I’m all about living a beautiful and creative life, but I’m also a big fan of making life fun, manageable and practical.
So, I know you can peruse Pinterest and find loads of ideas for holiday traditions to start with your kids. And a lot of them are good. Really really good. But sometimes it’s nice to keep life simple, right?
While we are doing a couple of semi-elaborate things, I’m trying to start traditions that are easy and manageable for me to continue year after year. And even these simple traditions will feel magical for most kids.
Your kids will likely enjoy anything you do and when you do it year after year, it becomes a tradition they will look forward to.
I present to you…
EIGHT easy and affordable (some are even free) holiday traditions you can start today
1. Read a holiday-themed story or book by the fire or tree as a family. Bonus points if you add hot cocoa. :)
2. Decorate your tree together. You have to do it anyway, so make it a family affair. I’ll always remember the feeling of decorating with my brother, grandma and great grandma year after year and the comfort of sitting near it during the holiday season.
3. Decorate a gingerbread house. I’m not talking about making something fancy either. Either use a store-bought one or simply grab a can of frosting, some sprinkles and graham crackers and let your kids have at it. It doesn’t need to look great. It just needs to be fun and something you do year after year.
4. Christmas music dance parties. We have a dance party at least once a week, usually more, in our house. Make dance parties a part of the holiday season by simply turning on your favorite Christmas tunes, declaring “DANCE PARTY” and dance. Just dance. I’ve never met a kid who doesn’t like to dance either in your arms or just together. Plus it’s a great workout.
5. Advent calendar. If you’re feeling stressed or just lacking motivation, don’t do a DIY one or even a big one that requires a ton of gifts. Just buy the $3 box of chocolates at Trader Joe’s and open it each night. If you’re not a big fan of sugar for your kids, make the kids split the chocolates. I remember opening one each day as a kid and because I didn’t know about all of these super elaborate ones, I thought it was SO much fun!
6. Drive around and look at holiday lights. So simple. So fun! My aunt Janny took my brother, my three cousins and I almost every year. We sometimes had hot cocoa or a fun treat and just went for a drive. I loved it! It was such a simple thing that I’ll remember forever. That’s what traditions are all about anyway, right?
7. Build a snowman. This one is so obvious, so easy, yet most of us don’t take the time to run out into the snow after a fresh snowfall. Do it. Just do it. Every time I take the kids out to play in the snow, I wonder why I don’t do it more. Obviously, it’s no fun on days when the temperature is below zero, but usually it’s a comfortable temp after a nice fresh snowfall.
8. Sing Christmas carols. You can either go caroling or just sing them as a family in your home. So easy. So enjoyable!
Bonus: Do something kind for someone else. Adopt a family, donate money to a great charity or volunteer your time. I know this can sometimes be hard to make time for during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, but I think this is a tradition that will mean a lot to most families.
I could go on and on, but I think the main thing is to just pick two or three traditions, start them and enjoy your family this time of year. I find myself getting caught up in my to-do lists and not taking the time to enjoy the magic of the season. Our kids will remember traditions best if they are warm and filled with love and not stressful.
Affiliate links included.