Christmas traditions come in all shapes and sizes. Little things that come back every year, are part of the Christmas experience. They make you look forward to it again and again. Read along if you want to start some amazing new Christmas traditions with your kids.
Children are sensitive to traditions, and if you’re honest, so are we as adults. And it’s never too late to start new ones. Today we give you 5 traditions that will strengthen the bond with your child. Pick out the ones that resonate for your family or relatives, try it out and you’ll see for yourself whether it’s a keeper or not. We promise that they all strengthen the bond with your child.
1. The Yule Block
When the Celts still lived in our regions, they celebrated Yule. Later, after the Christianization, this became our Christmas party. They celebrated the rebirth of the sun, which again conquered the darkness.
Every year a log was decorated, which was then set on fire. The block was not allowed to burn up completely. The last small pieces of the log were distributed among those present and kept until the following year. They were worn as a talisman. The following year, the new Yule log was lit with the remains of last year’s log.
A beautiful tradition that children also love. Decorate the block together with greens, berries and nuts. If you like to represent Advent Sundays symbolically (or just because you like it), make some cut-outs to put in a candle.
Yule falls on December 21, which is slightly earlier than our Christmas party. But of course you can burn the block perfectly on Christmas Eve. Wish each other strength, prosperity and happiness and keep your little wood aside for next year.
2. Compliments in the Christmas tree
This one is best if the children can already write themselves, but you can actually start it at any time.
Hang at least 4 compliments on the Christmas tree for everyone in the family. The best thing is if everyone writes at least 1 compliment for every family member. Put the note in an envelope, so that no one can sneak a peek. Write the name of the person for whom the compliment is intended on the envelope, make a ribbon and hang it on the tree.
Every Sunday in December, everyone can take a compliment from the tree. Read them to each other and let it sink in deeply.
Extra cool when you create a compliment book: write the year at the top of the page and stick all the tree compliments underneath. It’s great to read all those compliments every year.
3. Memory Jar
Sit down together around the table and go by the past year.
What were your best memories together? And each separately? Write them on nice paper, write the month and year on them and put them in a glass jar. It might be nice to use a different color of paper every year, so it becomes a very colorful bowl.
This bowl is nice to reflect on all the beautiful things that a year brings. We often forget to focus on the positive in a day, but it helps enormously to do just that.
So put the many beautiful moments together in your memory jar, and feel the gratitude flowing through your body.
Variation: Choose a color for that year on January 1, and fill that memory jar throughout the year. At Christmas you can then open the jar and relive the memories together. The warmth of Christmas is not in that fireplace, but you probably already knew that.
4. Winter Flashlight Hike
Simple, but so cool! Gather your courage and get up in time for a winter walk at the weekend.
Hats on, gloves on, scarf knotted nice and warm and you’re ready! Make sure it is still dark when you leave, and take the flashlights with you, that immediately gives the walk an extra dimension.
Watch the sun rise together and have a picnic with all kinds of goodies. Bring a thermos of tea/coffee/hot chocolate, scrambled eggs, oatmeal porridge or anything else you like for breakfast. You make it as simple or as crazy as you want, but that time together gives a real boost!
If you can make it a lovely, lazy day afterwards, watch a Christmas movie together or play board games as a nice sequel.
5. Decorate the Christmas tree together, while you sing and drink chocolate milk
Of course you will have to wait until Sinterklaas is around the corner with this, but it is a fantastic activity to share with your children.
This is where tummies and fingers start to tingle when the Christmas decorations are taken down. All decorations are displayed, the place of the tree is determined. The day before cleaning was already done, so we no longer have to deal with practical hassle. We have something nice to drink, a nibble and then we put on the Christmas carols.
Singing along at top volume, we puzzle the tree together (we have a second-hand artificial Christmas tree so it remains somewhat durable) and I hang the lights in it under the expert directions of my daughters. As soon as the lights are right, my daughters jump up and the most enjoyable work can begin for them: the balls and figures are allowed in!
In between the singing great stories are told, jokes are told and lots of giggles. Putting up the Christmas tree together? It’s one of those top days in a year…
So which Christmas tradition made you the most excited to try out and make your own? Share the love with us on Instagram and use #newchristmastraditions and tag @blogzine.be. And if you want to learn more about building stronger relationships with your kids, be sure to follow @de_magische_eik. Nathalie helps parents (re-)connect with their kids using a special, self-developed method.