Lights, Cookies, and Advent Traditions!
Do you love how your mom’s family always exchanged one gift on Christmas Eve, or how your husband’s family likes to gather together to watch Elf and drink hot cider? Now that your own little family has begun, you guys can hand-pick the traditions that you like best.
How exciting to set the stage for the ways you want to celebrate the holidays as a new family! You get to craft the most meaningful and memorable moments for baby’s first Christmas (and of course, all the cute photo ops). Here are some ideas as you embark on creating special memories together as a family this year.
- Drive to see the lights
In East Texas we’ve got the best lights at Santa Land, a mainstay for childhood Christmas traditions.
- The Polar Express
Make some magic happen for your kiddo by visiting the Polar Express train down on the Texas State Railroad in Palestine, TX. Kids wear their pajamas, hear the story read, and wait for the conductor to come by to punch their tickets. It’s a magical, memorable journey!
- Keepsake ornaments
These ornaments are all about the memories associated with them, and baby’s first Christmas is a biggie! Choose to honor this special holiday with a sweet ornament that will bring you joy year after year when you or your child pulls it out of the box each season as you decorate the tree. You might create a photo ornament, or personalize one with baby’s name.
- Christmas PJs
As your baby gets older, they’ll be able to help you in the kitchen baking or decorating cookies, or whipping up your family’s traditional Christmas Coffee Cake (recipe to come!). Food brings families together, so start now building on this meaningful tradition.
- Family Time
Start crafting rituals like watching a retro Christmas special like A Charlie Brown Christmas or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, or your family might choose to read the same special holiday book each Christmas Eve, or to read the Christmas story! Some favorites passages are excerpts from Luke and Matthew as these incorporate lots of detail for young kids to visualize and enjoy.
- Meaningful sacred traditions
Your family may enjoy an advent calendar for children to anticipate and engage with the sacred meaning of the holiday. Or your family could make an advent wreath together every year from natural twigs and branches. Mom or dad could help the child light the candles each week as Christmas day draws nearer. What’s important is that your new tradition is authentic and meaningful to your family.
- Pass on generosity
In the spirit of Santa Claus! One of our local clients started a beautiful tradition that each day of December, the family wraps a small present to give away to a child in need, and then donates them to a local organization or to a sponsored family. Santa doesn’t have to be all about receiving, but can also instill the love of giving into your family’s Christmas, and into your child’s heart.
So what traditions have you started? Share your ideas with us and our readers in the comments!