Christmas: 10 Festive Traditions For Families to Start at Home
Make magical memories with your loved ones this Christmas by creating some family traditions, from baking biscuits to wearing festive PJs
While you will want to get your family involved in unpacking and installing the Christmas decorations, you can also set the scene with a few wintry additions earlier in the month. Kids will remember if you surprise them by making the house feel festive. Natural elements, such as pine cones and bunches of eucalyptus, look stylish throughout the cold months and dry out beautifully.
If your little ones haven’t yet persuaded you to buy them a chocolate-filled advent calendar, you can always make your own. Numbered envelopes on a board or mini pegs with bags attached to a ribbon both work well to conceal small treats or drawings until the appropriate day.
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Encourage older children to relish their alone time by making their bedrooms extra inviting. Layer blankets on beds and fashion a reading nook with cushions and soft toys. An early night here and there might give you the chance to wrap some presents or enjoy a glass of sherry and a mince pie.
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Get creative with your Christmas wrapping and tell your kids you need their little fingers to wrestle with fiddly bows. For a craft activity with a frugal bonus, jazz up plain parcel wrap by dipping a pencil rubber in paint and dotting it onto paper to form a polka-dot pattern. Children will enjoy the impromptu art session and friends and family will appreciate their homemade efforts.
Teach kids about nature by asking them to help you collect fallen twigs and branches with which to decorate your home. This simple activity can easily become an annual tradition and will bring a sense of anticipation and excitement for the coming season. Your natural finds can be returned to their homes in the New Year.
Most children love to join their parents in the kitchen. You could make gingerbread men for the young ones to share with their classmates, or show them how to stick cloves into oranges, ready to dry them out in the airing cupboard before hanging them on the tree.
For a handmade gift idea, try adding the dry ingredients for biscuits to a Kilner jar, in layers, before wrapping with a ribbon and attaching a gift tag with baking instructions.
It doesn’t get much more adorable than dressing your little ones in matching, festive pyjamas on Christmas Eve. Tired parents may not want to introduce any extra excitement to the evening’s proceedings, but a warm bath followed by Christmas stories read in bed will help children to wind down. Plus, there’s always the old classic, ‘If you don’t go to sleep, Father Christmas won’t visit!’
Encouraging a family walk after lunch on Christmas Day is a useful way of using up excess energy after an overload of sugary sweets, which may have started in the very early hours! Kit everyone out in suitable wet weather gear so that kids can enjoy stomping through muddy puddles – or playing in the snow, if we’re lucky enough to have a white Christmas.
Get children involved in festive celebrations by asking them to help you prepare simple place settings. Here, tartan napkins and cinnamon sticks are tied with striped twine. Enthusiastic helpers can add sprigs of fir to introduce a hint of green – or why not add sprigs of rosemary for an evocative scent?
Establish a tradition of your own by grabbing a window of ‘you’ time over the hectic holidays. Ask a partner or relative to brave a board game with your young ones so that you might take an hour to relax in a bubble bath or read a magazine. Happy parents (with nerves intact!) are better able to appreciate the special moments they can create for their children in December.
Do you have any family traditions at Christmas time, either ones from your childhood or new ones you’ve created? We’d love to hear about them in the Comments below.