafts (you can literally buy the whole craft with instructions and they come with sticky foam so you don’t have to do anything but stick them together
- Attend a tree lighting ceremony
- Get premade Advent Calendars for everyone
- Have Santa Call your kids (you can find this on Groupon and it is SOOOO Cool!)
- Have New Years Dinner at the same restrauant each year
- Volunteer for an existing charity
Pro – Planning and work required
- Make and Decorate Christmas Cookies
- Throw a Holiday Party
- Host a Christmas Brunch
- Have Santa come to your house (get a friend your kids don’t know to wear the suit and give gifts)
- Gift Exchange
- Girls Night In: Holiday Edition
- Host a Holiday Craft night (you can make Fall Candle Holders or wreaths)
- Make and stock a homemade Advent Calendar (I will add instructions in December)
- Eat Christmas Dinner together
- Have the kids do specific projects for certain (Charities)
There are thousands of things you can do. If this is your first year, I would start with just a couple of easy ones and build on them each year. As you do them over and over, you will get better at them and everyone will enjoy them more and more. The traditions you start today are the ones that set the stage for what your family will expect and crave as they grow. Let’s start something positive and fun that fills them up.
Please comment and tell me what awesome traditions you are doing!