Christmas is all about spending time with the people who are most special to you. As an adult, I think the memories you have of Christmas as a child tend to be the things you did year in year out. No matter how big or small these were they have become a tradition to you, and personally that’s what I love most about Christmas, doing those special traditions with those closest to you. I think these traditions become all the more important when your family starts to grow and the new generation are born, this is the case in my family and we have all got re-excited about Christmas again because we have children to share all the magic with again.
We have put together some of our favourite and personal traditions to give you some ideas of what you could start doing in your household over the Christmas period.
Elf on the Shelf
Elf on the Shelf is definitely one of the biggest crazes for Christmas traditions at the moment. Once you have ‘adopted’ your elf, the elf will come and stay with your until Christmas Eve reporting back to the North Pole every night to tell Father Christmas whether the little people in your house are being well behaved. This elf however is a little mischievous and hides every night so you have to find him in the morning. You can often find him (with a little help and imagination from all you readers) in situations he shouldn’t be in-delving into the biscuit tins, hanging from a decoration or unwrapping a present to name just a few.
This really is a sweet lead up to Christmas, you can find out more information here on the variations of elves and the story behind it. In the meantime adults, get creating those scenarios to put the elf in to see the reaction on your children’s faces!
Christmas Eve boxes
This is a great tradition to do with your children as a family. It’s one big selection of presents for everyone in your home to enable you to spend a special evening together the night before the big day.
Put together a selection of:
- new pyjamas for each family member
- a new Christmas themed book and DVD
- new mug or cup each
- ingredients to make an indulgent drink (hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows or salted caramel topping for example)
- hat and gloves
- I spy sheet of things to find
- everyone’s favourite sweet
Together as a family, curl up in your pyjamas together and read your new book, and watch your new DVD before heading off to bed. Alternatively, wrap up in your new warm accessories and go for an I spy walk around your area. This tradition is used as one thing that firmly sets aside some immediate family time. Something we all definitely need more of!
Making a Christmas Decoration Yearly
Follow this super simple craft recipe to make these beautiful white decorations that can be painted or coloured in to create wonderful festive designs. These would be great for presents but also to make and use one a year from each child to add to your tree.
- 1.5 cup water
- 2 cups bicarbonate of soda
- 1 cup cornflour
- greeseprooof paper
- Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and put over a medium-high heat. Continuously stir until the consistency is like mashed potato. When you have this constancy take it off the heat and leave to cool.
- Heat oven to 80 C. When dough is cool, turn out onto a floured surface. In chunks, roll out the dough to about half a centimetre thick (5/6mm) and cut out desired shapes. Place shapes on a lined baking tray. If you want to make holes to hang them or put a design into the shape, now is the time to do it.
- Put shapes into the oven for 1 1/2-2hours for them to dry out. You need to flip then half way through. Flip them when they are firm to touch, you’ll find the underside is still very soft. When both sides are firm to touch take them out and leave them over night to really harden out. They really do become hard and retain their bright white colour.
- Paint or colour in shapes to your desire and add ribbons to hang them.
Track Father Christmas’ route
Throughout Christmas Eve afternoon and before the children go to bed why not find out where Father Christmas is on his route around the world delivering all his goodies. Thanks to the American International Space Station they have released a web page that is active from the 1st December to track Father Christmas’ whereabouts. Take a look here.
Lucky Dip Present Box
If there are a number of children in your Christmas Day gathering, this could be a great tradition for you to create. You might like to create two different aged boxes if you have a big variation of ages in your family for example 0-3 & 4-7. Buy a selection of age appropriate small presents, wrap and hide in a box filled with shredded paper/tissue paper/glitter/ribbons. Let the children hunt around the box for a present to add to their Christmas collection!