When you look back at your Christmas growing up what do you remember the most? The memories that seem to last the longest for most of us are those great family Christmas traditions.
Christmas is always a special time of year, but when you have little ones they really add an extra bit of sparkle to the festive season. Their excitement and happiness is contagious making it hard not to get carried away and go all out on their Christmas presents. But memories and traditions are the things that children will remember long after their gifts have been unwrapped. These are the things that last a lifetime and make Christmas so special.
A lot of people have things that they did year after year that have stayed with them as fond memories. Small, low-cost yet enjoyable activities, such as going to pick the tree together or dressing up in ugly Christmas jumpers to watch your favourite Christmas movie, offer ideal activities that may easily become cherished traditions. Don't underestimate the importance of spending time together and enjoying one another's company; it's amazing how much family traditions are remembered by children.
Traditions are instant memory creators! If you don't have any, this years the perfect year to start some! To inspire you, we have gathered together some of our personal favourite traditions from our childhood along with some we cant wait to do with our own little ones this year
It’s Matching PJ Day!
The cold British winter provides enough reason to stay inside and cosy up by the fire. You can make this more special by getting dressed in matching Christmas pyjamas and putting on a classic Christmas film. Make this a tradition by doing this on the same day every year, whether it's when you are decorating the Christmas tree or on Christmas Eve.
Go on a Winter Adventure
The cold winter weather can make getting outdoors seem like a lot of effort - cold temperatures, snow and rain along with the lack of sunshine can make even the most outdoorsy family want to stay inside. But just because the sun has gone it doesn't mean you can't get outside with your little ones and explore the winter outdoors. Get the whole family in the Christmas spirit by going to meet Santa and his reindeer at Santas Grotto or go on a woodland adventure through the woods to discover the change of season. Keep the little ones cosy and warm on their winter adventures by wrapping them up in winter warmers.
You could also make picking out your Christmas Tree a family tradition by taking your mini helpers with you to help you pick out the perfect tree. Your little ones will remember this for years to come, the tradition of bundling into the car, wrapped up against the winter chill all on an adventure to choose the Christmas tree as a family.
Ok, so we apologise in advance for the mess this tradition may create!
Making personal homemade Christmas cards or letters to Santa was a regular family tradition in my home but it is something that isn’t so popular anymore. Spare an afternoon with your little ones to get crafty and make a special Christmas masterpiece! This can get quite messy and crazy so make sure your little one is prepared and covered up to get stuck in.
I think we're all in agreement when we say the best part of Christmas is the food! We love coming up with new and exciting festive recipes to do with the little ones as a fun family activity.
Christmas Character Chocolate
You will need –
400g of your favourite chocolate (white, dark or milk)
Decorations (sprinkles, more chocolate, sweets, edible snowflakes etc)
For snowmen you might want to use white chocolate buttons, pretzel sticks and rolo chocolates.
For the reindeer you could use pretzels cut in half, red M&M’s and flaked almonds.
Line brownie tins with baking parchment. Chop up and melt your chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water.
Whilst the chocolate is melting, prepare the decorations.
Once the chocolate has melted, pour it into the prepared tin – allow to stand for a few minutes so it starts to set, this will make it easier to decorate.
Now decorate! How you decorate is really up to you and your little ones. If you are doing the reindeer or snowmen, it might be a good idea to show them how to do it first so they can copy. Or just let them have full rein to get creative!
Put in the fridge to set for 2 hours then cut up into shards and enjoy! These also make the perfect personalised gifts to your loved ones.
While it is easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of Christmas with your family, it is always nice to remember those less fortunate whose holiday season may not be filled with as much cheer. Christmas is the perfect time to teach your children that not everyone is as lucky as they are and to show them that they can help make someone feel special by giving instead of receiving. Make it a tradition to do something kind with your little ones every year. Involve your kids in simple acts of kindness, giving back and caring for others whether its baking cookies for a neighbour, buying an extra gift at the store and dropping it in a donation box, or you could event donate some time to a charity or nursing home.
Growing up my family would always fill a couple of shoeboxes for the Operation Christmas Child charity. We'd spend quality time picking out the perfect gifts for the age group we were given and we'd enjoy decorating the box to look as festive as possible. Find the perfect gift to give to others in our Toys Collection, all our toys are safe and built to last meaning they can bring joy to a child’s life for years to come.
These experiences will show your children that sometimes it is better to give back than receive and that it can actually feel really good to see the different they are making to someone's Christmas. The special memories of helping others will stay with them for a long time, they might even carry on this special tradition with their own family one day.
In the run up to the big day this year don't miss the joy of Christmas for you and your family by making the most of the Christmas activities you can do together that will make many wonderful Christmas memories that last a lifetime. This year make it a tradition to give your kids the gift of a memorable Christmas.