Last year we celebrated my daughter’s first Christmas. At the beginning of December, I had a friend post on Facebook that the celebration of St. Nick was coming up. I was immediately taken back to my childhood memories of how my family celebrated that night. My mom would draw up a bath for me, and without fail, once I was dried off and PJs were on, my Rudolph stocking was filled with goodies from St. Nick’s visit. This sparked quite the conversation with my husband and me. We had never previously thought about what traditions we wanted to keep going from our childhood, or what new traditions we wanted to start with our daughter.
That night we sat down and created a list. I wrote down my favorite traditions, along with new ones, and he did the same. We compared lists and came up with what we wanted to pass along. I didn’t realize how many great memories were associated with these annual events! Seeing them all written out made us that much more excited to be celebrating the season as a family of three. Some of them were:
- On St. Nick night, we would give our daughter a new pair of Christmas PJ’s to wear throughout the month of December, and a new holiday book. (new tradition)
- We would make a point to watch the classic cartoons as a family, and during Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer we would have hot chocolate and decorate the tree. (my tradition)
- One night we would drive around as a family and look at Christmas lights. (his tradition)
- We would continue to participate in some sort of giving back, such as The Angel Tree or Operation Christmas Child. (both)
- Since we both don’t like crazy crowds, we would visit PNC’s Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo on a weeknight. (both)
- Both my husband and I love receiving photo cards. We decided to do a family “mini” session to use for our Christmas cards. This year we had a session at Summit Park with Cappa Photography. (new tradition)
- On Christmas Eve, we will sprinkle Reindeer Food (oats mixed with glitter) on the front porch and stairs. (my tradition)
- Christmas Eve would be spent at my mother in law’s house, and Christmas Day would be spent with just the three of us. (both and new)
- Christmas morning breakfast will be my grandma’s biscuit doughnuts. They may not be pretty, but they sure are tasty! (my tradition)
Some of the CMB contributors shared their traditions as well.
- Have a “Happy Birthday, Jesus!” party on Christmas morning
- Elf on the Shelf
- Read “The Night Before Christmas” on Christmas Eve
- Drive-thru light displays such as Christmas Nights of Lights at Coney Island, Holiday in Lights at Sharon Woods, and Holiday Lights on the Hill at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park
- Have a cookie baking day
- Advent calendars
- 25 Books of Christmas
- Local holiday shows such as The Nutcracker, Awaited, and A Christmas Carol
- A new ornament for each child every year
- A letter to Jesus about hopes and prayers for the year and to be read the following Christmas
- Family day to cut down/pick out the Christmas tree
If you would like some more ideas, make sure to check out our Holiday Events Guide.
How does your family celebrate? What are some of your favorite traditions? Let us know in the comments!