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15 Christmas Traditions to Start With Your Toddlers

While I love my kids, I don’t typically get all warm and fuzzy and “let’s make memories” until it’s Christmastime. But each October, this mom is spreading the Christmas cheer and ready to get her holiday on.  I love that Christmas brings out traditions and lots of love in numerous ways. The world just doesn’t seem like such a bad place when there’s a Christmas tree near.

We  have started several Christmas traditions over the years, introducing these traditions when the kids were toddlers. If you are looking to start a Christmas tradition with your family, here are 15 ideas that work well with toddlers.

  • Christmas Traditions 1 of 16
    christmas-traditions

    Christmas traditions create memories that your child will remember his or her whole lifetime.  Here are 15 fun Christmas tradition ideas to start with your toddler!

    image source: digitalmomblog.com

  • Christmas Caroling 2 of 16
    caroling
    I can't carry a tune for the life of me, but when in a group,  I can lip-sync! Our kids' church group is caroling this year at senior center. I'm excited to hear them sing!

    image source: Morgue File

  • Christmas Lights 3 of 16
    christmas lights

    We make going to look at Christmas lights an adventure. Each kid brings their blanket. We drive thru Starbucks and get hot cocoa and find neighborhoods that go all out on Christmas lights.

     

    image source: morgue file

  • PJs on Christmas Eve 4 of 16
    christmas-pjs

    While I don't want staged photos on Christmas morning, I do want a few keepers. My way of doing that? Giving Christmas PJs on Christmas Eve. The older kids know what they are opening, but the toddlers are just surprised with a gift.

    Another tip: I try to get a photo of all the kids together on Christmas Eve, right after they've opened and put on their PJs. Christmas morning group photos don't seem to work for some reason.

    image source: digitalmomblog.com

  • Christmas Cards 5 of 16
    christmas-cards

    With the number of Christmas cards we send, it feels like a production line to put together. We crank up the Christmas tunes and get the toddlers involved by letting them color the envelopes.

    image source: digitalmomblog.com

  • Gingerbread Houses 6 of 16
    gingerbreadhouse

    While it is probably best that mom or dad put the gingerbread house together, let your toddler decorate it! I found small gingerbread houses at Five Below for $3! At that price, I bought one for each kid. We will have a small gingerbread house village this year!

    image source: morguefile.com

  • Santa Clause 7 of 16
    santa

    My older kids are 8 and 10 years old and still want to see Santa Clause. While they know who actually buys the gift, the spirit of Santa is still alive in our house, and it's a tradition we plan to keep.  

    Tip: Our best Santa experiences have been at private breakfasts with Santa. These usually cost us a bit more, but they're well worth the experience (and the ones we've been to allowed you to bring your own camera -- that alone was worth the cost of breakfast!)

     image source: digitalmomblog.com

  • Books Under the Tree 8 of 16
    books

    Tamara from Southern Yankee Mix wrapped Christmas books and allowed the kids to open one each night to wrapping a stack of Christmas books, and opening one each night to read before bed. 

     

    image source: morgue file

  • Baking for Friends and Family 9 of 16
    baking
    There are a few go-to recipes we make each year. I really try to get the toddlers involved in dumping ingredients, and  then, of course, they enjoy cookie decorating. 
    image source: digitalmomblog.com
  • Loteria 10 of 16
    loteria

    Becky from Barefeet on the Dashboard created a tradition of playing Merry Christmas Loteria with her tots. Loteria is a Mexican-style bingo game that's fun for the whole family. Visit Becky's site and download her free Merry Christmas Loteria printable.

  • Birthday Cake for Jesus 11 of 16
    jesus-birthday-cake
    To make sure we don't get too wrapped up in the Ho Ho Ho, we make (or buy, depending on the year!) a birthday cake for Jesus and celebrate his birthday in the morning. Yep, cake early Christmas morning. 1 day a year, it won't kill them!
    image source: digitalmomblog.com
  • Angel Tree 12 of 16
    angel-tree

    Let each of your toddlers choose an angel from the angel tree and shop for the gift together. You can make this season about many things, but teaching my kids about giving is one of my top priorities. There are many variations and organizations that sponsor similar programs.

     

    image courtesy: Salvation Army

  • Advent Calendar 13 of 16
    advent
    It's NEVER too late (okay, maybe on the 24th would be too late...) to start an advent calendar, counting the days down until Christmas.
    image source: morguefile.com
  • Worldly Traditions 14 of 16
    los
    Jessica from Sippy Cups and Suitcases is exploring international traditions with her children. This year, they are celebrating Las Posadsas! Read about their experience and learn how you and your toddler can experience this.
  • Christmas Movies 15 of 16
    christmas-movie-night

    Have a family Christmas movie night! Watch a show the toddlers will love (maybe Charlie Brown or Rudolph). Make peppermint popcorn and hot cocoa, and make a fun time of it.

     

    image source: digitalmomblog.com

  • Ornament Giving 16 of 16
    ornament
    Give your children an ornament each year! Then when they leave the house, they have an ornament to take with them. We started letting our kids choose an ornament rather than giving them one. We write the year on the bottom to know when those chose it. Ideally I try to choose ornaments that aren't easily broken. 
    image source: digitalmomblog.com

Whether you do just a few things or have a list a mile long, enjoy this holiday season and make wonderful memories with your Christmas traditions, as someday these traditions maybe what your kid does with their kids!

More Christmas Tradition Reads:

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