Traditions have a tendency to linger from generation to generation. They may start as simple ideas, but once traditions get going, they’re hard to stop. Starting up a new tradition is easy and can be a fun way to add a layer of anticipation to a special time of year. Check out this list of popular gift traditions to start with your kids or grandkids.
1. First Gift
Why limit gift-giving to just one day? Start Christmas on Thanksgiving evening or December 1 with a traditional Christmas First Gift—say, a Christmas book or movie. The book or film can be enjoyed extensively before the big day.
If you have guests coming from out of town, ship their kids something early to be used on their journey: a snack basket for the car ride, coloring pages for the flight…. Be creative! Sending the gift early will increase anticipation and ensure that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
2. Vintage Toys and Games
Giving your kids a glimpse into your childhood or into the past has never been easier. The internet is rich with classic and vintage items for sale—just like the ones you used to know.
Create a tradition of choosing an item from a bygone era and gifting it to your youngster. Big Toy Review has already compiled a list of nostalgic toys and games, but if your items can’t be found in stores today, search on sites such as eBay. Here are some ideas for giving:
- Games, such as Parcheesi, Life, or Kerplunk
- Stocking stuffers, such as jacks, a barrel of monkeys, marbles, or pick up sticks
3. The Christmas Eve Box
Don’t save all the fun for Christmas morning. Put a gift box together that your kids will look forward to every Christmas Eve. The contents of the box can be items your kiddos will enjoy while waiting for the man with the bag to arrive. The boxed items could include:
- Pre-packaged candy or cookies, some of which could be left out for Santa
- Hot chocolate
- Christmas book or DVD
- A game or activity book
Pictures of Christmas Eve boxes, like the one on the right, are a hot item on Pinterest.
4. Christmas Pajamas
Giving matching holiday pajamas to your kids makes for really great Christmas photos. Sometimes parents and grandparents get in on the fun, too, by purchasing matching items for themselves! Some companies will even personalize PJs, adding an extra special touch to this holiday tradition.
5. Meaningful Ornament
Giving ornaments to your kids for Christmas is great for a lot of reasons. First, if you gift ornaments to your kids each year, they’ll already have a collection to take with them when they start homes of their own. Second, with so many ornaments on the market today, you can choose one that commemorates something neat from the past year of your child’s life: the first year playing a musical instrument, a great soccer season, travel to an exciting place, receiving a driver’s license, graduation…. To enhance the tradition, write the year on the ornament you’re giving. It will be fun to watch the collection grow.
6. Toy Drive Shopping Trip
Kids like to spend money. Hand your kids some cash, turn them loose in a store, and allow them to buy a gift to donate. Or, better yet, allow them to purchase the gift from their own savings account. Whether your child is two or 20, it’s always a good time to help them think of others and make the holiday merry and bright for everyone.