It may still be 84 degrees outside, but like it or not, Christmas is coming. Fast. Before we know it, Thanksgiving will be over and without proper planning, those 28 days before Christmas Eve will fly by and there will be few memories that were made. All of those things you had pinned and planned will go out the window quicker than you can say snowman, and Christmas 2016 will be one big flop.
Ok that’s being a bit dramatic, but that is the story that plays out in my head.
My kids are entering prime Santa years (which as we all know are numbered, especially for the younger siblings) so I want to make the most of it. I want to start the day after Thanksgiving with crafts, baking, Christmas music, decorating, hot chocolate, ABC Family channel, and everything else that I see on Pinterest. However, the reality is I have to find time to do these things amongst work, house work, kids’ schedules, holiday parties, cooking, work travel, and everything else that takes place in day to day life.
To make moms lives a little bit easier and kids lives a little more fun, I have put together a list of 10 traditions that are easy to do and will make getting into the holiday spirit a lot more fun for your family!
If you are not spending Thanksgiving at your house, why not decorate early? Get all your boxes down from the attic, start putting things up or at least have a plan and have it all ready to go. Pick a night for you and the hubs to stay up late, decorate, play music and hang out. Make it a date while the kids are snoozing away to wake up and find a house full of magical Christmas spirit!
This is a classic that everyone loves. Make it easy with sugar cookie dough that you can start making and freezing now. That’s right. Make the dough now and freeze it away in bags that you can pull out later and let the kids roll, cut and decorate. I sometimes opt for an even easier option which is to buy pre made cookies from Steins Bakery undecorated and then have the kids do all the fun stuff.
Make Your Own Elf Rules.
Now not everyone participates in this wildly popular tradition but if you do, make your own rules. In our house, the elf doesn’t show up every day. He pops in from time to time to check in and see how things are going. Every morning is not “Where is Buddy?”, it’s “Did Buddy come today?”.
For anyone that has ever had a picture made with the world famous “NorthPark Mall Santa” I commend you. I tried once. My first year as a mom I thought it would be cute to take my 6 month old to the mall to have pictures made and when I realized I had to take a number of which would probably be called 6 hours later I opted for a different option. Galleria + daytime hours = no line. You’re welcome.
Candy Cane Hunt in the Yard or Around the House.
Just think Easter egg hunt except with candy canes. Great way to kill 20 minutes and kids love it.
Birthday Cake for Jesus.
You could even do it a few days before Christmas but it is a great way to teach kids the true meaning of Christmas.
Annual Christmas Ornament Present.
Every year while decorating the Christmas tree I give each child a special ornament that represents them for that year. Its something that they will be able to remember every year and one day keep for their own families. This year Jack gets a police car, Lewie a Dora, and Max a basketball. Order ahead of time on Amazon!
Let kids pick a angel at the mall and buy a special present for a child in need. Giving back in any form or fashion in which they can participate is worth more than you realize!
Pick one local Holiday event, musical, play, outing to attend.
This could be Ice at the Gaylord, Rudolph the play, Farmers Branch tour of lights, casual stroll through Vitruvian park, or just a drive through the neighborhood to look at lights.
Pick a day, an evening, or even an hour as often as you can during this season to just be present with your family. Turn the phone off, let schedules, plans, to do lists, and expectations go and just be in the moment to laugh, sing, dance, play games with your family. That is the best holiday tradition that you can ever give your family. These moments, spent doing whatever it is, will be the memories that your kids will remember.