- Holidays and Celebrations
10 Timeless Christmas Traditions for Kids
Curious which traditions didn't stand the test of time?
- Christmas Traditions That Are Dying Out
Christmas traditions are not static, but rather change over time. The following is a series of Christmas traditions that used to be popular, but are now dying out.
Every year kids look forward to a visit from Santa. However, there is much more to do than just open presents during the month of December. The following is a list of various activities that kids and parents can use to turn into Christmas Traditions. Some may be obvious, while others may not be.
If there is one that should be added to this list, please let me know below in the comments.
Visiting Santa Claus!
Building a letter and sending it to the North Pole is one great tradition that has stood the test of time. Another is visiting Santa Clause and getting a photo taken. This tradition is fantastic to combine with Christmas shopping and picking up Christmas goodies. Even if crying and yelling is involved, these photos find their way onto every photo album collection.
With this tradition, there are two potential traditions.
Pick an ornament
In this tradition, every year a child chooses an ornament for their parents to buy. Furthermore, there may be a “family” ornament with the specific year on it. Perhaps the family ornament is a trip that was taken or a big event that happened in the year. The Christmas tree can then become a celebration of past years and joys. The great thing about kids choosing their ornaments is that then each kid identifies an ornament set as “theirs” and wants to hang their set of ornaments on the tree. This leads into the next tradition.
Decorate the tree
Decorating the tree can start with picking out the tree or with the tree arriving at the house. Once the tree arrives, the idea is to begin to celebrate Christmas. Turning on Christmas music and having cookies out is a great way to start. After the lights and garlands, the decorations come out. If each child has their own set, they can then start working on these. Each kid can also put up family decorations. The culmination of this event is choosing someone to put the tree topper on. Perhaps this is the mother, father, or a specific child. Once this tree topper is on, all the lights are connected and it is time to turn out the lights and turn on the tree. After admiring the work for a few moments, this tradition is done.
The tree isn’t the only decoration needed for the holiday season. Children can also help build other decorations. Cutting strips of paper and making a chain for them is often festive. Another potential option is to have the child draw Christmas icons, such as snowmen and Christmas trees. Finally, if the kid does not desire to draw their own, perhaps coloring in a Christmas drawing is the bet option. After a drawing is complete, glitter and other things can be added. When the final touches are done, these Christmas decorations can be put on the fridge or even on the walls. An interesting take on this would be to potentially frame the drawing in a cheaper frame each year. Many frames can be bought for a dollar at a dollar store, but this could create a tradition of building the “Christmas Art” every year.
Helping in the kitchen can be a great experience for kids. Not only do they get to see how food is put together and made, but they can have fun doing so. Many messes and wasted ingredients can happen, but that is part of the holiday fun. Furthermore, bonding with your kid over their (or your own) favorite cookie helps make the holidays a little sweeter.
Practicing a song
The holidays are a time for family to get together. One idea for these gatherings is to have an official musical performance by a child. Perhaps this performance is just playing Jingle Bells on the piano or perhaps singing Good King Wenceslas. Whatever option is chosen, make sure the child prepares for their big performance throughout the month of December. This will help build a holiday feel and give the kid confidence in their performance.
Family Movie or Play Tradition
The holiday season for me always starts with the movie Scrooge. Some families choose Miracle on 34th Street or A Christmas Story to start their holidays. Whatever movie you choose, getting together to watch a classic, year after year, will help set the tone of being together for the holidays. The fantastic thing about this tradition is that even if you are not together, the movie can still be watched - making family members feel like they are together. Another spin on this is to go see a yearly play or production based on a Christmas theme. This idea can help family prepare for the holiday season by dressing up and making an event out of going to see The Nutcracker or Scrooge.
Neighborhood Specific Caroling
While Trick or Treating is still popular, holiday caroling is not very popular anymore. However, there are still some groups doing this activity. The idea is to bundle up in Christmas garb and go door to door singing. Another iteration of caroling is to get on an open air vehicle and slowly go through a neighborhood singing. Caroling is a great activity for children and their friends to do.
Many stores and companies produce Christmas countdown calendars. Every day a child opens up a new window to reveal a treat or surprise. Some places even sell higher quality countdown calendars that the parent can fill up. This tradition is fantastic because it can start the day with a touch of holiday magic.
Sledding / Fun in the snow
Building a snow man, sledding, and having a snowball fight is a staple of the winter holidays. Making time to do these activities every year is an excellent tradition to start. The cost doesn’t have to be very much either. Sleds are often not very expensive and building a snowman is usually free. However, the time spent together is priceless. To add the perfect finishing touch to this tradition, have the family warm back up inside with cocoa and marshmallows.
Christmas Parade / Town
Many towns and cities will have a Christmas village or parade. Bringing the family to these locations once a year is an excellent tradition. Beyond allowing the family to get wrapped up in the holiday fun, these yearly visits help establish the tone for the rest of the season. Combining this tradition with other traditions may also work well. Some traditions to combine into this include perhaps having a child select an ornament at the local Christmas town or selecting a tree to bring home.
These are just a few of many holiday traditions that could be started up. Every family is built differently, so finding the right fit may be a matter of seeing what works. After the right activity is found, making that into a tradition is easy! Simply complete that same activity once a year around the holidays.
Have a holiday tradition you want to share? Like or disagree with this list? Feel free to share your Christmas Traditions for kids below!