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Holiday Traditions

My daughter is 16 mos and I am pregnant with my 2nd. I would like to start some interesting holiday traditions with her. I did a few last year and have some from my own childhood but I am curious what other families do. This could be events, crafts, recipes, etc., please share if you could. Some of the traditions are what I remember most about my childhood. Thank you.

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My daughter enjoyed me reading Disney stories to her at bed time and playing house. We would would put up a tent (with two chairs and sheet)in the living room and eat, play with her toys and read under the tent. She is now 26 years old and these are a couple of the things she remembers having fun doing.

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I purchased a tree skirt and every year i take fabric paint, put it on my kids feet and let them pace one set of prints around the trim so we can watch them grow through the years. :)

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Christmas is my "thing", so we have a lot of traditions. Some of my favorite are giving my girls a gift they get to open on Christmas eve, which is always the same, new PJ's they wear to bed so we have cute pictures Christmas morning. We leave out milk and cookies on Santa's special plate. I take a picture of them holding the milk and cookies in their new PJ's, and some day hope to get organized enough to put them all together!

Last year, for the first time, we made a simple gingerbread house (my girls are older than yours, 5 & 7), and it really helped them focus on something other than their excitement. They are already asking if we are going to do it again because we "always" do!

My husband reads the girls The Night Before Christmas, and of course we snap a picture. After "Santa" comes, I like to take pictures, to have before and after shots.

Most important, we make sure to talk about how lucky we all are to be together, to have each other, a warm safe place to live and food to eat. My girls like the presents, but I can't begin to express how proud I am to hear them say "we are all together and that's what's important" or something similar, and look at their face and know that they mean it.

Have a great holiday.

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I just read about one that I am going to start this year. You take a white table cloth and have everyone that comes write their name and date it. Children can put handprints on it. If something funny or cute happens you write that on it too. You continue to do this for each holiday and create a memory that will last a long time. The person that had the idea had one that her great grandmother started and she has it now (I believe they had it in their family for almost 50 years). The family history on it must be amazing! You can always make one for each child if you so choose so that when they grow up they can have one for their own family. Have a wonderful holiday season no matter what you choose and best wishes on your new arrival!

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My daughter is 12 and my son is 10. Up until they were 6 and 4 we lived down the street from my sister and her 3 kids. Every holiday season I would have all of the kids bake dog bones from scratch with me. Then we would give them out to all of the neighbors with dogs. I did the dog bone thing because at such young ages there were no guarantees of accidental sneezing, nose rubbing, or anything else I would'nt want to serve to humans. My neice is 15 now and she still expects to bake with me at holiday time. I let her make human treats now!

Another thing we always do is clean out closets! You can't get presents if there is no where to put them. And how happy they will make other children by giving away toys and clothes that they are done with.

This year I would like to take them to volunteer to serve dinner at Thanksgiving. I think it's very important to see how fortunate they are. My kids happen to be extremely caring and sharing people, however, a reality slap before making out their wish lists can't hurt!

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Yay for these kinds of topics and so far I see some wonderful suggestions!

We do the giant Christmas Eve dinner at my aunt's house and the adults exchange presents there. Santa Claus has recently started dropping in too much to my three year old's delight.

Every year I buy a new ornament for my son and this year will add my daughter as well. I used to pick them but last year he started choosing and I'll let him choose from here on out. I plan on giving them their collection of ornaments when they have their own families and Christmas trees to decorate.

Every year I also try making ornaments with my kids. Those handmade ones are so special. We've made all kinds of things and have learned some neat things along the way. Last year I bought an Ornament kit but I've also made some out of salt dough and another time I made them out of wooden shapes from Michaels.

I just read somewhere a great idea too that I'm going to start. That is to tie a different colored ribbon to each person's stocking. THe presents under the tree with that color ribbon are for that person. It's a great way for the little ones to know what's for them.

Other things I do are play lots of Christmas songs, put on lots of Christmas movies, and bake bake bake!!

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OOOOOOO! I LOVE the red rose tradition! @--<---
That's awesome! I remember my dad always gave me and my twin sister roses every Valentine's Day. I will NEVER forget. I digress! For Christmas we always made special Christmas cookies! She would love to "help" decorate ; ) with the different colored sprinkles, icing, etc. At first you can just make cookies with her and as the years go on and she gets older, make it a service project. Make cookies for local nursing homes, children's hospitals, family members, elderly neighbors, etc. She really will love being able to give cookies to someone else that she helped make, especially to other children. Adopt a family! There are local organizations who have whole families who will have little to nothing for Christmas. Get several of your family members together and make it a group project. (Every Thanksgiving My mom, my sis-in-law, my sisters and my neices take a Turker dinner with ALL the fixings, drinks, desserts, ice, cups, flatware and find homeless people who would not otherwise have this meal. The first time we ever did this the man at first wouldn't take it because he was scared of all of us women! And then he cried and thanked us profusely because he said he was hungry. I'll never forget that one either...) Sorry! Back to the adopt a family. You can supply (preferably as a group) the tree, trimmings, turkey or some other dinner, a few gifts, etc. The looks on their faces will say it all. Also it will teach your children an important lesson. To appreciate what THEY have and to be kind to others. Maybe you could volunteer as they get older like in a soup kitchen or other charitable organization. Have them round up old toys that they don't play with anymore and help them bring the toys to children who could use them. That not only frees up their room for new stuff at Christmas, but again teaches them to give to others less fortunate. Please write us back and let us know what you decide your NEW TRADITIONS to be! I would love to hear what you and your children will be doing!


1 mom found this helpful

My daughter enjoyed me reading Disney stories to her at bed time and playing house. We would would put up a tent (with two chairs and sheet)in the living room and eat, play with her toys and read under the tent. She is now 26 years old and these are a couple of the things she remembers having fun doing.

1 mom found this helpful


My favorite tradition, which I have carried on w/ my family now... On Christmas morning, my Mom would always be up early. We would get to open our stockings, and then my Grandparents would get there, and we could open our presents... Then My Mom's real work began... she made home made blueberry waffles - blueberries that she picked the previous summer and froze, perfect waffles (which I have yet to perfect!) Fresh o.j. sausage, bacon, coffee, hot chocolate - maybe it was so we all stuffed ourselves so much we would be tired - thus my Mom catching a catnap before starting on her homemade rolls for xmas dinner at my Grandparents house.

Since all my kids are little, we just have the hot chocolate for breakfast - but only the good stuff, where my husband makes it from scratch, melting the chocolate, etc.

I am also really big on decorating the house - when I was single, I did it the traditional more grown up way, but now that I have kids, and their ornaments and decorations all over the house gives it such a warm and wonderful feeling.

Enjoy all the traditions you can. Happy Holidays to everyone!!

My son will be one year old next week and we started last year with his first Christmas to get an ornament for him. We like the Hallmark ornaments because they have the ornaments with the year marked. We are doing the train ornaments from Lionel through Hallmark. Also we find an ornament that we like and paint his name and year on it. Plus we planned on having Santa bring only 4 or 5 things so that he can make a list of about 10 things and knows that he can only expect 4 or 5. I don't want him to get too spoiled. I like the adopt a family thing because I tried to do that for a few years, randomly adopting needy families with kids. Well, enjoy!! And congrats on the new upcoming baby!


Hi N.,
That is a great question! When I was little and we still do this.Sing christmas songs on christmas eve with the whole family. It really is a lot of fun. You can always play a christmas cd to help along.
And my own little tradition(this is my fourth x-mas with my husband)I love hot chocalate! I go to the store and buy only the best ingrediants. Heat the milk real slow over the stove adding inn whatever you like best. Chunks of choc. or white choc. let them melt down adding in honey, cinnamon, nutmeg whatever you like. top with wip cream or marshmellows. I am origianlly from Pennsylvania and moved to Florida and since we don't have fire places here in Naples something about that hot chocolate brings me right back to those chilly nights around christmas time when I was little. And of course christmas carols playing while your making it. Have fun! Happy Holidays!


One of our family traditions from when I was a kid that I have carried over to my kids is: On Christmas eve night we all get in our pj's and make coco and spiked eggnog and have yummies to eat. Each person picks out 1 gift to open and then we set out cookies and milk and a note for santa. However, for about the last 5 years the kids put cheese out too. They saw a commercial where the little girl put out cheese and when they woke up on Christmas morning the house was full of stuff.
So, I just go along with it.
P.S. Santa only leaves out 1 gift and a stocking full of goodies too at my house.
Have a wonderful time creating traditions with your new family and Happy Holidays!

For Christmas, aside from the things we do with our extended family, my husband and I have things we do with our children (you know, just our family). Christmas Eve, you'll find us driving around, looking for Christmas lights and listening to Christmas music. Then we come home, get a bath and get in our PJs, we all sit around and watch either A.) A Christmas movie like Frosty or the Grinch, etc. or B.) We watch the story of Jesus and his birth. I'm a Christian so I want my kids to know what I believe Christmas is about. I know everyone has different beliefs though and the main point is I try to TEACH them something that night. Whether it be reminding them how it may be nice to get things but it's equally as important to GIVE as well or something like that. And we spend time with each other and eat goodies (the ONLY time of year my kids can pig out on junk food). Then we do the whole cookies and milk for Santa (because calories never count at Christmas and last I heard, Santa doesn't believe in diets...see, I respect EVERYONE'S beliefs...) then it's time for bed. At least for the kids. Mommy and Daddy have to wait up for Santa of course. Someone has to let the Big Guy in...we don't have a chimney. Although, this year I am considering leaving the key under the mat.

We only have a couple traditions we have decided for sure we want to stick to every year, though we may start more later. One is to buy or make one ornament especially for that year. It either has to have the year on it, or have a space that it can be written. My husband and I have done that since our first Christmas together when we received a "first Christmas" ornament as a gift. That was in 1998, now we have eight and will be shopping for our 2006 one soon. The other thing we do is have the kids help make some of the Christmas goodies, like pie, bread, cookies, sweet potato casserole, or whatever else is safe. We take lots of pictures. They don't do anything hard, just little things to make them feel like big helpers like stirring, adding pre-measured ingredients, help rolling doe, needing doe, spreading flour, sprinkling seasonings, using the cookie cutters, or holding something while someone else pores. It gets us all involved, it's a really fun thing, and we get lots of really cute pics.

We also do stuff with decorating, but that isn't consistent each year. Our intention is usually to start decorating the day after thanksgiving, and get the tree up soon after that, but it doesn't always happen that way :)

Have fun with whatever you do.
V. Brown

One of my favorite traditions growing up is something that i will continue with my son...Of course we do the baking but that is usually before Christmas eve. We would always have some activity to tire us out and before bed Mom would make hot chocolate for everyone and we would sit on the floor and read Christmas books. We have a book for everyone and everyone reads the same books every year...(we know them by heart now). Some good ones are: "The Night Before Christmas", if you are religious look into "Santa and the Christ Child" and lots of other Christmas books. Have Fun!

Something my dad did for me and my sisters growing up was get us a red rose on Christmas Eve. I started this with my daughter on her first Christmas Eve and I love this tradition.

This isn't a tradition for xmas day it's self, but kids love the sound of popping popcorn....... and this is a cheap and fun way of decorating the tree. Pop some popcorn (whichever way you do it....... microwave, on the stove, whatever) Find a needle that isn't sharp, but will pierce the popcorn, and cheep thread, and you can both sit down and make a long string of popcorn to swirl around the tree. She'll feel like she accomplished something, and it's always a pretty decoration (actually you can now buy colored popcorn) Have a great xmas, everyone!

My family and i have all the usual holiday tradition, baking cookies for santa the night before, a big dinner on christmas eve ,opening gifts and a big breakfast on xmas day....but this is my favorite tradition. For the past few year i take my kids to the mall to see santa , get a picture taken with him, and tell him what THEY want for christmas. THEN, i make them each take an angel off the salvation army angel tree and we buy THOSE children their dream gift. my kids get excited to buy someone else a barbire or a bike. The season should be about giving as well as recieving. we have done this for at least 5 years and will continue to do it every year. it is so sad to see that sometimes these kid's dream gift is a book or a doll, something that our kids have hundreds of.

I've been taking my daughter to see the Nutcracker ballet every Christmas since she was 2. We get all dressed up in our best Christmas dresses. This year I'm taking my husand and son who is 4. He was a little too active for live performances before, but I think this year he will enjoy it.

We also always make cookies on Christmas Eve to set out for Santa. If I have time, I make cut-out cookies and we ice them, but if we're really busy (and when my son was too little to help, but big enough to want to), we just get those kind you get at the grocery where they are already made and you just have to put them on the cookie sheet.

Another tradition that my son's daycare started was to feed the reindeer. It's basically a mix of Christmas sprinkles and a few spices in a ziplock that my little guy loves to go throw around the yard on Christmas Eve.

When I was a kid, we always got to open one present on Christmas Eve.

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