Christmas is a special time for families, but I know many parents are dismayed at the whole commercialization of this time of year.
It’s not all about the presents and the toys and how much stuff we’ve got is it? There’s more to it than that.
It’s also about spending time together and being a family in whatever shape or form, and it’s about making memories.
I know many families have their own Christmas traditions, and this can be a great way to make this time special.
Here are some ideas that parents have shared with me:
One Mum told me that throughout the year she makes a note of anything important, funny or interesting that happens to her children. She jots each event on a piece of notepaper, folds it up and puts it in a jar.
At the end of the year the jar holds a record of achievements and special memories e.g. ‘Charlie swam a whole length without armbands’ ‘Sophie had her story read out in class’ and ‘Eva took part in her first Fun Run for charity.’
Then on Christmas Eve she lights candles in the sitting room and sets up a tepee kept especially for the occasion. Everyone sits inside, and they take it in turns to put their hand in the jar and read about the memories from the year. I thought this was lovely.
Another family always buys new pyjamas for the kids, and on Christmas Eve they change into them and go on a drive round the local area looking at the Christmas lights on people’s houses. There is one house in particular that everyone looks forward to seeing. The owner seems to be trying to outdo all the others and every year something new has been added, it even has a great big inflatable Father Christmas in the garden.
This next idea I think is rather nice and those of you with a new baby might want to start this tradition now. The Mum who told me about it says that every year she buys one new Christmas tree bauble. She keeps them in a special box, and when her daughter grows up and leaves home she is going to give them to her to put on her own tree.
I wish I had thought of some of these ideas when my boys were young, we just did all the usual mince pies and stockings for Santa.
Recently though I have started my own family tradition:
As each of my boys walks through the door at Christmas time I light a candle on the mantelpiece.
If you’ve got a lovely family tradition we should all be adopting, we’d love to hear about it x