Trimming the tree with the whole family; caroling with your church; baking cookies with Grandma: everyone has a Christmas memory that will stay with them throughout their entire life.
Here are some fun and unique ideas to help you and your family make new and lasting Christmas memories.
Creating Memories from Christmas Traditions
- A Christmas Carol. Ebenezer Scrooge has become synonymous with learning the true value of the holiday spirit. Grab your copy of the Dickens’ classic or look it up online and share the magic that three ghosts teach a crotchety old man with your children. Gather them round the tree and make this story an annual read aloud tradition.
- Ornaments. If you are a new parent, and soon-to-be parent or even a godparent, this is a perfect idea. Each Christmas season, purchase or make a new ornament for your child. Date each ornament. You will have a beautiful array of decorations on your tree and when the child moves out, she will have a lovely collection for her own tree, as well as a great way to remember family Christmases.
- Bayberry Candles. Legend holds that a bayberry candle burned on Christmas Eve bodes a year of health, wealth and good luck. Just be sure no one blows the candle out. An extinguished candle bodes bad fortune. Even if you are not superstitious, the bay scent adds a wonderfully subtle aroma to the room.
Creating Christmas Eve Memories
For families with small children, the anticipation of Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve can be just as much fun and create as many memories as opening the gifts under the tree. Try these fun activities to help calm some of your little ones’ excitement.
- Cookies For Santa. Christmas Eve is a special time for all families. It is even more exciting and filled with anticipation for families with young children. When your kids get ready to leave milk and cookies for Santa, why not make the whole family part of the fun?
Have one person decorate a paper plate for the cookies. Let someone pour the milk, while another person arranges the cookies on the plate. Whoever doesn’t have a job to do can leave out carrots or apples for the reindeer.
- Magic Reindeer Food. Mix equal amounts of oatmeal and sugar with glitter. Sprinkle the concoction on your lawn. The glow from the moon will catch the sparkles of the glitter and guide Santa and his reindeer straight to your house. Kids love the magic associated with this, but a word of caution to parents – make sure no real animals eat your “reindeer food.” Glitter is harmful to animals.
- Reminiscences. Christmas is a holy time and should be observed with a degree of reverence and solemnity. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Gather the entire family in the most comfortable room in your house and spend the evening reminiscing about past holidays. If the children are too young to participate, put them to bed early or simply have them listen to their parents or older siblings.
Not only will this keep the memories alive, it can also be a fun way to teach your kids about your family’s history and traditions.
- Track Santa’s Progress. If the kids are getting anxious and wondering where Santa is and when he will be at their house, get on the computer and visit the NORAD Tracks Santa website.
This animated and interactive site, a product of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, lets your child track Santa’s progress as he travels around the world on Christmas Eve. Not only is it fun and educational, it serves as the perfect incentive to get your kids to go to bed.