Create personal family Christmas traditions
Christmas family traditions should be simple and easy to do year in, year out. The purpose of a tradition is to create family unity, not to put too much pressure on an already pressure-cooker time of year. Here's how to become inspired enough to create your own family traditions.
What is a Christmas tradition
Christmas traditions are as diverse as the culture and religious practices of each and every country in the world. When was the first Christmas card sent? Why do we kiss under the mistletoe? What on earth possesses us to put up a Christmas tree every year? It's all about tradition - something which has enough meaning for us to repeat year in and year out.
Which traditions do you want for your family at Christmas
Do you want traditions that will be remembered for their fun, humour and good feelings? Or would you prefer more meaningful traditions that celebrate spirituality and giving? Think about which traditions will work for your family and the personalities involved.
Fun and meaningful Christmas traditions can be as simple as:
- Having all the kids in the extended family put on a Christmas play or a comedy show for the adults
- Drive around to look at the local Christmas lights
- Watch your favorite Christmas movies
- Cook your own favourite family recipes for a feast
- Call or Skype faraway relatives
- Add handprints to home-made tablecloth or make your own handprinted shopping bag to give to grandparents
- Choose to a present of each child's choosing on Christmas Eve
Be inspired by Christmas traditions around food
Food and eating form such a big part of our Christmas memories, that it's hardly a surprise to form traditions around eating. Here are some easy Christmas food traditions a family could take on:
Let everyone be a chef at Christmas
Let each member of the family make part of the Christmas Day meal. Spend a little time the week before planning what to serve, and who will be responsible for each part. If you have a small kitchen, or if your kids are young, help them prepare their part of the meal the night before.
Bake Christmas goodies together
Cakes of all shapes and sizes (including smaller items such as biscuits) have been part of festive holiday rituals long before Christmas. Ancient cooks prepared sweet baked goods to mark significant occasions, with many recipes and ingredients like cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, almonds, dried fruits introduced to Europe back in the Middle Ages. You could try baking things like:
Celebrate Christmas with crafts
Let your children decorate the dinner table, their rooms, or the outside of your home with Christmas decorations. Spend time together after dinner making homemade Christmas ornaments and decorations. If you enjoy craft, but don't usually have time, Christmas is the best time of year to make this a family activity. Some easy Christmas crafts which kids can do with a smidge of help from you include:
- Cotton wool snowmen
- Playdough jewellery
- Handprint bag
- Reindeer antlers
- Magnets for the fridge
- Doiley decorations
- Paper roll lanterns
- Potato stamp Christmas prints
- Tissue paper pom poms
- Marbling Christmas shapes
- Santas magic key
- christmas door hanger
Traditions around decorating at Christmas
An annual ornament
Choose an ornament for each child, each year until they leave the home. See if you can have the ornament reflect something about the child's personality, an accomplishment they achieved that year, or something else unique. Give this ornament on a set day each year - Christmas eve, or Christmas morning. Then when they leave your home and start their own, let them take their box of ornaments with them.
Encourage each child to decorate their own section of the Christmas tree .
Decorate the table together
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