Can you believe it? Christmas is right around the corner! The festive season is so magical for children, and starting some family traditions can give extra meaning to the holiday season. Thankfully, these traditions do not need to be expensive and complicated at this busy time.
Visiting your local suburb’s light displays is one easy example you can try for free. There are so many suburbs that have streets of houses decorated with lights, there could be one right around the corner from you! Many a Christmas memory is made when children are allowed to stay up a little later to discover their neighbourhood’s festivities.
Your family might also like to decorate the house with handmade ornaments, or to work together to bake some treats for Santa and his reindeer. If you’re in Melbourne, you could even visit the Myer windows!
There are so many beautiful options to create festive family traditions, take a look at our ideas below!
Create a kindness advent calendar
This is a fantastic way to help children countdown to Christmas - without asking you how long to go multiple times each day. The cheapest and easiest way to do this is with a paper chain. Lay out 25 slips of paper (approx. 2 cm x 15 cm) for each day in December and write a kind deed on each one. Ask your children to think of kind things to do! Next, staple one of the slips of paper into a circle, and then loop the next one to make a chain, and so on. Once you’ve done 25 hang it up high (even around the tree) and get your children to take turns to tear one off each morning. The person that rips the chain has to do the kind deed that day! Such a lovely way to feel festive in December.
Some ideas for your advent calendar:
- Help mum or dad with something
- Make a Christmas card
- Help someone clean up
- Ask someone in your family if you can give them a hug
- Carry something for mum or dad
- Check the mail box
- Write a note to your teacher
- Find a toy or book to give away
- Clean up a mess you didn’t make
- Make a video message for a friend or relative
- Pick up rubbish from the street
Visit your local Christmas Lights.
Christmas lights are so magical for children and are usually free to enjoy. You probably have certain streets in your area that put up lights that you can walk or drive to. If not, there are many websites or Facebook groups that you can look at with names of streets and suburbs that welcome onlookers to come and view their creations. Click here to search your local suburbs' festive light displays. Many houses invite you onto their lawn to take photos and enjoy their displays; some even have activities to complete while there. This is one tradition the whole family will love and costs nothing!
Make Treats for Santa
Children love tradition and the fun of putting out treats for Santa (and themselves), and it's just so wonderful to create these as a family. Whether it's cookies, chocolates or shortbread, your child will delight in putting these on a plate for Santa to enjoy. Choosing where to put these treats is also important. Your little learner may put them under the tree, at the front door or if you have a fireplace, in the hearth. Don't forget a drink for Santa because it’s hot in Australia and may be thirsty, as well as a carrot or two for his hardworking reindeer!
What would Christmas be without decorations? Covering the tree in beautiful decorations is an activity the whole family can enjoy together each year. Put on your favourite carols, don a Santa hat, and take time decorating the tree. Your little learner can put the star on with your help. Think of sparkly tinsel wrapped around the branches, colourful baubles on every stem and unique and handmade figurines scattered around the tree. Don’t forget the wreath on the front door for all to see.
Watch a Christmas Movie
Christmas movies are a great way to get into the spirit, and you don't have to watch just one! There are so many festive movies suitable for all ages and enjoyed by the whole family. Some of the best G-rated children's festive movies include; The Polar Express, Arthur Christmas, Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and Santa Buddies, just to name a few. So grab the popcorn or your favourite treats and enjoy watching these classic Christmas movies together.
The Myer Windows in Melbourne
The Myer windows have been enchanting families in Melbourne for 67 years, and they are exceptional this year with their 'Disney's 100 years of Wonder' theme. Taking a trip into the city and visiting the Myer windows is basically a free outing, and you will find your children begging to go each year and see what wondrous theme is on display in these famous windows. Catching public transport into the city is the best and cheapest way to get there and is an outing in itself. Most cities in Australia have great Christmas decorations, so even if you’re not in Melbourne you could try to check those out! We hope you enjoy the magic of introducing the tradition of a city trip into your family this year!
With Christmas right around the corner, it's the perfect time to introduce festive family traditions. Little learners of all ages will love making memories year after year with some of these beautiful ideas!