Did you have any Christmas traditions when you were a kid? I remember when I was younger my mom used to bring out a wreath and we’d all take turns lighting a candle every Sunday. We also always put up Christmas decor together–whether it was the tree, the garlands, or our Belen. Another thing I remember was cooking ginger cookies (because gingerbread houses were just too difficult and messy!). My childhood was filled with loving Christmas memories like these, and now that I think about it, we should also start our own Christmas traditions with our own families. So I listed down a few to help get you started!
It’s so difficult to go out to the mall and watch a movie with the family, especially during the holiday season when the malls are so full and the traffic is insane. So just choose a holiday themed movie (there are plenty!) and make it a habit to watch it in your own home together as a family. Pick a date, prepare your movie food, and snuggle up together as you watch a happy-go-lucky movie that will bolster up your Christmas spirit!
You shouldn’t be the only one cooking your family dinner for Christmas. Rope your husband and kids in–from the planning and grocery shopping, to the meal preparation and presentation, make it a fun family activity that the entire family can look forward to every year. (Just maybe don’t expect the best food if the little ones will be helping out!)
It’s a small thing, but getting matching mugs is a small way to indicate that the Christmas season has arrived. You can bring them out around early November, and watch as your kids get all excited when they see the mugs for the first time.
You can choose to make it the same story every year, or choose different ones. Just make sure the story has a Christmas theme to it. You can even take turns reading it too. I remember my mom would read a chapter from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens every weekend. We’d all sit around the living room, and no matter how many times we heard it, we’d still listen, enthralled by every word.
What is Christmas without cookies? Whether you want to leave a plate out for Santa or not, Christmas just seems incomplete without some sugary sweetness. You can bake them (another bonding activity) or buy them from your favorite store (no judgment here!). And if cookies aren’t your thing, think of other Christmas goodies like fruit cake, food for the gods, brownies, cupcakes, or cakes. Trust me, your options are endless!
They don’t have to be fancy pjs (although those adorable animal onesies are so cute!), you can go with plaid, stripes, or polka dots, or even plain colored pajamas with your last name printed on them. I don’t think anyone is too old to wear pajamas, and think about how adorable the whole fam will look in your matchy matchy outfits!
In an effort to look back at the year and look forward to the new one, make it a habit to make each other promises with the goal to help make each family member better. Whether it’s something like, “I promise to be nicer to my ate/kuya,” or “I promise to be more patient,” hold everyone accountable by writing everything down and saving it for the next year. By the next year, you can look back at the promises you made and see if you’ve kept them.
Christmas is a time for giving, not just gifts but even your old clothes, books, toys, and more. You can make a family tradition to have a little cleaning and evaluation of all the things you have. If there are toys your kids don’t play with anymore, or clothes that they’ve outgrown, put everything together, pack them in a box, and donate it to the church, a charity, or an orphanage. Make your kids understand that it’s not the actual gift that matters, but the thought and act of giving.