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  • Amanda Perkins

My Favorite Christmas Traditions For Kids | Lifestyle

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

Oh boy, I LOVE Christmas. I may or may not be the lady who wants to start decorating right after Halloween. I remember all of the traditions that I did as a kid and I cherish those memories. Now that I am a mom and I have two of my own kiddos, we are making new traditions that I hope they hold on to for their whole lives. Christmas is just magical. Here is a list of some of the fun things that my family does to gear up for Christmas day. Feel free to steal some ideas!

christmas traditions for kids

1. Holiday Crafts

This is a super vague topic and it can manifest itself in sooo many way! Every year our kids make homemade ornaments. The internet has an endless supply of homemade ornament ideas. We have done felt sewing ornaments, popsicle sticks, clay, pipe cleaners, etc. Here is a fun resource!

Another fun craft we do is make homemade Christmas-esque playdough! My kids love to pretend to make cookies, so we gravitate toward the playdoughs that smell like real cookie dough. Sugar cookie and gingerbread are our favorites. Check out a recipe here!

I have a crafty daughter who loves to paint, draw, glue, glitter, etc. She loves to use her artistic ability to create gifts for family members. I just supply copious amounts of crafting supplies and she gets to work. Like a little elf in Santa's workshop!

2. Christmas Countdown

Every kid loves a good countdown! You can make paper chains to countdown with or you can use a Christmas Countdown Calendar like this one! We tape this particular calendar to our fridge every year and try to do everything on the calendar before Christmas!

You can also keep in the forefront of your kid's minds the reason for the season by using advent calendars or countdowns. In the past we have done a Jesse tree. Each day we would put an ornament on the tree that correlated with a bible verse. Every day the story of Jesus would weave throughout from the beginning of time until his birth. There are plenty of Jesse tree resources out there! It also seconds as a cute decoration. Here is a great resource for creating some DIY Jesse tree ornaments.

Another countdown that we do with our kids is we wrap 25 books and place one under the tree each evening. That way the kids are unwrapping a "gift" every night. It doesn't have to be new books. We have a pretty hefty collection of Christmas books that we use every year.

3. Decorate Cookies

This is definitely a tradition I took from my childhood. I remember during the Christmas season my mom was always baking cookies. I recall having boxes upon boxes of cookies in the kitchen. She would give out cookies as gifts to all of our neighbors and friends. I love baking cookies and giving them away too. We also love hosting a Cookie Swap party with our friends. Everyone bakes 4 dozen cookies and then we split the bounty among all the guests. It's a great time!

I have such fond memories of decorating cookies with my family growing up. Now my kiddos get to enjoy this activity too! We decorate cookies multiple times during the season. Sometimes my kids are involved in every step of the cookie making process and sometimes the dough is already made. They enjoy it all! Especially eating them.

We typically decorate sugar cookies, just because I find them easier to make than gingerbread. Gingerbread can get very sticky fast and if you add too much flour they taste too bready. (Pro tip I learned recently is to put the dough in between two pieces of saran wrap to minimize the stickiness! GENUIS!) Now that they are getting a little older we are trying to dabble with the art of "flooding" but, we aren't quite there yet. Usually decorating cookies is just a butter knife smearing on frosting with sprinkles all over the place.

4. Christmas Campout

I don't think there is anything as magical as sleeping next to a beautifully decorated Christmas tree during the holiday season. Have the kids grab their stuffies and a sleeping bag and stake a spot in the living room. This can be combined with a movie night too. I have such fond memories of my sisters and I sleeping next to each other talking about all of our Christmas memories late into the night.

5. Fam Jams and Movie Night

I love matching jammies. I just...can't help it! On December 1st (or November 1st....) gift your family a matching set of fam jams, popcorn, candy, and a movie! Snuggled up on the couch watching a Christmas movie in matching Christmas jammies is sure to put everybody into the Christmas spirit! This would be a perfect beginning to the Christmas Campout too. Just throwing out some ideas!

6. Look at Lights!

This is such a favorite with my two! I tell everyone to put on their matching Christmas Jammies, I make hot chocolate, print out a scavenger hunt (like this one) and load everyone into the car. Then we drive around neighborhoods in our town and look at the beautiful light displays that people put on while cranking Christmas music. We try to cross every thing on the scavenger hunt list before we head home. It always feel magical to us!

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