I love building Christmas family traditions as my kids get older. I’ve slowly been gathering things, maybe one a year, that we can add on to our list. Today I’m sharing my list of favorite gifts for kids and Christmas traditions. These are special things the kids will pull out each year and remember.
Friday starts the month of December and we are so excited to start our activity advent calendar. So many of these things I use in connection with our calendar — decorate the tree, set up the nativity, read the Christmas story, drink hot chocolate. I kind of can’t contain my excitement to serve them cocoa in these mugs with a hidden animal at the bottom this year!
Hidden animal mug
My favorite mug as a child had a ceramic duck on the bottom, and as I drank my hot chocolate he slowly came into view. This year I wanted to get some of these precious little cups for my kids too! I ordered these kiddie cups ($7), but shipping times are not guaranteed. These peek-a-boo mugs ($13) are 2-day guarantee with Amazon Prime.
Old fashioned Christmas light strand
Last year when the advent calendar activity said “decorate the kids rooms” the kids were over the moon excited when I pulled out a couple sets of old fashioned Christmas lights ($10) from behind my back! They put them up in their room immediately. The only problem was getting them to take them down in January.
We have some fun tree-decorating hats in our mix. There are Santa hats, reindeer antlers and light-up noses. Adriano has been wearing his Santa hat to bed to “keep warm.” We live in Florida and still have the AC going, but who am I to squelch his Christmas spirit? I bought Christmas light necklaces at the dollar store to surprise them when we go look at the lights. I’m a little excited about that. You can hit up the dollar store for hats too!
A personalized stocking can be used throughout the years and even saved as a keepsake as adults. This puppy stocking ($20) is so sweet. And Pottery Barn always has classic-looking children’s stockings ($20).
You could do a handprint ornament ($13) of their first Christmas to hang every year. Or if it’s too late for that, do a frame ornament ($13) of their first Christmas or favorite baby picture. I treasure my frame ornaments of each of my babies at six months, and the kids love to see pictures of themselves as babies.
We have a beautiful nativity that my father-in-law made, but it’s good to have a nativity that the kids can play with too. I love this colorful wooden nativity ($15).
Christmas story book
Last year I smartened up a bit and packed away our Christmas books with the Christmas decorations so they stayed together and the kids were excited about them again. We have the “Froggie’s Best Christmas” and “Frosty the Snowman” books, but I wanted to make sure we have some true Christmas books about Jesus’ birth. I recommend The True Story of Christmas ($5) for smaller kids and I also like The Christmas Story for Children ($7) for grade school kids. What are your favorites? I’d love to add to the mix.
See how the advent activities are going at our house on Instagram. What are your family traditions?
Advent activity printable