Every year on December 1, my internal Christmas clock kicks in and I start craving my Great Aunt Eva’s amazing fudge and sugar cookies. I start looking forward to all the good times we’ll have leading up to Christmas Day, and I dig up my YouTube Christmas playlist and crank it. Then out come the pine-scented candles!
Christmas might look a little different this year, but it shouldn’t be a stressful time! There are so many fun family traditions to try out, so grab your calendar and block out some time for these special Christmas traditions you and your kids will love and cherish.
- Have the kids write their letter to Santa asking what they’d like for Christmas. Check out emailsanta.com to email Santa, play games, watch Christmas webcams and more. There’s even a countdown with how many “sleeps” until Santa comes. Also check out freelettersfromsantaclaus.com so you can personalize and then print out a letter. Oh, and did you know that Santa tweets?
- Take a couple of family pictures. One year we put on headbands with snowmen and reindeer sticking up on springs just to be goofy for our Christmas cards. Sometimes we take one where we are dressed more laid back so we can display that photo all year in a frame.
- Why not go easy on yourself by uploading the family picture you took to a photo website like Snapfish and have them print out your Christmas cards? Just write addresses on envelopes and mail! Oh, and you might want to include your … (Is something missing here? I don’t get the elipses.)
- Christmas letter. Especially this year, people want to get snail mail! Some people think Christmas letters are silly, but I love receiving updates from family and friends, so I also enjoy giving updates on my family. I keep a copy of each year’s letter in a binder to look back on, and I plan to make copies for all my kids when they move out someday. When it’s not possible to include your letter with your cards, just send it out via email.
- The great Christmas debate is about the tree: real or fake? Whether you drag your tree out of storage or go to a lot to pick out a fresh one, you have quite a bit of fun in store decorating it.
- Google “holiday lights + your town” and then drive around looking at holiday lights with your family while drinking hot cocoa. Play Christmas music on the radio to get in the spirit. Jot down your favorite places to go so you won’t forget to see them again next year.
- Everyone loves a Christmas treat! Spend a day baking and decorating cookies and treats for friends, families, neighbors, teachers, letter carriers and strangers. Check first to see if nursing homes and assisted living facilities in your town are accepting such items.
- Help someone in need. Maybe your kids or family could donate new toys to Toys for Tots or crowdfund a fundraiser for them. Don’t forget that not every family can expect the wonderful holiday meal you’re planning this year, so go to Feeding America’s website (feedingamerica.org) and donate there. They even have a catalog where you can donate based on your kids picking their favorite food. You could also contact A Wider Circle (awidercircle.org) or local homeless shelters, churches or other nonprofits; some can give you a list of wants for each member of a local family who is in need. This will be one shopping trip your kids will never forget because they will be celebrating the true meaning of Christmas by helping others.
- As the Christmas season ends, make sure you read “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” while snuggled up with some reindeer chow (browneyedbaker.com/reindeer-chow/).
- Finally, don’t forget to track Santa at NORADSanta.org! Follow Santa Claus as he makes his magical journey around the world!