The holiday season is very busy. As a parent, you’re running around trying to prepare your family for a get-together, cooking for a meal, buying gifts, following sales, and more. You have a lot on your plate, so anything you can do to reduce your stress is worth it.
At the same time, you want to establish a tradition that your children will remember for many years. However, those traditions don’t have to be stressful, and they don’t need to be made to be picked up and enjoyed by your family. Above all, you need to choose something that sticks.
Try a few things and get your family thoughts on your favorites. The most important traditions are those that bring joy, because they are the ones that will last a lifetime and continue for generations to come. Here are some ideas for building your own low-business Christmas tradition.
Create a family Christmas treat
If you bake cakes or make other snacks during the season, why not involve your kids? Give them age-appropriate tasks and they will be happy to know that they are helping to create something delicious that they will enjoy later. You can make this candy for your family or to give it to someone else, making it doubly sweet.
Baking can also help your children grow as human beings. This activity teaches math and reading skills that can support your child in academic and hands-on activities. Baking with your children can strengthen your bond with them and teach them effective communication skills that will follow them throughout their lives, in school, and beyond. Knowing how to do things from scratch is a great skill, so teach your young children.
Open gifts on Christmas Eve
An excellent and easy tradition that may be beneficial is to encourage your kids to open presents on Christmas Eve. They will be happy to open the rest of their gifts in the morning, but a Christmas Eve gift should be something they can use.
Many families give children Christmas pajamas, which they can wear in bed and in Christmas morning. Alternatively, you can give them a book that they can look at before going to bed. Reading Christmas-themed books is a great way for kids to learn something new while excited for the big day.
Decorate a felt tree
When your children are young, installing a regular Christmas tree can sometimes be more problematic than its value. A live Christmas tree requires so much care that it can be too much effort. With real trees, falling water, sap and needles can leave a mess and damage the floor. You can reduce some of these problems by getting an artificial tree, but you still have the problem of hanging ornaments with small children and pets at home.
A great alternative to both is to attach a felt tree to one of their empty open walls. Your children can decorate it with felt ornaments of all shapes and sizes. This activity allows them total creative freedom, and you can see them expressing themselves as they participate in this important tradition. Return to living or artificial trees when they are old enough. That way, you don’t have to worry about fragile ornaments being damaged in the meantime.
Look at the Christmas lights
Whether you’re attending a light show or just strolling around your neighborhood, seeing the Christmas lights with your family can provide a welcome distraction from home responsibilities. Get out of the house and taste the fresh air while enjoying some of the best views of the season together. Many people in your area will probably get out of the way with their décor, and seeing everything illuminated and festive can make this tradition worth pursuing.
Get one ornament a year
Another tradition to start with is to slowly add variety to the ornaments on your Christmas tree. If you have a large family, the rule of one decoration per year per person is an effective way to prevent your tree from being flooded with unnecessary ornaments. The only question your kids should ask is what they will choose for themselves.
Choosing a particular decoration with cultural significance can help the family feel closer to its roots. By encouraging their children to choose ornaments that are meaningful to them, they can remember traditions affectionately and take them to the future, perhaps with their own families one day.
See what your community needs and encourage your children to volunteer with you. You can find volunteering opportunities in soup kitchens, shelters, animal shelters, and more. By volunteering, you can give back to the local community and teach your children the importance of helping others. It can also help them stay grateful and show them what it means to have empathy. People need help even during the holiday season, and anything your family can do to help will benefit everyone involved.
Reading to your children can prepare them with the vocabulary and reading skills they need to excel in school and can help them learn to read faster than they should. Choose a story you’ll read each year during the holidays.
This reading can be a favorite holiday book or a religious section. They may even take turns reading it as time goes on. The tranquility of reading something before the storm of opening gifts can remind everyone that togetherness is much more important than gifts.