Last year, my husband and I decided to give our 10 foot Christmas tree a new home. There was still a lot of life left in it, but it was no longer a “pre-lit” tree if ya know what I mean!  A few weeks before Thanksgiving, we still had not found a tree and my husband and I were discussing it in front of our two children. Our daughter said “mom, even if we do not have the tree by Thanksgiving, can you please do all your other decorating? ”  It was right then that I realized how much that tradition of  simply getting the house ready for the holidays meant more to my family than I realized. I mean, I totally do it for them…I want them to remember all the lights on the mantle, smell of cinnamon, the 37 nutcrackers on my sons dresser and the hot chocolate station in the kitchen, but now I knew it really meant something to them.

Our family always makes time to watch all the holiday classics with hot chocolate and popcorn, we visit the Gaylord Texan for indoor sledding and dinner and then of course our Christmas Eve PJ exchange! The point is, no matter how big or small the tradition is, it matters to our kiddos! Remember, that these are traditions that will be passed on to your grandchildren and generations beyond that.

Below are some fun & easy Holiday Traditions you can start right now!

Stories…Old & New

Gather around each night for a story. Alternate between a story everyone knows and a new book each night.

Baking

Cookies, cakes, chex mix, caramel corn, there are so many ideas online. Just check out Pinterest for ideas, but be sure to pick something that all ages can participate in.

Paper Chains

My kids still love making a count down to the holidays out of red and green construction paper. It’s so easy and each child can hang it in their room.

Gingerbread Making

Jam out to holiday music while everyone decorates a gingerbread house. Have many options for decorating (and snacking! lol) including candies, nuts, cereals and sprinkles.

Night Before Christmas Box

Have a box for each child that include matching pj’s, snacks, holiday book or movie and a hand written letter from mom & dad.

Ornaments

Handmade, store bought, whatever you want to do, but exchange an ornament every year to add to the tree.

Caroling

Grab your family and friends for a fun night of pizza and then go caroling in your neighborhood

Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt

Type up 10-20 items to find while out looking at lights….Santa, Green Lights, Star…etc.

Reindeer Food

Using oatmeal and glitter, make little baggies of food for the reindeer. Have the kids sprinkle it on the lawn on Christmas Eve.