Make Christmas memorable with this list of holiday traditions
Remember when you were a child and just in awe of the Christmas lights, the sounds, and the smells of Christmas? What do you remember the most about Christmas? If you are embracing a “less is more” lifestyle or just simply don’t have the extra to spend on the holidays this year, you can still make Christmas memorable using this list of holiday traditions for your family.
Since we moved and became a one income family, our budget is a bit tighter than it has been in the past. We also downsized which propelled us into this more mindful life of buying less, decluttering, and simple living. Christmas will not involve a lot of gifts for anyone, but it will still be magical and full of meaning.
Why should we make Christmas memorable?
Holiday traditions are such a good way of showing your children what Christmas is all about. Gifts are fun, but receiving them is only a small part of the equation. There are so many ways to make the holidays fun, gain new family holiday traditions, to have that Christmas cheer without breaking the bank and while raising grateful children.
With so much around us telling our children that more is better, we have to go that extra step to show them what is really important. Simple holiday traditions do just that! They make Christmas memorable for the whole family while bringing Christmas back to the really important thing…family.
Find a new family tradition from this list and have a merry little, inexpensive holiday!
Classic holiday traditions your kids will love
I don’t know about you, but I was a child of the 80’s so we still experienced a lot of classic holiday traditions. Everything from caroling door to door to making the Christmas tree decorations at home, and I loved them all. This list of classic holiday traditions may be just what your family needs too!
Bake some holiday treats
Baking and holidays just goes hand in hand. I love to bake anything from cookies, to candy, to pies for the holidays. See about doing a cookie swap with some of your lady friends so that you can enjoy all of the wonderful tastes of the holidays, but only have to bake a bit.
If you are not much of a baker, try infusing the tastes of holiday into your drinks or even in your breakfast foods. Pumpkin pancakes and apple pancakes are some of my absolute favorites and you can eat them in the morning and not feel soooo guilty. Try making your own hot chocolate to drink while you are watching those Christmas movies or buying apple cider.
Make your own Christmas decorations
This is especially fun when the kiddos are old enough to help, but not so old that they think it lame. You can make popcorn on a string, paper links that countdown the days til Santa arrives, or even little paper decorations for the tree.
Go pick out a Christmas tree from a farm
There is nothing quite like picking out a Christmas tree from a Christmas tree farm. Going to the farm can become a great new, but classic holiday tradition. A lot of farms have a lot more to offer now too, like hot cocoa, train rides, or hay rides.
Watch some classic holiday films on tv
I have to admit, I love classic Christmas movies. There are so many good ones! Check out this list of the best family Christmas movies if you are unsure of which ones to choose.
Unique Christmas traditions for families
Just because your family in the past had traditions doesn’t mean you have to keep those up. Create your own unique Christmas traditions this year with these tips.
Create fun new family traditions
Traditions are those ties that really bind a family together and are unique to each unit. I love the traditions that we set as I was growing up to decorate the tree while drinking our holiday drink, listening to Oakridge Boys. Mr. Hubster’s family would drink slushies the night before Christmas, sing carols, and drive around looking at Christmas lights (they lived in Florida so it was perfectly appropriate 😂 ).
Choose something that you enjoy doing as a family and make it a unique Christmas tradition to do every year. It doesn’t necessarily have to be Christmas-y either!
Take a tradition from another culture
I love the traditions, colors, and tastes of other cultures. Having moved around my whole life, I was able to experience so many cultures and I think it is very important for children to as well. It could be as simple as baking a sweet treat from Germany or singing a song from Hanukkah. Check out this site that is all about Christmas traditions for families from around the globe!
Free and fun family holiday traditions
There are so many different activities to do this time of year. Check out these fun family holiday traditions you can add to your list this year.
The smells of Christmas in the air
You know that smell that just makes you warm and cozy? Whether it be vanilla, pine, or spiced pumpkin, fill your home with the cozy scents of the holidays. Remember that the sense of smell is the most closely related to memory. So if you make your home smell like Christmas, it will for sure make Christmas memorable for your whole family!
This year, I have been revving up my diffuser to fill my office and home with the autumn and winter scents. I particularly love the Holiday Joy from doTERRA, but there are so many more. Check out my link to my Pinterest board here if you want to know what I have been diffusing. Follow me on Pinterest for more oily secrets too:)
Take the family out to enjoy the sights
I always admired the lights when I was a child. We didn’t do too much decorating because we were military and didn’t want to move so much stuff. Now, people light up whole neighborhoods, sync up with music, and just do amazingly inventive scenes for Christmas. This lights up my soul! (pun intended)
If you live in a neighborhood like we do where people can’t do too much decorating (condo life I guess), then get out and explore! My favorite places are zoos, amusement parks, and downtown areas. Get out into your town or city and really find all of the cool events that will be going on throughout the holiday months. There are for sure enough to keep everyone occupied.
30 days of Christmas movies
Yep, that is right, 30 days of full on Christmas, movies that is! Christmas movies are so fun, cheerful, and just memorable. I myself really like to watch Hallmark movies. The sappier the better, no joke. Childrens’ movies are also perfect, especially the old-school ones. Check out my list of Christmas movies that every child should watch.
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- How to prepare for the Holidays: Preparing for guests
Intentional family holiday traditions
Since my change to more simple living, I seek out ways to be more intentional with my time and with my family. These intentional family holiday traditions will be sure to please your family, but also have an impact on others.
Decorate your home
This is a given, right?! I let no room go undecorated during the holidays (okay, MAYBE the laundry room). Little Mister absolutely loves to have a Christmas tree in his room so last year we bought a $10 miniature tree to place in there. If you don’t have the cash, check out thrift stores for some retro and new items at amazing prices. I found a Christmas tree at a shop for $3. It was the same one from my childhood so I just had to have it.
You don’t have to decorate like I do, though. Put a Christmas tree up, a string of lights, maybe some window decals, and you can be done! Do what is right for you.
Play Christmas music all month long
Let me let you in on a secret. I *almost* turned Christmas music on in September. Yes, it is true, I love Christmas music. Normally, I am a fan of NPR, Podcasts, or classical music, but come the holidays, it is all Christmas music all of the time!
Find those gems from when you were a child. I find that those really strike a cord with me. I play oldies and Oakridge Boys like crazy although my hubs doesn’t quite get it 😆 . Pandora also has really good stations for whatever you like. Childrens’, Christian, Classical, Rock, Oldies, man, the list could go on and on.
This is not just for the children in our home, but for ourselves as well. Being thankful for all that we have is and should be a daily practice. Unfortunately, sometimes we get caught in the rough spots of life and forget to be thankful.
With our own little one, teaching him to be thankful with whatever he gets is a constant struggle. I remind him to not have expectations, but that is still something that I myself struggle with. Gentle reminders in our daily lives to be grateful is so needed, especially in a time that so many people struggle with so much “life” stuff.
Enjoy the gift of giving
The older that I get, the more I realize that I love to give gifts. It is a strange thing because I try to be super thoughtful with those gifts and feel defeated if I don’t find quite the right item. Giving is definitely fun and the highlight of the actual day of Christmas. Also, those bell ringers, usually, I am giving a dollar to Little Mister to give to them. It is a good lesson in giving especially when he feels like he would like to keep that money instead.
I hope you will use this list of holiday traditions to really make Christmas memorable for this year and every year.
Whether you are minimalist or a maximalist, you can make Christmas memorable and magical for all those involve!
What is your favorite way to get into the Christmas spirit?