When we think of holidays during our childhood, many of us have nostalgic memories filled with activities we used to partake in with family and friends. Because of this, we might aspire to create the same types of memories with our own families. If you’re looking for some fun holiday magic with your kids this season, here are some of our favorite traditions:
Baking Cookies. One of the simplest traditions also helps get your kids comfortable in the kitchen to create treats for friends, family, and teachers. Cookies are a fun, easy way to bond and instill the tradition of giving. Pick up some cute mason jars and tie with ribbon for a cost effective present, or divvy up batches to hand out to neighbors. Whatever the end result, baking during the holidays is not only tradition, but it’s a kind gesture.
Decorating Ornaments. Have your children decorate ornaments themselves, either by stuffing and painting glass balls or creating ornaments out of Sculpey or gingerbread. They can also give them as gifts to family and teachers! Put on some holiday music, too, and decorate the Christmas tree together. You’ll have fun reminiscing over ornaments from years past as you unpack them.
Volunteering. No matter which holidays you celebrate, we can all agree that giving back to those in need is a beautiful tradition to start with your children. Here in Austin, we love Generation Serve, an organization whose mission is to engage children of all ages in volunteering around our community. Each month they post calendars with openings for volunteer spots. Consider making it a holiday (and yearround!) tradition to give back with your kids.
Visit Santa Clause. If you celebrate Christmas, consider visiting Santa Clause with your kids! It’s one of those fun traditions that we often remember as children, whether we were terrified or delighted by him. Kids have fun asking Santa for specific wishlist items, and the fun holiday pictures will be treasured for years.
Shop for Kids in Need. Consider adopting a child in need through one of Austin’s many great organizations. Shop with your kids and reiterate the importance of giving back.
Holiday Movie Marathons. If you’re a Christmas lover, there are so many great films out there! Consider doing a 12 days of Christmas countdown with your family, where you watch a Christmas movie together (or part of one!) each evening leading up to the big day. You’ll be surprised how well kids remember their favorites for years to come.
Advent Calendar. You don’t have to go crazy here! Many moms prefer making their own, but Trader Joe’s has adorable ones for just 99 cents. Kids love opening up the door each day leading to Christmas, and it’s a fun way to count down.
Playing Dreidel. Leading up to and during Hanukkah, teach your children the game of Dreidel. Use chocolate gold coins to make it even more fun!
Matching Holiday Pajamas. These might be one of my favorites on the list. Hanna Andersson has soft and adorable options, which are our family’s favorite. Opening gifts together in our pajamas is always a fun treat, and I love the photo ops.
Are any of these traditions on your list? What is your favorite holiday tradition with your kids?