By Tracy Lane
Christmas season is all about traditions. But as some of us moms of littles realize we’re the ones responsible for traditions in our homes, it’s easy to feel stuck.
Where do you start? What traditions should you try? How will you make time for it?
We asked other moms just like you what some of their favorite holiday traditions are. And how they actually pull them off in their homes.
Amanda shared that when her daughter was three, money was super tight. But she couldn’t imagine not giving at least something small to loved ones at Christmas. So she decided that she and her daughter would give baked goods. She sewed a little apron for her daughter and documented the baking experience in pictures along the way. Then together they delivered the book of pictures, the baked goods, and the recipes. What a hit! And the next year her daughter asked to do it again. That was almost 10 years ago! Now her loved ones look forward to the treats each season. What a beautiful tradition birthed from frugality.
2. Draw names for gift-giving
Gifts to go around for the whole family can be pricey. Go “Pollyanna” by drawing names for everyone. Then set a spending limit. Or choose only homemade options. It’ll be fun to see the creativity from each gift giver.
3. Personalize gift wrap
Let each child pick out their own wrapping paper roll. Or keep the choice a secret that only you, the gift wrapper knows. Then reveal whose stack of gifts was the gold print or the red stars. Create a little more gift anticipation that way and cut down on the gift bragging rights as they pile up under the tree.
4. Go to church
Many churches will have Christmas Eve candlelight services and special Sunday services throughout December. Buy a cutesie Christmas outfit for the kids and go sing Christmas hymns as a family.
5. Read the Christmas story
Before you open gifts Christmas morning, read the real Christmas story from Luke 2 in the Bible.
6. Share a special meal
It doesn’t have to be fancy or a lot of work! Some families make a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas morning. Others have a huge fondue party on Christmas Eve. Invite friends and family to pitch in to create a festive dish.
7. Hide something
Hide the pickle ornament seems to be a crowd favorite in many families. Someone hides it. Everyone races to find it. Then the winner gets a prize.
Other families follow the same rules with hiding baby Jesus from the nativity scene. Whoever finds it gets to open the first present.
8. Watch Christmas movies
So many classic Christmas movies to choose from makes this a no brainer. And lots of moms I know love the Hallmark Channel movies too!
Most people put up the main family room tree. But some families enjoy multiple trees. Or letting the kids in on the fun too by each kid having their own tree. Then that child’s gifts are placed underneath their tree. Then the kids decorate with homemade ornaments, which makes for fun memories through the years too.
10. Make Memories
Decorate gingerbread houses and have an annual family competition. Fill a glass ornament each year with handwritten memories from the year. Make a tree skirt that you fill with your child’s painted or sewn on handprints every year.
Okay, so the pressure is off. Pick and choose a couple of easy Christmas traditions to make the holiday special for your little ones. Any option will do. But enjoy the memories together.