Christmas Traditions

Traditions to Start With Your Toddler This Holiday Season

Rockin’ around the Christmas tree at the Christmas party hop! I’m feeling cheery just hearing that little tune in my ear! Guess what everybody, it’s finally that time of year, time to start thinking about what traditions you plan to par take in this season. For my family it will be the first year for many traditions to begin, now that our daughter is finally old enough (18 months at Christmas) to begin enjoying traditions.

My husband and I have been married four years, and of course we had our traditions that we would do with just each other, but I felt those traditions were missing something…like a spark, and that spark was having a child to cherish those traditions with! If you have a little one or multiple little ones and are looking to start up some new traditions, then look no further! Happy Holidays to you and yours, enjoy!

Wear Matching PJ’s Every Christmas Eve

There is nothing more fun than getting all snuggled up in matching pj’s the night before Christmas. This year we’re going to bring all our blankets and pillows down to the living room in our matching pj’s and have snuggle time. We will enjoy watching Christmas movies and eating sugar cookies together. I think I could manage to have a snuggle party every year for the rest of forever if you ask me! If you are unsure where to find matching pajamas I actually just discovered that Old Navy has an awesome selection at very reasonable prices!

Watch the Same Christmas Movie Each Year

If you’re looking for recommendations, my husband and I watch The Grinch and Elf every Christmas season and plan to do so each year with our daughter. We also make sure to watch our favorite classic Christmas movie, can you guess it? “ I’m mister heat miser I’m mister sun do do do do, I’m mister heat miser I’m mister 101”. If you guessed The Year Without A Santa Claus then you were spot on. If this movie is not on your list of holiday movies to watch each year then put it on that list STAT, you won’t be sorry!

Elf on the Shelf

Okay, Elf on the Shelf is a very favorite for most young kids, but dang can it be a tiring tradition for parents. I think the key with this tradition is to remember there are NO RULES! The gist of this tradition is that Santa’s elf comes down to check on the kids each morning from the north pole. Each morning it’s our kids job to find the new place the elf is hiding. That’s it!

You can get really extreme with this or be as simple as just moving him to a different room. To give an example of extreme, I have a friend who got up early and toilet papered her daughters entire bathroom and then had the elf sitting on the toilet, what a mischievous little elf. Her daughter was shocked with what she had discovered and didn’t want to tell her parents what she had found because she knew that elf was going to be in a lot of trouble.

I think that’s a beyond adorable idea, but then each day and each year you would have to top these ideas somehow, which could get exhausting for some. I also recommend bringing the elf out once the Christmas tree is put up, that’s a good start point. You can also have the elf bring a letter from Santa to go over things the kids need to work on to stay on the nice list! Have fun with this tradition!

View Christmas Light Displays

If you live in a neighborhood you could take a Christmas walk and show your little one all the houses lit up. This year we will dress warm and maybe take some warm cocoa with us on the walk. You could also drive around a view lights depending on your little ones age. Our daughter is still rear facing in her car seat so viewing lights from the car would be difficult. Next year, when she’s over two I believe she will be forward facing and therefore she will more easily be able to see out the window.

Open One Present on Christmas Eve

Children get so giddy to open up their gifts, letting some of that excitement out on Christmas eve by allowing them to open one Christmas gift is the perfect way to get them to settle down. Plus it never gets old watching our little ones open gifts, why not spread out gift opening one extra day!

Give Each Child a New Ornament Every Year

When our daughter gets older we may let her pick out her yearly ornament but for now we will enjoy wrapping one up for her and watch her put it on the Christmas tree.

Read Christmas Books

Spend several evenings during the holiday season reading your favorite Christmas books. One of my favorites that I plan to read to my daughter each year is The Polar Express, what kid doesn’t love trains? I think this will become a favorite for her!

Decorate a Gingerbread House

This will be the first year that we incorporate this tradition, I’m just guessing here, but I’m assuming majority of the gingerbread house will end up in my daughter’s tummy, but hey, it’s worth the effort right?!

Make Sugar Cookies and Decorate

This was my favorite tradition to do as a kid, I plan to pull out all the stops and get tons of cookie cutters and every sprinkle I can find, it’s going to be messy, but so worth it!

Have a Hot Cocoa and S’mores Night

If you have a fire pit of some sort then get bundled up with your little one around the fire and roast marshmallows and have cocoa! Don’t forget to try York Peppermint Patty’s and Reese’s on your s’mores, it’s delightfully delicious!

Donate Toys

Teach your little one to have a giving heart by having them choose a few lightly used toys to give to those in need. This is a great teachable moment and also feels wonderful to give a child in need a gift.

Build a Snowman, an Igloo, and Make Snow Angels

When the snow flies, get outside! Let your inner child out and have your tot help you create a snow masterpiece. If this doesn’t get you into the holiday spirit then I don’t know what will!

Christmas Decorating

Make decorating the house a whole day event, do the indoors together and have your little one pick out places to put the decorations and help put ornaments on the tree.  Also have your little one safely help put some lights on the house if they are at a low level, they will love it!

Make Goodie Bags

Put together goodie bags for neighbors, friends, and family with things like chocolates, hot cocoa packs, and maybe a little candle. Have your toddler stuff the bags for you and then help you drop them all off!  You could go so far as to make homemade salt scrub to give as gifts and your little one can help with making the scrub, this would be so much fun!

The Pickle Ornament

If you have multiple children then this ornament would be a fun tradition to start. Hide this ornament in your Christmas tree and the first child to find it gets a special little gift. The pickle blends in with trees very well so it can really be a challenge to find.

Ice Skate

Our family lives near a small lake that freezes over solid during the month of December. Since I was a young girl every year we go walk on the lake and watch everyone skating, playing hockey, and sliding around on sleds. Our daughter is to young to actually skate, so this year we will probably walk and put our daughter in a sled. If you can find a large pond or small lake that freezes, take advantage of the opportunity to get outside and have some fun!

I hope you were able to find some fun new traditions to start with your family in the coming years. I would love to hear some of your traditions that you do each year, feel free to comment below.