A couple of years ago, when I was asked if we had any family Christmas traditions, I said no because I didn’t really think the things we did were traditions – they’re just small things we do every year to make Christmas that bit more magical to us as a family. As I was saying it, I realised that what we’re doing is making new family traditions, traditions that I hope the kids will want to continue as they get older and more importantly, will do with their own children in years to come.
My favourite tradition is probably making a video for each of the kids using Portable North Pole although this site does seem to be getting more and more commercialised over the last few years. So much so that they now only do one video for free so you can either pay to go premium or do what we do and get the kids to watch their videos separately at different times. I’ve always made everyone their own video (non-believers too) and over the years, the expressions on the kids faces and the relief they show when they’re on the good list has been priceless. I can’t recommend this site highly enough although as I said, it is becoming more commercial which has limited the options available unless you pay for the premium package. I made the free ones this year and although they weren’t as long or as detailed as they have been in the past, they still made the kids happy and that’s what it’s all about.
I also love how much the kids look forward to hanging their stockings on their bedroom doors on the 1st December every year. Once the stockings are up , they check them religiously every morning to see if the elves have been to visit and leave them a small treat – nothing huge, just something chocolatey usually. There’s always great excitement when they’ve had a visit and although at least one of them is now a silent non-believer, the excitement is still there.
We love decorating the tree together although I often have a quick rearrange when everyone’s in bed!
Another tradition we have is the Christmas Eve parcels that we make for the kids. I know lots of people do these now but I’ve always done them for a couple of reasons, the first on being that I always had a present on Christmas Eve when I was younger so I kind of thought that was normal! The main reason that they’ve evolved into little hampers rather than just a treat is for purely selfish purposes – the kids are hyper all day on Christmas Eve so waking up to a hamper with a couple of treats and a Christmas movie in them helps keep them calm and pass the day that bit quicker. I’ll be writing a bit more about our Christmas Eve hampers in the next few days.
We make at least one new tree decoration together every year.
We also have a pyjama fairy who brings new pyjamas on Christmas Eve and even though this is another one of those things that the kids don’t really buy into now, they pretend to and would be gutted if we didn’t get a visit!
Oh, and a relatively new tradition we have is Jingle, our budget version of elf on a shelf. I get that these elves are like Marmite and you either love them or hate them so feel free to skip past this bit! J Our elf isn’t particularly naughty but he does have his moments and it’s not even me who ‘makes’ him do things so he either really is magical or the kids are fully aware that he’s not an actual elf and are enjoying messing with me!
There are lots of other things that we do every year together but these are my favourites – what’s your favourite family tradition?