Family traditions don’t always begin with much fanfare. My mother had no idea what she’d done. She was an incredible mom. Distracting her four children with hot cocoa and Rice Krispy Treats kept us from arguing about who would hang the prettiest ornaments, instead, our mouths were full of sugary heaven.
Fast forward twenty-five years, hot cocoa and Rice Krispy Treats are present in each of her four children’s homes. No Christmas tree is decorated without them. I asked my youngest child to name his favorite Kraft family tradition this week and his answer? “I LOVE eating Rice Krispy treats and drinking hot cocoa when we decorate the tree!”
Family traditions often start with little planning and even less hurrah. Yet, they hold memory-making power. They are unique family-fingerprints we leave behind for future generations.
I thought I’d include a few fun things we’ve been known to do with our children during the holiday season.
Read a Book – Turn off the TV and spend a few minutes each night reading a story to your children. Whether your kids are six or sixteen, it’s a sweet time that will be remembered. Click here for a few suggestions of Christmas books to read aloud this season.
Tour of Lights – Bundle your kids up in pj’s and jackets. Blast some Christmas tunes and drive. When mine were little I’d make hot cocoa (I’m quite the hot-chocolate-pusher) and bring it in the car with lids for them to enjoy as we toured the lighted neighborhoods. One family I know brings a plate of cookies to the home that their family deems “winner of lights”. Want to make it even more fun? Print off your own Polar Express tickets here and hand them out to your children. Have dad punch their ticket as they enter your minivan.
Anonymous Santa – Our children have memories of going to the dollar store and purchasing a bag of toys. On Christmas Eve we’d park our car and black out our lights, while the children ran our wrapped gifts up to the home of an unsuspecting needy family. Don’t let money hold you back from blessing a hurting family this season. A tray of cookies and an anonymous note will touch the heart of anyone.
Christmas Cookies—Take a plate of homemade goodies to your local post office or library. Don’t forget a plate of cookies for your local police/911 dispatchers!
Movie Night— “Scrooged” with Bill Murray plays in our home after we trim the tree – my husband’s favorite. On Christmas night, tired from the day and full from the food we gather in our pajamas—pushing aside stray pieces of wrapping paper and ribbon and cuddle up to my favorite “It’s a Wonderful Life” . For me, each December 25th ends with a few tears and gratefulness for the blessings God has given me and a reminder to remember, no man is a failure who has friends.