When you think of Christmas what memories come to mind? Playing in the snow, helping to decorate the Christmas tree or Grandmas house and the yummy dinner? We all have fond memories of the holidays. It’s a time when family and friends come together and reminisce and create new memories.
Our family has 5 holiday traditions that I think are simple, yet meaningful. The kids, my husband and I look forward to these traditions year after year.
1. Tree Decorating
Shortly after Thanksgiving all the Christmas decorations are brought into the house. The tree is the focal point in the living room during the holiday season. My husband is in charge of setting up the 9 ft tower. While he is setting up the tree the kids and I begin opening the tubs of lights and ornaments. This time is always nostalgic. The kids love to rediscover their favorite ornaments and find the perfect place for them on the tree.
Each year we give the job of placing the star atop the tree to the kids. It’s on a rotation so this is an anticipated privilege. The child who gets to place the star on the tree will climb on my husbands shoulders and then place the star. I make sure to take a picture for reference next year 😉 and for memories.
Looking at Christmas lights is my favorite tradition. It’s so simple but brings joy each year. I love to see all the homes lit up and looking bright and new. All you need is a car and an evening with your family to create this holiday tradition. Easy-peasy!
We like to grab a special drink in the Starbucks drive through before driving around town. My kids feel pretty special getting their own Starbucks hot cocoa or apple cider. You can even make hot chocolate or cider at home and give every family member a mug or thermos to bring along for the ride.
My friend Erin at Perfectly Port Family does a pizza picnic in the car with her family. There are many ways you can add to this simple light-seeing tradition. Put your family’s special touch on it!
3. Baking Cookies
Christmas comes with special baked goodies. I remember being in my grandma’s kitchen and helping her mix a batch of Sour Cream Cutouts. It was fun to help grandma bake and decorate the cookies. She always had an array of sprinkles and colored frosting.
I’ve brought this tradition with me. Each year we set aside a day for baking and decorating cookies. I even inherited my grandma’s Christmas cookie cutters. It’s a great big mess of fun on baking day. The kids help with making the batch of dough and cutting out the shapes. I’m in charge of putting them into the oven. While the cookies are cooling we mix up the frosting and set up the kitchen table for decorating.
Of course we can’t keep all these cookies to ourselves. The best part about baking is sharing what you made with others. We package up an assortment of cookies to bring to the neighbors. My kids like to knock on the door and see the joy a gift of cookies brings.
4. Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve for us holds two traditions. The first is attending a Christmas Eve service at church. This is a special time to refocus on the real reason for celebrating the Christmas season, Christ’s birth! Singing Christmas hymns together in candle light and celebrating the arrival of the best gift of all, Christ Jesus.
We also open the stockings which are filled with candy treats and homemade gifts from the kids to one-another. It’s fun to see what special creation each child has made for their family.
5. Christmas Day
Growing up both my husbands family and mine would read the story of Jesus birth from Luke chapter 2 the morning of Christmas day. I remember my sister and I taking turns reading from the big family picture Bible and enjoying the beautiful pictures it held. We have continued this tradition with our family and I really like the peaceful reflection before the opening of presents. We also take time to say a family prayer and give thanks to God for the gifts we are about to receive.
I hope these simple holiday traditions my family enjoys will inspire you to create wonderful memories with your own family this Christmas season.
What are your family’s favorite holiday traditions? Will you add any of these to your list this year? Leave me a comment below!
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