The holidays can sometimes be overwhelming. The gift purchasing, the parties, the baking, the list goes on. And if you’re like me you’re just trying to be a good mom and make memories with your kids. These are simple Christmas traditions for kids that you can start today! Just pick and choose what works best in the season your family is in!
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1. Gingerbread House
This is always a fun activity for the kids! You can buy the kits at your local store to keep things really simple. But last year we actually made our own from scratch. Believe it or not it was easy to make! And we had so much fun with it! Just use a vinyl table cloth from the dollar store and let the kids bake and decorate! Check out House of Nash Eats Gingerbread House recipe we used last year and plan to use again this year! Bonus, it comes with a free template!
2. Books for Advent
This year is our first year for using books as an Advent count down. I used books we already had and also purchased new ones. We wrapped them in wrapping paper and labeled them. One for each day of the Advent season. Put them all in a basket next to our Christmas tree. Every night the kids take turns and open one book a night and one of us reads the book out loud. This truly is so easy and simple, but the excitement it brings is pure joy to watch!
3. Roll Advent Candles
When I had my small shop opened for beeswax products, I always had hand rolled beeswax candles available during the Advent season. So now instead of me rolling the candles, the kids do! We gather around our kitchen table and we roll all four of our Advent beeswax candles and place in our wreath.
4. Christmas Movies
All of us look forward to watching our favorite Christmas movies once the season arrives! We make some popcorn, gather on the couch together, and grab our favorite cozy blankets. Add to the fun with a little hot cocoa bar and other festive snacks. If you need ideas for movies my friend, Suani, has an awesome list and a free printable with it!
5. Hot Cocoa & Christmas Lights
We started this Christmas tradition years ago. It always felt like one of the easier things to do with babies. We usually make a big pot of hot cocoa, store in a thermos, grab some cups and afterwards head out to some of our favorite Christmas lights. You can always stop somewhere and buy hot cocoa too.
6. Decorate the Tree
I can’t lie, this one is hard for me. There’s always that one kid that puts all the ornaments in the same spot. But turn on some Christmas music, lay out the ornaments, and decorate your tree together!
7. A Connected Christmas
This is new for us! I purchased this last year to use during the Christmas season in our homeschool. But this year I actually got it printed out and organized for us to do. I was going to just incorporate it into our homeschool days, but after talking to my husband we decided to do this in the evenings together as a family! It’s easy to follow and everything is laid out for you. There’s minimal supplies that you need like construction paper, ingredients for a few recipes, etc. But everyday for 3 weeks that leads up to Christmas there is a scripture reading, hymn, poetry, art study, read aloud, and craft. And if you feel like it’s too much, just use bits and pieces. The read aloud book list alone is wonderful!
8. Bake Cookies for Neighbors
Since we moved we’ve been making treats for our neighbors on different occasions and Christmas is for sure one of those occasions. We usually make a variety of holiday cookies, bag them in some treat bags, make handmade cards, and then hand deliver them as a family! This is a great way to help our children learn to care for others and they always have fun in the making process of the cookies and cards!
9. Family Cookie Recipe
Around the holidays we would get together with my Grammy and her sisters to recreate their family’s cookies. Their parents came over from Italy and one of the traditional cookies is a Pizzelle. Some of my great aunt’s have now passed away, but the kids remember making these cookies every year. Whether we can still get several of us together or if it’s just my mom and kids this is still a fun tradition. So get that old family recipe out and get to cooking or baking. If you don’t have one, just find a favorite recipe and make it together every year! The memories made in the kitchen are priceless.
10. Make a Goody Station for Delivery Truck Drivers
The last few years, especially in 2020 we had so many deliveries. One of my friends’ husband is actually a delivery truck driver. She’s told me about how busy he is during the holiday season and he often has to work late. I can’t change his work hours, but this is such an easy way and just a little bit more special than saying thank you for all they do. Most of the time we’re home and we see them pull in and the kids run to grab a bag and wish them a, “Merry Christmas!” So it’s just a great way to bring your family together to do something nice for someone else and to share joy! I have a free printable that you can hang with your goody station outside along with tags you can attach to each bag. Just drop your e-mail below to grab them!
11. Make Ornaments
There are so many options for making handmade ornaments with the kids! This year or it maybe next year I want to try to make salt dough ornaments with the kids’ handprints! How fun would it be to do something like that every year and see the difference!
But you could also just use different craft supplies and let the kids use their imagination. Another option is to use the air dry clay and let them mold or stamp it. There’s always the classic dried orange garland that is beautiful too!
12. Read Jesus’ Birth
We’ve been talking about going to our barn, close to Christmas Eve, all bundled up together to read the birth of Jesus from the Bible. We’ve yet to accomplish this, but it’s on our list again for Christmas traditions with the kids this year. So pick any place you want, even if it’s just your living room and read the birth of Jesus together every year. Incorporate using a nativity too!
Well I hope this gave you some ideas if you’re wanting to start some simple Christmas traditions for your kids! Remember, you don’t have to do them all! Just start with 1 or 2. And I’d love to hear your favorite Christmas traditions you do with your kids, just leave me a comment!