December is here, festive plans are in full swing and plans are being made and enjoyed.
This year, I wanted to check in with my kids to make sure that we were making the most of the holiday season and keeping things magical for them.
Now that they’re both a little older, it’s interesting to hear from them which of our Christmas traditions matter to them. And what are the things that we do that they actually consider to be traditions.
I can still remember things from my childhood Christmases, and I love to think that we’re forming festive memories for our kids now.
I know this time of year is about these things that we do together to enjoy the season, and they don’t have to be big or extravagant to mean something to them.
Anyway, I asked them, and these are the traditions that they enjoy……
Muppet Christmas Carol Day
This is a thing in our family.
We go over to my mum’s house, along with my brother and his family, and watch The Muppet Christmas Carol.
Mum will have decorated her house and tree, she’ll feed us lunch and we’ll have stockings full of sweets. All part of the tradition.
We are also only allowed to watch this film when we are all together on this day, annually. One viewing per year. During Covid, we watched together via a watch party!
Yes, we know the words, we know the songs, and we sing them loudly.
Decorating the Tree and House
The kids like to get involved with getting all of the decorations out and putting them up.
It’s actually an easy and swift affair these days with them both able and keen to help.
I am not at all particular about the tree being done in a certain way or the decorations going in a certain place, so they are free to get on with it!
My son particularly likes the addition of a Christmas tree shaped basket that comes out at this point and is regularly replenished with chocolates It’s definitely a highlight for him.
Elf on the Shelf
Love it or hate it (and after many years, I am in the latter camp!), my kids love this one!
My son has been looking forward to our elf, Marty, returning to us and he likes to find where he is every morning.
Our elf isn’t a naughty elf or a spying elf, he just likes to move and hide each day.
We are a family that enjoys a movie night, so of course we watch plenty of festive films.
We start this in December, and we have watched a couple now. The football is affecting viewing this year, but we’ll squeeze plenty more in I am sure.
Favourites are usually Home Alone, Elf, Fred Claus, The Christmas Chronicles, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and The Grinch. I’ve named these, but rest assured we’ll watch plenty more, I think we’ll cover every classic.
The Husband and I then watch It’s a Wonderful Life together every Christmas Eve after the kids go to bed. They know this, and this isn’t a film that tempts them. Black and white!
A Gingerbread House
My son told me he loves building a gingerbread house. Now, it’s a good job he told me this, because this one wasn’t even on my radar!
We do do this at some point most years, I just hadn’t remembered it this year and yet it clearly means something to him.
We’ve been doing this since they were little, and the last couple of years this has been something they do with their dad. The Husband is far more artistic and neat than me, the house looks much better when he’s involved.
I usually do more things like this with the kids, being home with them, so I think it’s nice that they have something for just the three of them.
When the kids get up on Christmas Eve they have a stocking waiting for them. Nothing fancy, usually some new pjs to wear that night, chocolates and a little stocking filler.
We then go over to a local National Trust property for a walk with hot chocolates every Christmas Eve morning.
There are usually plenty of families around doing the same thing and Herbie likes to be part of the tradition too.
We then get home and watch a festive film and eat too much food.
Christmas Eve is my favourite day of the year, I love how relaxed it is and the magical anticipation in the air.
And that’s the list, that’s what the kids told me.
Looking over it, these are all quite simple things to do, so hopefully we’ll do them all for many more years.
What are your children’s favourite traditions? Or yours?