Usually for the holidays, my family always packed our suitcases and head to my hometown to celebrate Christmas with my parents and siblings. My siblings and I would always come "home" and get together to discuss Christmas memories, listen to Christmas music, and muster up some Christmas cheer to pass along to my children with mama & daddy. But for the last couple of years, I have been looking for my own Christmas traditions to practice with my husband and children. Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with everyone over at mama's. But now that I have my own family, I want to start a tradition within my own home-- something my children can look forward to each year. And since we have a new baby in our new home, I thought this would be a great year to start something new!
On the search for new traditions to begin, I found a plethora of ideas on ever-so-faithful Pinterest. And just in case some of you guys were thinking of beginning new traditions, I decided to share a few ideas I found there with you, too.
1. The Christmas Jar
The Christmas Jar is such a great way to teach our little ones about giving-- in the true spirit of Christmas. With this activity, everyone puts money in a mason jar (or whatever jar you have in your home) throughout the year. On Christmas Eve, the family delivers the money jar anonymously to a selected special someone. This beautiful idea was created in 2005 by author Jason F. Wright, who also chronicled this notion in his novel Christmas Jars. To read more about this idea, read here and here.
2. The Christmas Eve Surprise Box
The Christmas Eve Surprise Box would be ideal for my family. With this tradition, there's a box loaded with goodies such as new pajamas, hot chocolate, marshmallows, mugs, popcorn, holiday movies, and books. J and I would pack this box with said goodies and open it with the kiddies on Christmas Eve (at sunset). This sounds like so much fun, especially since we already do movie night with snacks each week anyways. To read more about this idea, click here.
3. Annual Christmas Book
Now if you're more of a book person than a movie person, you may like the "Annual Christmas Book" tradition better. In reading this idea, I found that "Santa" sends a new book to the children for them to read each Christmas Eve before heading to bed. While I like this idea in theory, I would probably have the books sent via the grandparents or from J and I to the children. Read more about this tradition here.
4. Christmas Cookie Baking
Since I'm a cookie lover, I'm all about baking cookies for Christmas. When I looked for different cookies to bake on Pinterest, I found so many cool ideas!The one that stuck out the most was the 12 Days of Christmas Cookie Project. With this project, several baking bloggers got together and baked Christmas cookies, using the twelve days of Christmas as their theme. Click here to read more about that project.
As for my family, we may choose a couple of those ideas and bake cookies on Christmas Eve, to enjoy in the evening along with our hot chocolate and Christmas movie choices. And if we don't stick to that theme, we'll be trying these cute snowman cookies out I found here.
5. Soundtrack to the Holidays
This is actually a tradition that I came up with on my own. Since I'm so big on holiday music and making mixtapes, I decided to create a mixtape each Christmas. Each of us will add a few songs to the mix and explain to the family why we chose those particular songs. I'm letting the kids create the album cover art, and everything! I will upload the songs and make copies for the extended family to give out at my mom's annual tree-trimming party. Look out for more information about this tradition in an upcoming post!
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?
Will you be trying any of these?