How To Start A Christmas Tradition

Elves on shelves, carols, family photos with Santa, visiting local Christmas light displays... it seems like every family has a special "tradition" at Christmas.

But what if you don't, really? It's easy to feel like you're shortchanging your kids special memories, particularly seeing it all splashed across social media this time of year.

Traditions and rituals are lovely, but they're not everything. So don't feel bad if you don't stand in shopping centre queues to sit your kids on sweaty Santa's knees, or write individual cards to every teacher. Often they're more about the grownups than the kids, if we're being totally honest. But if you do still want to do something - maybe a bit more low-maintenance - here's a few fun ideas.


1. Start Simple

Don't forget, you probably do already have one or two traditions, you just don't think of them as such. Just putting up a tree, exchanging gifts or visiting relatives, these are all traditions in themselves. Cut yourself some slack! Your kids will remember these simple things far more than complicated and expensive Christmas fuss.

Perhaps when you put up your tree, everyone can wear a Santa hat. Perhaps you always play a favourite CD while that happens. These organic traditions, which emerge from things you already do and have elements of your own family's personality, are truly lasting and authentic.


2. Give Books & Pyjamas

They're two things that are perennially useful, kids can look forward to each year getting in their presents from Santa. They can wear their new pyjamas and read their new book Christmas night.


3. Shoot A Video

Take a quick video interview on your phone of your kids Christmas Eve, saying what they're looking forward to, or Christmas morning, and upload it to somewhere you can keep them each year, like a folder on Facebook.


4. Advent Love Notes

Instead of a chocolate Advent calendar, write a little love note to your child for each day in December. Write something you love about them and watch their eyes light up every morning when they unwrap it! These are lasting self-esteem boosters and a wonderful way to embody the spirit of Christmas.


5. Donate

Take your kids to the local toy store and buy a toy for each of them to wrap and put under the local donation tree for kids less fortunate.


6. Santa Tracks

We all know about the milk and cookies, and the carrots for Rudolph but how about Santa footprints? Take some flour and dust in near the outside door step then use Daddy's shoes to make footprints.


7. Christmas Eve Movie Night

There's always a cheesy Christmas movie on telly... a great excuse to huddle in and eat popcorn together!


8. Gingerbread House

This is one of our favourites. Mixing, kneading, baking and making. Then decorating. Then eating.


9. Christmas Tree Photo

Like the idea of an annual Santa photo but can't do queues? Just use your own Christmas tree. Stand the kids there Christmas morning each year and you'll have a beautiful pictorial memory book as they grow.


10. Christmas Bath

Give your kids a Christmas bath with a few drops of green food dye and holiday decorations in the tub!

It's better than when they turn it yellow!


Merry Christmas!