My son is two now and finally at the stage where he can be involved in holiday traditions and maybe even remember them. Of course I have family traditions that I am quite fond of from my childhood but I've been wanting to start some new traditions of our own as well. So here's some creative ideas you might like to try too:
1. Take a photo of your children standing in a particular spot each year (in front of the tree, by the front door) anyplace that will be consistent from year to year. Make a special holiday ornament or scrapbook album that depicts the growth and change of your family each year.
2. Ask each child to write a Dear Santa letter. (Small children can draw pictures). Keep a special record of these letters in an album or treasure box.
3. Create an evening tradition of taking a family walk or drive in your neighborhood to view the holiday lights.
4. Adopt a special cause each year and spend some time as a family helping those in need, or raising or donating money for a charity of your choice.
5. Keep a "Joy Journal" this holiday season, in which you record the funny things your kids say, joyful times you share, your favorite things to do with your family (and by yourself), and all the things for which you are grateful. Use your Joy Journal as a reminder of the facets of your life (and this holiday season) that are really important.
6. Purchase or create a new tree decoration every year. By the time your child is old enough to leave home he will have a good start to a decorated tree of his own!
7. Pop some popcorn and watch a classic movie together–the same one every year or a different one–but include everyone from the baby to the grandparents.
8. Using an Advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas is a fun tradition, especially for children. Whether it's a chocolate or small gift, an activity or a new book to unwrap children love it.
9. Getting new matching winter pajamas for the whole family is funny.
10. Going Christmas caroling in the neighborhood, at a homeless shelter or senior center teaches children to think of others.
11. "Who's got the rutabaga?": Santa leaves a rutabaga in the stocking of the person who has had a particularly wonderful year, overcome some adversity, or shown amazing perseverance. Take a photo and place it in a special album to look back on year after year.
12. Tuck heartfelt notes or letters into each kid's stocking.
13. Leave cookies or snacks for Santa. You can also leave a carrot for the reindeer.
14. Bake and decorate a gingerbread house.
15. Bake an angel food cake for Jesus. After breakfast on Christmas morning light a candle and sing "Happy Birthday" to him.
16. Plan on opening one special gift on Christmas Eve rather than saving all of the gifts until Christmas Day. This spreads out the fun and anticipation of opening gifts at Christmas.
17. Make or wear funny hats on Christmas and take pictures.
18. Have a Christmas scavenger hunt: Leave a few presents under the tree and an envelope with hand-written clues to where the present was hiding
19. If you don't have a fireplace or chimneys make a Santa key to let Santa come in through the front door. Get an old-fashioned skeleton key (or have the children make keys out of poster board or construction paper), spray paint it gold, tie a ribbon around it, then put in on a wreath so that Santa can come in the house and bring gifts.
20. Sprinkle Magic Reindeer Food on the lawn leading to the front door so that Santa and the reindeer can find your home. (Reindeer food is oats and glitter mixed together).