Family Christmas Traditions to Start This Year

I love Christmas. 

Even without snow (yes, I'm complaining about the lack of snow in my neck of the woods this time of year) there is something inherently magical about the holiday season.  

I want to spend downtime with the ones I love. I want to indulge in some of my favourite pastimes like baking, cooking, and reading. I feel the inexplicable need to sing (a lot!). I want to dive into the plethora of holiday movies (is there a new made-for-tv Christmas movie that Candace Cameron isn't in!?). 

But mostly I want to hold my kids and my husband closer and use the time we have together over the holidays to reconnect.

Christmas eve and Christmas day are quite busy, though. The excitement, the new toys, the wrapping paper! 

But they are also the most magical days of all during our holiday together. 

They're fun, they're busy, but we make sure that - in between all that mess and fun - they're full of yearly traditions. 

Here's what we look forward to every Christmas eve and day - maybe you can adopt some of them this year in your household!

Watch a holiday movie- One year my husband went out and bought 'Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer' for the kids. We hide it during the year and (once we remember where we hid it!) we bring it out for a Christmas eve family movie night. We pop popcorn, hunker down and cuddle up under blankets, and watch those mean reindeer play reindeer games. It's a real special time before the madness of Christmas morning. 

Take a holiday light tour-  Even if it's just your neighbourhood, a drive around to see the Chrismas lights always feels special on Christmas eve. To up the fun factor, we stop for hot chocolate and cookies to enjoy on our drive - it's a very special treat for the kids!

Make cookies!-  I always bring out my grandma's whipped shortbread cookie recipe this time of year. The boys help me bake (prepare yourself, it will take so much longer than you anticipate when kids are helping!) and then we enjoy the fruits of our labour as a family! Check out the recipe here!

Open one present at a time- This is a hard one, but we sort our gifts by name and then open them one at a time. Yes, we are teaching lessons about patience and manners even on Christmas. We all watch each other open a gift and keep going until we are done. It prolongs the fun of gift giving/opening :) If you're having trouble finding something for your kids or spouse, why don't you consider something completely different than the norm? Maybe even the gift of music, such as a cornet instrument

Family breakfast- Don't worry. The excitement of Christmas morning and opening presents always takes first place, but we do have to eat! We make it a point of having a special sit-down family breakfast of cinnamon buns, scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, and a fresh fruit salad. It's easy to make (pro tip: I buy Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls...pop it open, bake it up, and you're done!), it fills our tummies, and it is a surefire crowd pleaser!  We also MAY indulge in a little grown-up coffee one time a year:)

Be present- I am talking to myself when I say that we put the phones down. We might use them to take photos and videos of the gift opening but that's it. They go away for a few hours so we can put together race tracks, eat breakfast, listen to music and enjoy hanging out with each other. The phones make their way back into our hands, don't fret, but it feels good to turn off, even for a short while. 

Preserve those memories- It's not easy, but try to take one good photo of your family together. We usually do a selfie as a nice reminder, year after year, of our traditions and our time together.

Now it's your turn to share! What are some of your Christmas traditions? What is something that you do year after year?

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