|Every year, I include these 12 traditions during the holiday season. My kids really look forward to them and, to be honest, so do I! They are fun, easy, and will spark magic and create memories that you and your kids will remember for years to come. Enjoy!|
1. Frosty Visits.Every Christmas Eve, there is a knock at the door right around bedtime. The door is opened to find a present and snow tracks. Frosty the Snowman left packages (even wrapped in snowman wrapping paper!) by the door with their new Christmas pajamas inside. It gets the kids excited for bed and means your picture-perfect morning is ready to go.
2. Forgetful Santa.Oh no! Santa left his glasses and a white glove next to the empty cookie plate -- evidence that he really came! The kids love sending his lost items back with a thank you letter for their gifts.
3. Elf on a Shelf.Where is that darn elf today? Although it's easy to forget to move that thing every night, it is fun to orchestrate elf shenanigans and listen to the kids giggle in the morning.
4. The Christmas Pickle.This is a tradition of finding a small pickle ornament on the Christmas tree. Whoever finds the pickle first gets to open a present first. It also teaches children to appreciate the Christmas tree before tearing into gifts.
5. Wrapping-Paper Booby Trap.Unroll wrapping paper down the hallway or where the kids will want to sneak out to peek at the presents in the morning. This works double duty as an alarm that alerts you to tiny feet trying to sneak out to see you wrapping the presents! Bonus booby trap: My kids are older now and they have learned to scale the walls to not set off my wrapping-paper alarm system. I now always block the end of the hallway exit with plastic wrap. They can see, but can't walk through.
6. Tinsel Magic.Tinsel is the proof that Santa came to check on the kids. He leaves tinsel on their bedroom door knobs, in their new slippers by the bed, and tinsel is only left by Santa on the Christmas tree.
7. The Guess a Gift.Everyone receives a gift two days before Christmas. You have to try to "guess" what the gift is by asking yes or no questions and feeling the package. If you cannot guess the gift, you have to wait until Christmas to open it.
8. Reindeer Food.Have the kids leave carrots, celery, and a big bowl of water for the reindeer outside before they head to bed on Christmas Eve. The next day they will run to check and will see an empty bowl and a mess of chewed up veggies left behind.
9. Dollar Store.I take my son and daughter to the Dollar Store (at different times) to pick out their gifts for the other family members. It is so adorable to see what they pick out. It only costs a dollar, but to me is priceless.
10. Christmas Ornaments.Every year I pick out a special Christmas ornament for each of the kids. We Initial and date each one. They love remembering and seeing their ornaments on the tree each year, and someday when they have their own families, I will gift them their ornaments to enjoy on their own trees.
11. The Magic Key.At our house, we do not have a chimney for Santa to come in, so we have a magic key! It's a big glittery key that we hang on the outside of the front door. Only Santa's special magic works on the key.
12. No more tagging gifts.Have your kids open their stockings before gifts and place a small piece of wrapping paper for them to find at the bottom. Each person has a different design of wrapping paper and will know which gifts are theirs based on the paper. They'll have no idea which gift is for who until they find their designated paper.
Let's add one more bonus tradition just for you!
You worked hard, presents are opened, kids are playing, "Christmas Story" is playing on a loop, phone calls have been made, and Christmas dinner is started. It's you-time. Enjoy a glass of eggnog topped with fresh nutmeg ... and maybe just a smidgen of spiced rum, because you deserve it! Merry Christmas!
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