Christmas can be that time of year when the days fly by, financial stressors are high, schedules are busier, and for one reason or another, the magic of Christmas seems to always be outside of your reach.
This Christmas, I want to give you 8 practical ways, to make your home a haven and the destination of your heart a place where Christmas finds it’s warmth and the season finds a spot for you to sip and savor in those moments that your family will treasure for years to come!
This is my guide for the 8 Traditions that you’ll want to start this Christmas:
- Make Christmas ornaments
Pom Pom & Pinecone Ornaments
There are a TON of handmade ornaments that your kids can make. Some with little or no help from mom/dad and others that you’ll have to more closely manage.
Santa Handprint Ornaments
Nonetheless, being able to capture the preciousness of having an item that was handmade by your child to look back on, is always a priceless treasure.
Salt Dough Ornaments
Don’t forget to scribble their name & age on the back (ie. “Maria, age 4-Christmas 2017”) before you stash them away until next year.
2. Bake cookies
There are so many yummy & simple Christmas cookies recipes out there that you really don’t have to feel overwhelmed.
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The most important thing about this step is actually getting into the kitchen with your little ones. Take a simple recipe like Russian Tea Cakes, grab some aprons, (a little patience) and enjoy! I will assure you that there are memories in measuring out the flour & sugar that your kids won’t soon forget.
3. Decorating the Tree
The task seems simple enough, “Right?” Well, not always. If you’re one of those that has OOPD (Obsessive Ornament Placement Disorder-I’m not 100 % sure but I have heard that such a thing does exist) than having your kids join you -or take over completely- in the decorating of the Christmas tree may not seem like a doable option. However if you’re a part of the percentage of the population that doesn’t mind where the ornaments go, then why not this Christmas, share the task of trimming the tree with the little ones in your home. They’d likely always remember that they played an important part of helping to bring the magic of Christmas into your home.
4. Come home to the sound of Christmas music
I feel like most of the retail stores have my number when I am not even thinking about Christmas just yet, and I walk in their door to pick up something totally random and I smell the scent of cinnamon and hear Christmas music playing. Nothing puts me into the spirit faster than a few decorations, some holiday scents, and Christmas music.
This Christmas, grab a couple of Christmas cd’s at that start of your morning or just before the kids get home from school, throw a disc of season-themed music into the cd player and get the sounds of Christmas swirling around the atmosphere!
5. Make Hot Apple Cider
The smells of Christmas…ah, yes! Nothing says Christmas more in your home that the aroma. If you’re not a baker, than this recipe is perfect for you! Grab some oranges, cinnamon sticks, a few frozen cranberries and some apple cider, throw them into your crock pot and you’re good to go!
Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider
Not a fan of cranberry, then check out these other recipes: Crockpot Caramel Apple Cider, Crockpot Mulled Apple Cider, and Slow Cooker Apple Cider.
6. Open a gift per night
We often use Thanksgiving as a time to rehearse the things in our lives that we are thankful for. Why not this Christmas use simple gift wrapping ideas and package up individual gifts that have one word on a sheet of paper per box.
Alternate each night who gets to pick to open a gift, and for the word that is found on the paper inside (“Grateful”, “hopeful”, “thankful”, “happy” etc.) , go around the family and share expressions of what that word makes you think of and what are they, “hopeful” for.
7. Read Christmas stories
It’s easy to forgo sitting down & snuggling up to the sounds of mom or dad reading an old Christmas story but this really is the time of year to do so. Rather than keeping up with the demands of the hurriedness of the season. Grab some of your favorite Christmas stories & make the memory of reading them together with your family. Whether around the dinner table or just before bed, this is a moment that you’re kids will enjoy.
8. Set up a hot cocoa bar
Add a little bit of magic to your Christmas decor this year by having a designated space (a small side table will do) for a hot cocoa bar. Set out Christmas mugs (I found these at the Dollar Tree), some hot cocoa packets, Christmas cookies, and add a bowl of white chocolate chips, brown chocolate chips, miniature marshmallows, and candy canes.
You can also grab everything that you’ll need for your hot cocoa bar here:
Melamine Christmas Tree Platter
Santa Claus Christmas Decor Mug Dishwasher/Microwave Safe (4)
Chocolate Dipped Oreo Cookies decorated for Christmas 7 Oreo Assortment, Milk Chocolate
Nestle TOLL HOUSE Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels 12 oz. Bag
Nestle Tollhouse Premier White Morsels, 12 Ounce
Jet Puffed Miniature Marshmallows – 16 Ounces
Brachs 12- 6oz. Peppermint Candy Canes
With that, you should be off to a great start for a Merry Christmas!