The one thing we all love about Christmas is repeating the traditions that we remember from our own childhood - opening an advent calendar, hanging up a stocking, prodding the presents under the tree to see whose is the biggest... (maybe one not to be repeated!).
Having your own family is a great excuse to revive those traditions and maybe add a few new ones, so we've questioned our customers and searched the web to come up with 10 great Christmas Tradition ideas for you to try...
1. The Active Advent Calendar
Decorate 24 little boxes or pouches. Write a Christmassy activity on 24 little pieces of card and pop one in each box. Throughout December, your children can open a box each day and you can do the Christmas activity together. There are lots of ideas for activities - a woodland walk, watch a Christmas film, bake some Christmas gingerbread, make paper chains... the list is endless!
2. Elf on a Shelf
If you're not familiar with this growing holiday tradition, the Elf on the Shelf, in the form of an elf doll, is dispatched from the North Pole at the start of Advent to keep a watchful eye on the children and make sure they belong on Santa's "nice" list.
Children are not allowed to touch the elf or she will lose her magic and the elf must never move or speak when people are home or awake, but can "move" from place to place when no one is around. Each morning, the children rush from their beds to see what sort of mischievous pranks the elf has got up to while they've been asleep.
You may like to also consider the alternative "Thoughtful Pixie", who does a good deed every day rather than creating havoc!
|Pebble Pixie Doll Rattle at Born|
3. Santa Portable North Pole
This gorgeous magical website is a direct line to Santa! Just fill in a few details about your child (first name, how old they are, an exciting event that happened this year etc) and upload a few photos and let the magic happen! Santa sends an amazing personal video (via email) to your little one that will leave them in no doubt that Santa and his elves are on his way to visit them very soon! The video is free although you can upgrade to more premium paid packages.
|Santa's PNP (Portable North Pole) Video message|
One word of advice - when you specify whether you think your child should be on the good or naughty list, always opt for the safe option unless you want tears through December!
4. Baby Hand and Footprints
Paint your little one's hand or foot and make a print each Christmas. Cut it out, laminate it and turn it into an ornament that you can hang on the Christmas tree. Every year, your tree will fill up with these little prints - a lovely record of how your children are growing!
If you'd like something more permanent, consider using a company like Smallprint Jewellery who can turn your baby's finger prints into a piece of jewellery or a keepsake.
|Smallprint Jewellery Events at Born|
5. Biscuits for Santa
A lovely thing to do with your children on Christmas Eve is to bake Biscuits for Santa. Whether you think Santa would prefer traditional gingerbread or double chic-chip cookies is totally up to you, but letting the kids bake the biscuits they're going to leave for Santa that night is a great tradition and they can really go to town on the decorating!
6. Snowman Soup
Take an empty jar or a cellophane cone and fill it 1/4 full of hot chocolate powder. Add a layer of sweets (smarties, chocolate buttons etc) and a layer of mini marshmallows, then tie with a ribbon and add a candy cane. The finishing touch (if you're feeling really festive) is to add a little card with a poem about the "Snowman Soup" - if you're not creative, don't worry - there are plenty on the internet!
Lovely to have on Christmas Eve and they make great little gifts too!
7. Norad Santa Tracker
Many people log into the Norad Santa Tracking website on December 24th. Set up for children, it tracks Santa and the reindeer as they make their way from country to country, delivering gifts as they go.
8. The Night Before Christmas
A growing tradition involves turning Christmas Eve into an extra special occasion with a few early gifts or even a Christmas Eve hamper, specifically to make your little ones feel cosy and snug before bed! Many children find new pyjamas and bubble bath or a Christmas DVD to all watch together. We love the idea of snuggling up to read "The Night before Christmas", for that ultimate festive feeling!
|Earth Friendly Baby Organic Bubble Bath at Born|
9. Looking after the Reindeer
Obviously, we need to remember to leave food for Rudolph and friends on Christmas Eve, but do you sprinkle the magic reindeer food outside your house to encourage them to land? Mix porridge oats and glitter and tie up in a little bag with some ribbon, ready for your little ones to scatter before they go to bed.
10. Father Christmas Footprints
We can tell when Father Christmas has been, thanks to the half-eaten biscuit that's left (the wine nearly always gets finished). Sometimes, though, he leaves footprints (icing sugar and glitter) from the chimney to the tree or up the stairs...
|Father Christmas has been!|