It never dawned on me until our first Christmas with newborn Camden that Mike and I would need to create the traditions our family would one day hold near and dear to their hearts. Looking back I am so thankful we came up with these 5 special family traditions over the years because just the thought of them brings back so many wonderful memories with the kids. If you want a few special traditions to start with your own family here are some good ones to try.
Santa Hats + Christmas Tree
We started this tradition when my older ones were toddlers. We purchased personalized Santa hats for the boys and ourselves and we blasted Christmas tunes all the way to the Christmas Tree Lot. We made a night out of the festivity of picking out the very best tree. We snapped the cutest picks, made our claims for why our tree was clearly the best, finally settled on one of our choices, loaded up the tree and blasted Christmas music all the way home.
Just the simple fact that we slowed down, went into the night with intention made it all that more special. Since that night we have only ever gotten our tree this way and we all look forward to it every year!
Matching or Themed Holiday PJs
If you follow me on Instagram you know I am a sucker for getting my family to wear ridiculous matching pajamas. The only time of year they give me no guff is Christmas. In fact, my kids look forward to seeing what holiday pj’s I gift them each year. Sometimes they even get matching slippers too! Only if they’ve been real good- ha!
I try gifting them at the beginning of the season, in our house that is Nov 1st. That way they can enjoy them all season long. Oh and they are required to wear them on Christmas morning. I just love being snuggled up with all of them under one roof. It’s the absolute best!! As I am typing this I am realizing this one might be more for me- ha!
Hot Cocoa + Christmas Lights
Mike is Mr. Christmas not only does he go ALL OUT decorating our house each year– three time Holiday City Lights Champion!! He even makes it snow (Disney-style) at our SoCal home. All the neighborhood kids love it.
Anyhoo, this means Mike is always wanting to check out the competition so we have made it a tradition to load the kids up in the car, hot cocoa in hand (topped with a generous amount of whipped cream), as we head out to drive around our town looking at all the best holiday light displays.
This is another one where its super simple, but with more intention put behind it, worries left at home it can be an incredible experience.
Sibling Gift Exchange
The kids hit an age where they started wanting to buy gifts for each other. In order to help them save some money we agreed on a holiday gift exchange. The kids draw names and go about it Secret Santa style.
It’s one of their favorite Christmas traditions. They look forward to being the best gift giver. We exchange the gifts Christmas Eve and they each try and guess who had their name. It is the sweetest thing to watch. I highly recommend this one, especially for larger families.
Breakfast With Santa
Hands down one of our all-time favorite traditions started about 12 years ago and that is Breakfast with Santa. A quick google search should help you locate one near you. For us, personally, we have LOVED attending the Santa Breakfast at Catal Restaurants in Downtown Disney. It’s actually moving from Catal to Naples Ristorante (owned by the same restaurant group) this year. And, I am hoping they keep things the same.
We love the hot cocoa bar that comes around to each table, delicious family style breakfast, special meeting and gift from Santa. The restaurant even hands each child a personalized stocking stuffed with holiday activities when you arrive and you leave with a carton of milk and cookies to take home. It’s absolutely the BEST!!!
No matter what tradition you decide to start with your family my best advice is to keep it going. The longer the tradition goes the more nostalgia will build. This way you end up looking back 20 years later, as I am now, grateful you kept it going!
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