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How to Build Christmas Traditions with Kids

In our post-Pinterest world, Christmas decorating has become a big deal. It is easy for us to fall into a competition with friends and family and neighbors but let’s not forget to take the time out to build experiences. As the mom of three little ones, I am all too aware of how much easier it is to bake and decorate without the “help” of the kids, but that defeats the purpose. Christmas is all about building traditions that can be passed down from parents to children. Today, we are going to talk about four Christmas traditions that are easy to incorporate into your holiday season.

Santa Sleigh with 2 Deer

Trim the Tree Together

nothing gets the home looking more like Christmas than trimming the tree. It doesn’t matter whether your tree is real or fake, whether you have ball ornaments or a collected assortment, it is all about the act of decorating as a family. Our personal tree has a variety of store-bought and handmade ornaments that have been collected over time and while on travels. Each one has a story behind it and I repeatedly share those stories with the kids as we pull them out of the box and place them on the tree, just as my mother did with me when I hung some of those same ornaments on our family tree many years ago.

Bake a Family Recipe

Every family has at least one recipe that screams Happy Holidays. For us, it is sand tarts. Every year we make mass quantities of these wafer-thin cinnamon and sugar cookies and the whole family gets involved in the process. They are the cookies we eat all month, the cookies we gift to neighbors. It would be much faster for me to quickly whip out these labor-intensive cookies without the help of three kids wielding cookie cutters, snatching bits of dough when I am not looking, but where is the fun in that? Don’t be afraid to get the kitchen a little dirty and spend the whole day in a baking haze because every hour you spend doing it is one that they will remember for years to come.

Get Them Involved in Gifting

It is all too easy for kids to get obsessed with what they are going to be getting for Christmas. Show them the joy in giving by getting them involved in the gifting process. Have them help choose items for others. Whether you sit them down to make a handmade craft or take them to the store with a budget and a mission, it will be an experience that will really mean something to them later. Talk to them about the person you are purchasing for and have them think about what that person would really like to receive for the holidays.

Do Something Charitable

There are many nationwide and local charities that could use your help during the holidays. Try to pick one that the kids will enjoy helping with and spend a day giving back to those less fortunate. If they are older, you may even want them to help choose which charity they want to become involved in. Switch it up from year to year or choose one and stick with it as a holiday tradition.

About Philip Travers