We all have Christmas traditions from our families growing up and merging traditions can be hard sometimes. Does Santa wrap presents or put them unwrapped in a sack? Do you open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? When we start our own families it can be nice to start our own traditions.
We have pulled together some ideas for you to help you create a magical family Christmas.
Is there a local street in your area that does amazing Christmas lights? Or do you decorate your house? Find a local street and make a night of it. Pack a picnic dinner and then spend the evening walking your local area taking in the magic of Christmas lights!
Baking for Christmas is a fun way to bond with the family. Bake biscuits, gifts for teachers and friends, treats for Santa- anything you want! I totally have a sweet tooth so baking is one of my favourite activities. I’m going to share some great recipes for traditional Christmas biscuits with you all too.
Collect, or Make, Decorations
Every December head out as a family to choose a Christmas decoration to add to your tree or house. Or, if you have travelled somewhere, buy a decoration on holiday to mark the occasion. It’s a great way to build family memories and create a collection that will be talked about every year.
You can also make your own decorations if you are feeling crafty! We like making mini stockings with felt and glitter. There are loads of great ideas on Pinterest.
Elf on a Shelf
Have you heard of Elf on a Shelf? He’s a little guy keeping an eye on the kids for Santa. He’s magic and he can’t be touched or he loses his magic. Every night he flies back to Santa and when the kids wake up he’s done something funny/naughty or silly. Come up with fun things for your elf to do is a great way to keep the Christmas magic alive.
Choose your Christmas Tree Together
Do you love the smell of a real Christmas tree? I’m all about real trees- the plastic ones have no magic. There are Christmas tree farms or most local fruit shops sell them. Also, your local Scouts troup will most likely be selling them to raise money. So get the family together and go and pick out your perfect tree. It’s a great way to kick-start the Christmas festivities.
Do you guys have a favourite Christmas movie your family watches every year? For my husband’s family, it was Santa Clause the Movie. They watched it every year on an old VHS that they had taped from TV one year in the mid-80’s. He has brought the tradition to our family. My son is currently trying to introduce Die Hard as his Christmas pick! Maybe you love Elf, or Home Alone, or Christmas Vacation. Whatever your favourite is, make it a family night with popcorn, Christmas treats and everyone together.
There is nothing that says family Christmas bonding like matching pjs! You can get a range of matchy-matchy sets- check out Wish for some bargains (or Peter Alexander if you want something a bit higher quality).
Did your grandmother make an amazing Christmas pudding? Does your mother in law make the best pavlova you’ve ever tasted? Incorporate your family history into your family Christmases. It will help give a sense of family traditions to your brand new Christmases.
There are a variety of Advent calendar ideas you can use. There are the windows you open with little pictures, windows with chocolates, windows with toys… It’s up to you. You can buy premade ones or you can make your own. We love an activity advent calendar– where every day we open a new Christmas activity to do. They can be anything from Gingerbread house making to reading a Christmas book or doing some Christmas colouring. I include our Christmas outings like Christmas lights.
You could do a reverse advent calendar, where your child gives something to the needy every day in the lead-up to Christmas.
1st December/ Christmas Eve Box
First of December boxes help kick off the Christmas season (you can send them with your Elf on a Shelf if you are doing that). In them, you can put anything you associate with the Christmas season. A new decoration, a Christmas book or movie, tickets to a show- whatever work for you.
A Christmas Eve box might have new PJ’s, a Christmas movie and snacks, reindeer food or cookie mix for baking. Once again, whatever Christmas ideas you like!
Pre-Christmas Kids’ Catch Up
One of my favourite Christmas traditions is the little Christmas party we have with my high school friends and their kids. Every year we get together the week before Christmas and we all bring something to eat and an activity for the kids to do. One of the husbands dresses as Santa and hands out presents. It’s so much fun and seeing the kids grow up that bit more every year. We take a group photo every year and we have done it for the past five years.
Hopefully, this has helped you with some ideas to create memories with your families.