1. Make a countdown chain
We did this for the first time with Myles this year and he loved ripping a link each day and counting the remaining links to know how many days left until Santa came. All you need is:
- a few sheets of construction paper cut into inch thick strips
- tape or glue
Alternate colors as you string the strips through one another to make your chain. Once you are finished, number the chain links with the dates so you know if you forgot a day or if your child took another off while you weren’t looking!
Hang the chain from a wall, mantle, or anywhere you want that will be easy for you to remember to rip daily!
2. Decorate the tree together
This was the first year Myles was really into decorating the tree. He loved hanging the ornaments up! Even though it drove my OCD crazy, I allowed it. Next year I’m considering having a second tree for the kids to decorate 😜👍
3. Open and read a holiday book every night
I wrapped 25 Christmas themed books (one for each day of December until Christmas) and placed them in a basket next to the Christmas tree. Every night, Myles got to open one before bed and read it as a bedtime story.
He loved this new tradition!
On Christmas Eve, he opened a box that had a book and Christmas jammies for him and for Charlotte.
All the books I purchased from his school scholastic fundraiser for $1-$8 each. They were way cheaper that way than to purchase them anywhere else. We will save them to reuse in years to come!
4. Make Christmas crafts
This is our second year in a row we have done holiday finger paintings.
We still haven’t finished this years because we have been so busy. We will this week though. Here are last years:
We also tried something new this year, salt dough ornaments!
Mix 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, and up to 1 cup water. Add the water until the dough is able to stick together. You don’t want it too runny either. Roll out enough for your child’s hand to fit in and press their hand into the dough pretty firmly.
The toddlers LOVE being independent and doing these steps by themselves!Don’t judge me, I don’t own a rolling pin lol. Cut around the handprints and use a straw to punch a hole at the top. These will dry on their own in about 5 days or place in a 100 degree oven for about 4 hours or until dry.
Paint them, seal them, and string the ribbon through the hole. Then they are ready to hang on the tree. These are great to make each year to see the growth in your children!
5. Visit with Santa
This one is pretty self explanatory. Whether you take your little one to the mall or to a holiday party where Santa will be, make sure he or she gets to see the jolly old fellow and don’t forget your camera!
6. See a lighted parade… or two This is not only fun for kids but for the adults too. These have become quite a big deal in our area and we understand why! Make sure you dress for the weather.
7. Bake cookies togetherObviously, your child’s age will play a factor into how much of this they can actually do safely. Baking together creates great memories!
8. Holiday family photosFamily photos are a great thing to have yearly. So why not incorporate the holidays?!? Use the pics for your Christmas cards or I our case this year, just post them on Facebook 🙈 Our friend Jenni from Jennifer Victoria Photography does amazing work!! If you’re local, I highly recommend her!
9. Christmas morning pictureSpeaking of photos, make sure you take a picture of the kids on Christmas Day in front of the tree. Then you can compare how much they have grown each year! (No babies were harmed in the making of this photo)
10. Elf on the shelfThe Sutton family has not begun this tradition yet but I would assume we will next year. I have a lot of friends who have great success with it! Stay tuned next year for our fun elf adventures!