Traditions. Does your family have them? Did you grow up with any? One of the best parts of being dad, is you get to establish traditions for your kids. If there are some traditions that have been passed down to you (that you did as a kid) then talk to your wife about using them. Does your wife have some that are better than yours? …then make those a part of your celebration.
For kids, traditions are huge!
Have you ever noticed your kid(s) watching the same cartoon over and over? Do they ask for the same book to be read to them time and again? This is because repetition and patterns are enormously beneficial and enjoyable to children (not just children). This is where building traditions in your family can be a large part of giving your kids a memorable childhood.
Christmas, when I was a kid, had a tremendous amount to do with the anticipation of the day. There were a few years, in my adult life, where I wondered where the wonder went. It was absent because the anticipation was not there. Decorations, Christmas songs, the changed atmosphere of the house all play into my memory of the Christmas season. Since discovering this I have tried to build the anticipation for my children.
Is there a specific time you set up your Christmas tree (ours is artificial)? or cut it down and bring it home? are your kids involved in doing this? Or do you hang lights, and decorations, both inside and out to create a different atmosphere to prepare for Christmas day? Do you purchase and wrap presents early so that they can sit under the tree, in anticipation of being opened, weeks before December 25?
My mother always made Christmas cookies, and had special sit-around decorations with candles that made the house smell and look special.
Well, in two days and it will be Christmas Eve. What traditions do you have on that specific day, or should I say, on “The Night Before Christmas” ?
Some ideas for Christmas Eve Traditions (from our family, and those we know):
- Watch a Christmas Movie together! (some of our favorites include):
- It’s A Wonderful Life,
- A Christmas Carol,
- The Nativity Story,
- The Santa Clause (trilogy)
- Make Cookies together, or a Gingerbread house (that’s what we’ll be doing tonight)
- Sing Christmas Carols together (around a piano, or guitar – or not)
- Go Caroling together in your neighborhood
- Play a board game (cards, puzzle) together
- Read Luke 2:8-20
- Open 1 present (I know a family who always gets Christmas Pajamas)
- Leave Milk and Cookies for Santa
- Read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ to them before bed
- What are some of yours??
Whatever you chose to do tonight, make it memorable… and do it together. More than anything else your children want to be with you!