As Christmas nears, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about activities to do with your kids. If you don’t already have a Christmas tradition in place for your kids, why not start this year?
Christmas traditions are a key part of the holiday season. Not only are they fun and enjoyable, but they give kids something to look forward to every year. Plus, they add to the excitement of Christmas!
If you’ve never incorporated any traditions into your family’s Christmas, or if this is your first Christmas with kids, it can be hard to know where to start or what to do. To help you out, check out these nine Christmas tradition ideas specifically with kids in mind.
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Why Have A Christmas Tradition With Kids?
Maybe you’re wondering if you should even bother starting any Christmas traditions with your kids. Is it really worth all the work involved? Doesn’t it just make the already busy season busier?
Pause for a minute and think back to when you were a kid. What was your favorite parts of Christmas? In all likelihood, it was the traditions your family had. The things that stick out to you are probably the same things your family did every year.
Christmas traditions give kids—and adults—a unique way to built memories around the Christmas season. It’s what makes this time of year so magical and special. Christmas traditions are what kids will remember the most as they grow up.
And it’s around those same traditions that some of our most memorable family moments happen. It’s the setting that draws your family together and helps them bond in a special way. If you don’t have any traditions yet, I highly recommend you start some this year!
Christmas Tradition Ideas for Kids
1. Advent Calendar
The Advent calendar is a classic Christmas tradition that kids love. I remember being excited to open up another flap on our advent calendar when I was kid. It gave us something to look forward to every day leading up to Christmas.
And there are so many ways to do this now! My top two favorite advent calendars are this wooden one with drawers, and this magnetic one from Melissa & Doug.
I love the idea of having little drawers to put small gifts in. There are so many things you could put in this advent calendar to make it special each day until Christmas. And it’s so stinking cute!
The magnetic one I like for small toddlers or older babies. It provides a fun way to decorate a tree without having to worry about them breaking ornaments. This could also work for older kids if you’d rather not have daily gifts in your advent calendar.
I like that the ornaments are magnetic, which prevents them from falling off if you have a baby or small toddler that gets a hold of it without you there.
2. Bake Christmas Cookies
One of my favorite things that my family did each year for Christmas was make Christmas cookies. Tons and tons of Christmas cookies!
This is such an easy tradition to do with your kids each year. And it makes it a special time, even if it seems super simple.
If your kids are old enough, have them help you mix the ingredients or shape/cut out the cookies. Even small kids can help decorate the cookies. Give them sprinkles and frosting and let them use their imaginations to decorate the cookies.
Some great Christmas cookies to make are sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, thumbprint cookies, and mint chocolate cookies. Use fun Christmas cutouts to make Christmas shaped ones for extra fun!
3. Christmas Eve Box
The Christmas Eve Box is a tradition I just heard about from a friend, and I love the idea behind it! Basically you put together a small box (shoebox size) for each kid to open on Christmas Eve.
What’s in it? Common items include Christmas pajamas, a movie to watch on Christmas Eve, and snacks to eat during the movie.
This is a cool tradition to make Christmas Eve extra special, and to provide a family time activity—even if it is just a movie. (If you’re not into movies, why not try putting in a small game instead?) I think we may start this tradition in our family.
4. Christmas Morning Breakfast
One of my absolute favorite traditions that my family did at Christmas when I was a kid was to have homemade sticky buns for breakfast.
Making a special breakfast for Christmas morning is a great one to add to the list of Christmas tradition ideas for kids in your home.
I don’t know what it is, but there is something about having a unique breakfast on Christmas morning that makes it extra special. And there are so many different options to try!
My family always did sticky buns because you can make them ahead of time, store in the fridge or freezer, and warm up when you’re ready to eat them. But you could also do fun things like pancakes shaped like reindeer or santa faces. Get creative! Use marshmallows or fruit to decorate your kid’s breakfast, or let them do it themselves.
5. Pick Out A Christmas Tree
If you like to get a real tree, this is a great opportunity for a Christmas tradition for your kids.
Take your kids along to the tree farm, or woods, or wherever you get your tree. Let them search for the perfect tree and pick one out.
Christmas traditions don’t have to hard or expensive. Just taking your kids along with you and letting them be part of the process goes a long way!
6. Decorate The Tree
Christmas tradition ideas for kids doesn’t have to be complicated. Just having your kids help decorate the Christmas tree makes for an awesome Christmas tradition your kids will love.
Just remember to keep it safe if you have babies or small toddlers. Consider getting some non-breakable bulbs and decorations to use, at least until the kids get older.
You might also want to put the lights on yourself, so that you don’t have to worry about any kids accidentally straggling themselves. Unless of course you have a pre-lit tree, then you don’t have to worry about that!
7. Felt Christmas Tree
Even if they can’t decorate a real tree, most toddlers and young kids can handle decorating a felt tree. You can even let them put it up in their bedroom to help get them in the festive spirit.
Felt trees and decorations are fairly easy to make yourself, or you can get a premade felt tree from Amazon.
8. Go Caroling
Caroling is another classic Christmas tradition in which you can involve your kids. If this is something your family does, take the kids along and let them chime in where they can.
They may not know all the words to all the songs, but you can teach them a few easy Christmas songs such as Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman, or Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Don’t forget to bundle them up so they stay warm!
9. Go Look at Christmas Lights
One of my favorite things to do around Christmas time when I was a kid was to go look at Christmas lights. In fact, it still is!
Not only is this an easy family activity, it’s inexpensive as well. Just load up the kids and drive around your neighborhood. You can even have them vote on the best decorated house.
10. Elf on the Shelf
The Elf on the Shelf tradition consists of hiding a small elf in different places each night. The elf is supposed to be “watching” to make sure the kids behave leading up to Christmas. But in the meantime, he also does a lot of tricks and shenanigan’s along the way!
11. Leave Cookies Out For Santa
This is another tradition I haven’t personally done, but if you like to include Santa in your Christmas tradition it can be a good one for kids. Have your little one leave a plate of cookies and cup of milk out for Santa when he comes.
Just don’t forget to come back and eat the cookies so it looks like Santa did it. And make sure your kids are in fact asleep before doing it!
What Christmas tradition do you have with your kids?
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