If you've done something a certain way for so long that you can't remember why, there's a good chance that your parents did it that way too. While forging your own identity and being who you are should always come first, passing on family traditions to your children also important. The influence of Mom and Dad throughout a child's life never really leaves them, and there's magic in knowing that you're using the same dinner roll recipe as your great-great-grandmother or tell the same story around the fireplace as Uncle Harold always did. Carry on the old traditions, but think of ways to create your own. The earlier you start building these memories the more important they become as time passes, so make the Christmas season something special for your children year after year.
Give Santa a helping hand by picking out the perfect trinkets for everyone in your family. Make everyone's stocking stuffers as unique and individual as they are by being thoughtful and choosy when deciding what to pass on to Santa.
- Dumbledore said it best: One can never have enough socks. Make novelty socks part of their yearly chimney drop-off by picking out a pair that reflects each child's personality. With an array of designs to select from, the hardest part is choosing only one pair.
- Designers are getting more creative every year with new themes of Christmas tree ornaments. Pick one aspect of your little one's personality and give them an ornament that represents it. This could be a hobby, a sport, something they like to wear or anything else your creative mind can come up with.
- Whether they actually carry keys or hang them on a backpack, keychains can be a fun and personal mini gift. Monogrammed and personalized or shaped like a favorite cartoon character, keychains always tend to go over well with kids of all ages.
Decking the Halls
Whether you're a silver and gold or boughs of holly kind of family, taking a day to decorate the house for Christmas together can be a cherished memory in future years. Crank up the Carpenters and start pulling your bins of Christmas decor out from the basement. Include everyone in the task, even the smallest members of your family.
Be Okay With Imperfection
The joy of family togetherness is the best gift of all, so give your kids an area of their own to decorate — and please, don't rearrange it when they're not looking. Children take pride in being included in adult tasks, so you should also take pride in the crooked reindeer on the mantle and the heaps of tinsel on the tree while other spots lay bare. Hold onto these memories and love every imperfect detail.
Ask for Opinions
Little ones love to feel like they're being heard. When you're going about your decorating, ask your children for their opinion too, however small the decision is. "Do you think I should use the blue or gold ribbon? I like the way this village looks, but where do you think the church should go?" This is another way for them to take pride in helping you decorate for the Christmas season while feeling like they are valued too.
Change It Up
Tradition is all well and good, but doing the same exact Christmas setup every year can seem tedious. Mix it up and alternate your decorations as the years go on, pulling from various bins and putting away extras for the season. This way, when you pull out your decorations next year the whole family will be excited to see things that they haven't seen in a year or two.
There is so much to Christmas than decorating and buying toys, but the way that you choose to celebrate is personal to you and your family. Make memories with your loved ones by creating new Christmas traditions and passing down the old ones.