When you think about your Christmas growing up what do you remember the most? The memories that seem to last the longest for most of us are those great family Christmas traditions.
Christmas has always been a special time of year, but when you have little ones they add an extra special bit of sparkle to the festive season. Their excitement and happiness is contagious making it hard not to get carried away and have a Christmas present bonanza. But memories and traditions are the things that children will remember long after their gifts have been unwrapped. These are the things that last a lifetime and make Christmas special.
Most people have things that they did year after year that have stayed with you as fond memories. Small, low cost but fun things such as going to choose the tree together or wearing ugly Christmas jumpers to watch your fave Christmas film, make perfect activities that can easily become fond traditions. Don't underestimate the value of time spent together enjoying each other's company, it's amazing how much children remember family traditions.
Traditions are automatic memory creators, if you don’t have any, you can start a few this year! To help inspire you to give the gift of memories, we have gathered together some of our personal favourite traditions from our childhood along with some we can’t wait to do with our own little ones this year.
It’s PJ Day!
The chilly British winter weather is enough reason to stay inside, put on the fire and cosy up on the sofa with a hot chocolate. Make this ordinary activity special by getting dressed in matching Christmas themed pyjamas and putting on a classic Christmas movie. Make this a tradition by doing it on the same day every year, or to really add the Christmas magic you could make it a tradition to do PJ day on the same day you decorate your house. Natural Baby Shower have a big range of the cutest festive outfits for your little ones to add the Christmas spirit to PJ day. But we can’t leave out the adults, we also have matching Christmas pyjamas for grownups. Check out the MORI festive clothing collection.
You could make your PJ day even more exciting and memorable for your little ones by setting up a Christmas grotto den in your very own lounge. Use the Cam Cam Copenhagen tent and add some Christmas sparkle to create the perfect festive den to escape the cold and to watch Christmas films from.
Ok, so we apologise in advance for the mess this tradition may create!
Making personal homemade Christmas cards or letters to Santa was a regular family tradition in our home but it is something that isn’t as popular anymore. Spare an afternoon with your little ones to get crafty and make a special Christmas masterpiece! This can get quite messy and crazy so make sure your little one is prepared and covered up to get stuck in. Protect them and their clothes by using the Close Parent Coverall Bibs which have long sleeves for full coverage perfect for arts and crafts fun.
And to avoid messing up your own furniture get your children their very own workstation to create their work on. Plan Toys have the perfect solution with their table and chair set with it’s beautiful design which has hidden compartments perfect for all their craft materials, it also has a blackboard top that they can draw on. Once their masterpieces have been created, post them to friends and family members to share your little ones special personal Christmas messages. Or keep them for yourselves and frame them as keepsakes in our Articulate Gallery frames.
Go on a winter adventure
Winter weather can make getting outdoors seem like a lot of effort – cold temperatures, snow and rain along with a lack of sunshine can make even the most outdoorsy family want to stay inside. But just because the sun has gone it doesn’t mean you can’t get outside with your little ones and explore the winter outdoors. Get your whole family in the Christmas spirit by going to meet Santa and his Reindeer's at Santa’s Grotto or go on a woodland adventure through the woods to discover the change of season. Keep your little ones cosy and warm on their winter adventures by wrapping them up in winter warmers. The perfect coat and boots will make any winter adventure easier and more fun for the whole family. Check out our Autumn / Winter collection here.
You could also make picking out your festive tree a family tradition by taking your mini helpers with you to help you pick out the perfect tree. Your little ones will remember for years to come the tradition of bundling into the car, wrapped up against the winter chill all on an adventure to choose the Christmas tree as a family.
Whilst it is easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of Christmas with your family, it is always nice to remember those less fortunate whose holiday season may not be filled with as much cheer. Christmas is the perfect time to teach your children that not everyone is as lucky as they are and to show them that they can help make someone feel special by giving instead of receiving. Make it a tradition to do something kind with your little ones every year. Involve your kids in a simple act of giving back and caring for others whether its baking cookies for a neighbour, buying an extra gift at the store and dropping it in a donation box, or your family could even donate your time to a charity or nursing home.
Once your little one grows a little bigger, they could even start saving their own pocket money throughout the year in their own Plan Toys piggy bank and using these pennies to help buy a special gift for charity at Christmas. Find the perfect gift to give to others in our Toy Workshop, all our toys are safe and built to last meaning they can bring joy to a child’s life for years to come.
These experiences will show your children that sometimes it is better to give back than receive and that it can actually feel really good to see the difference they are making to someone’s Christmas. The special memories of helping others will stay with them for a long time, they might even carry on this special tradition with their own family one day.
In the run up to the big day this year don’t miss the joy of Christmas for you and your family by making the most of the Christmas activities you can do together that will make many wonderful Christmas memories that last a lifetime. This year make it a tradition to give your kids the gift of a memorable Christmas.