11 Christmas Traditions to Start
I’ve written a lot about my love for the Christmas season and traditions, as well as my excitement over the fact that Liam is really starting to “get” Christmas. Nevertheless, this year I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by all of the Christmas traditions I was so eager to begin. Perhaps it’s the abnormally short time between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year that’s causing more holiday stress or the pressure I put on myself to create perfect Christmas memories and traditions for Liam, but it’s starting to feel like it’s a little too much. In addition to all the normal Christmas stuff like shopping, wrapping, decorating and attending holiday parties, I also want to start some new family traditions.
11 Family Christmas Traditions to Start
- Bring back the Elf on the Shelf: I think we might have bought this before Liam was born. We’ve read the book and he finally seems to get it this year. Like Organized Mom, I think Elf on the Shelf could be a really fun tradition for our family.
- Start an Advent Calendar: We had one last year that broke and I have yet to replace it. I feel a consistent pang of guilt when I see other parent’s awesome advent instagram pictures. I need to get on that. (Crafty Mom posted a cute homemade Advent calendar a few years back.)
- Visit Santa: Liam has never sat on Santa’s lap before. Despite the fact that it seems like an almost universal toddler catastrophe, I really want to try this year.
- Cut Down a Tree at a Tree Farm: This one is all my husband’s. I’m all for getting a tree from the school around the corner but he grew up in Vermont and has great memories of going to cut the tree down each year. My in-laws told me that despite what he may remember, the experience of picking a tree was almost always a disaster with each kid wanting a different one, but I’m giving him this one.
- Festival of Trees: This is our town’s holiday celebration, complete with a visit from Santa on a fire truck. We’ve gone each year and given Liam’s general enthusiasm for lights, Santa and trucks, I’m thinking it’s going to be a big hit.
- Polar Express Train Ride: A few places around us do “Polar Express” type rides on local train lines and given Liam’s obsession with trains, this seems perfect. Of course, I’m the slacker mom who didn’t reserve tickets in September so now I’m not sure we’ll be able to do it.
- Help a Child in Need: Every year we buy holiday presents for a child in need and this year I’m hoping we’re able to match with a little boy around Liam’s age so we can pick out presents together.
- Make Christmas Cookies: Every year we make a huge batch and decorate them for Santa. I’m hoping to get Liam in on it this year.
- Create some kind of Christmas Eve tradition: I’m thinking maybe new PJs and a new Christmas book to read as a family?
- Send out Christmas Cards: I FINALLY did get a picture and order our family Christmas cards. Now I just need to finalize our list and print labels.
- Create a fun way to display Christmas cards: As we’re receiving more kid/picture Christmas cards (and as Liam started enjoying looking at them) I was hoping to come up with a cute way to display them all in our house. Still working on that one.
I’m starting to realize this list may be too long and some things may need to get cut. It just feels like this is Liam’s first real Christmas (in that he is actually starting to participate) and I want to do it up right. But, maybe the Christmas season would be more fun and magical for everyone if I stopped trying to do so much and instead focused on a few traditions that were OUR family traditions and did them in a big way. Maybe Elf on the Shelf isn’t our thing, but an AWESOME advent calendar is.
What about your families? What traditions have you kept? Any you’ve ditched for the sake of your sanity?