Written by, Bernadyn Nettles
Creating Christmas Traditions
We began a new Christmas tradition with the kids last year for 12 Days of Christmas gift-giving. It involves gifts that are family-oriented so we could all enjoy it and spend more quality time to bond together as a family. The kids look forward to opening their gift every night and as parents, we enjoy the activities we're able to do with them. It gives us time to slow down and enjoy the holidays with the kids, at least for a small amount of time before we're pulled in multiple directions with other family and friends. The gifts are not expensive and are not toys but gift ideas that allow us to focus on one another and the Christmas season.
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12 Days of Christmas Gift Ideas
Here are some gift ideas (there's more than 12) for this tradition that we have done last year and some we want to try this year. Maybe you and your family can do this, too!
- Hot cocoa, candy canes and/or cookies/cookie decorating (this would be a good one for Christmas Eve so kids can leave some of the cookies out for Santa)
- New pajamas (we are doing a matching theme this year as Santa and elves) along with a Christmas book for a Christmas story night. You can give them the Nativity Story or Children's Bible if you're religious. Check out Thriftybooks.com for some great deals on classic and new Christmas stories. Also, ISeeMe.com have books that you can personalize for your little ones.
- S'mores and fire pit: If you don't have a fire pit, you can bake your S'mores in the oven. Tell Christmas stories while eating them or share your favorite holiday memories when you were a child.
- New sweaters, jacket, hat or mittens for a night out to see Christmas decorations. See Zulily for adorable outfits and other children's items.
- New movie or Christmas movie (Wal-Mart and Target have holiday movies for $4.50 or $5 so you don't have to spend much), popcorn and treats for a movie night. Many cities even show free Christmas movies at night outside to watch on certain nights. Check your city's website to find local movies.
- Bubbles for bubble-blowing fun (my kids love bubbles so they love this idea) or you can make fake snow and have a snow day indoors.
- Cameras (disposable if you prefer so it doesn't break so easily!) so they can take their own pictures while going on a Christmas event or for a vacation/holiday trip
- Scrapbook/photo album to put pictures in and have a scrap booking night. If you are using your cell phone's camera to take photos, the Groovebook app is one that I use to easily download and print out the photos in a small photo book that is shipped to you every month. It's much easier than printing it out yourself and the shipping and handling is included in the price. You can cancel at anytime. The price is only $2.99 a month. Here is a coupon code you can use to get a FREE copy! Use coupon Code: NETTLES5
- Craft night: give the gift of inexpensive craft supplies like crafts from the Dollar Tree and make crafts together as a family or trim the tree together with homemade ornaments. You can see some ideas in this previous post with my Dollar Tree Christmas review and giveaway. King of Christmas has beautiful trees if you still need a Christmas tree. You receive free ornaments with every purchase.
- Gingerbread house: You can purchase a gingerbread house kit for under $10 at most stores or make your own kit by using graham crackers, candy and homemade or store-bought icing.
- Coupon letting the kids choose what to do as a family (this may work best for a weekend or a day when you have more free time in case they choose something time-consuming).
- Santa hat, elf hat or reindeer headband to take pics with Santa. You can make your own or find these at craft stores and Dollar stores that are affordable. There are usually other places aside from the mall to find a Santa to take a photo with that can cost less or ask a relative to dress up as Santa. You can find various deals on Santa suits at Spirit Halloween.
- Notepad, Christmas cards and pen, markers or crayons to write a letter to Santa and family and friends. A good idea is to also have your child send a letter or card to soldiers overseas while writing. The address you can use is Holiday Mail for Heroes: P.O. Box 5456, Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456
- Board games: Take a break from TV and electronics by playing board games
- Ball, hula hoop, jump rope or other inexpensive sports item that you can do with the kids indoors or outdoors
What are some other gift ideas you have to embrace time with family during this Christmas season? Let me know in the comments!
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