Wonder, surprise and utter delight:
There’s nothing like experiencing Christmas through the eyes of a child.
If you have kids or grandkids at home, introducing fun new traditions — and a healthy dose of holiday magic — makes the entire season more joyous for the whole family. They don’t have to be complicated or expensive, and no, you don’t have to put an elf on a different shelf every day in December. Just make sure your plans fill their hearts with Christmas cheer!
Here are a 15 ideas to help make the season even more magical for your little ones, especially leading up to the big day:
- Watch all the classic holiday movies, but also be sure to look for new holiday specials featuring your favorite characters.
- All Christmas music, all the time. (You can change the playlist on Dec. 26!)
- Head to the craft store and pick up a few simple holiday crafts to do together once school lets out. Gingerbread houses and homemade ornaments can’t be beat, plus they make adorable homemade gifts!
- Invite each child to send a special, handwritten letter to Santa. (Just don’t forget to snap a picture of their wish list before shipping it to the North Pole.)
- Take each child shopping on their own, so they can select the perfect gifts for their siblings or other loved ones, just from them.
- Be the example: Share a little extra kindness and holiday spirit wherever you go. This can be as simple as wishing your cashier “Merry Christmas!” or donating a gift or two to your local Angel Tree.
- Bake Christmas cookies together — let the kids help, no matter how messy it gets! — and share them with the neighbors.
- Practice a few simple Christmas songs, bundle up and go caroling around the neighborhood to spread Christmas cheer.
- Make a paper chain to decorate the Christmas tree, and ask the whole family to take turns writing something they’re grateful for on each link.
- Load the whole family into the car, each with a travel mug of hot cocoa, and go hunting for the best Christmas lights display in town. Bonus points if everyone wears PJs.
- Wrap seven new holiday books, so they can open a new one each night during the week leading up to Christmas. You’ll love reading them together!
- Get matching jammies for the whole family to lounge in on Christmas Eve — and all Christmas Day.
- Don’t forget to set out cookies and milk for the big man and carrots for his reindeer on Christmas Eve. (And parents, make sure they’re gone by morning.)
- Keep tabs on the real-world location of Santa and his reindeer with an online Santa Tracker on Christmas Eve.
- Embrace that early-morning wakeup call on Christmas Day and try to hop out of bed when the kids come running. They’re not little for very long!
What are your favorite family traditions this time of year?
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