Christmas traditions are what make Christmas feel special. The small rituals you start are a gift of nostalgia. A gift that lasts a lifetime. Here are some ideas of little traditions you can start to fill up your family's senses as you celebrate this festive season.
Have a book that only comes out at Christmas. As your baby gets older, you could even start a book advent. It doesn't have to start on 1st December or could just be a new book on Christmas Eve. There is a good list of festive books here.
Another idea is to make a scrapbook of people in your family doing something festive and each year you add to it. Babies love to look at photos of themselves and people they love. It doesn't need to be much but as the years go by, you will end up with a gorgeous keepsake of treasured memories.
It could also be a tradition to donate a book to a vulnerable child each Christmas. The Book Trust do a wonderful thing each Christmas which you could support.
Music stimulates many areas of the brain and gives us a hit of dopamine, helping to create nostalgic memories. If I hear Little Donkey, I am transported back to my infant school in the hall singing this around the Christmas Tree and to my children's nativities. There will be one Christmas carol or song that makes your baby shuffle or clap their hands and will make you smile from years to come each time you hear it. Will it Mariah or Slade?!
Making decorations with your little ones is something that will bring you joy year after year. I still have some elves we made out of toilet rolls that come out every year. Each time I see them, I am taken back to the table we made them on and the fun we had making them. It was probably really stressful but nostalgia has a knack of leaving you with the memories that glow!
There are some simple (and ones for the more crafty parents) ideas here.
Home made gifts
Making gifts with your little ones sounds idyllic. Making gifts together is a wonderful tradition to start. But choose your gifts wisely. One year, I decided to use up all the scraps of crayons and make homemade candles with my children for their grandparents. Looked easy on Pinterest. I blew up our microwave. I stuck to photo gifts after that. A baby's handprint in a photo frame will be treasured for years. Think simple. Not crayons.
Each Christmas Eve, we bake mince pies that taste better than they look and deliver them to our elderly neighbours. It is my children's favourite tradition and one we have been doing since they were tiny. The joy on the faces of our neighbours when they open their doors is magic. They love seeing children on probably the best day of the year and takes them back to the days when their children were small. It brings a bit of magic to their doorstop.
We have taken tins of chocolate to fire stations too on Christmas Eve too. It is lovely to thank key workers who have to work during the festive season. One year, they let my children go in a fire engine and let them fire the hose. This was the best present ever for my Fireman Sam mad son.
I'd really love to read about your festive traditions, please do share in the comments below.