Holiday Traditions You Don’t Want To Miss Out On With Young Kids.

This holiday season I am really starting to focus on traditions I want to start with my little ones. My son is almost 5 and daughter almost 2. There are so many neat traditions floating around, and I wanted to share a few that I’ve come across that I have already started or will be starting with my family.

Family time and memories are cherished by me. Of course, I like to create memories all year long but there is a different vibe during the holiday season. The cold weather, the holiday music, the holiday movies, snuggling up on the couch while it’s snowing. It just gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Let’s not forget the Starbucks holiday drinks that keep me from becoming a mombie all season long because we all know we stress over making the holiday season perfect for our kiddos.

Okay, so let’s get started. I’m the type of person who tries to enjoy Thanksgiving before I go all out for Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll decorate early, but I want my kids to learn and understand the true meaning of Thanksgiving also. Not just go straight to wanting toys from Santa… but sometimes that inevitable. Let’s be real. But hey, a mom can try, right?

Thankful Pumpkin. I started this back in October. I bought each child a small, plastic pumpkin to list what they are thankful for on. Each day we write one thing we are thankful for and on Thanksgiving we will display them on the dinner table for all family and friends to see. I’ve really enjoyed this, and some of the words that have come out of my sons mouth about what he is thankful for his too cute.

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Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Ever since I was a young girl, I always sat and watched the parade while my mother prepped and prepared Thanksgiving dinner. The floats, the dancers, the music. I was glued for hours. It’s a fun way to start off Thanksgiving Day. In between cooking, my mom would come and watch some with me while we talked about our favorite floats. It’s something I’ll never forget, and I hope my kids won’t either. I’m 27 and still love watching the parade to this day.

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Breaking the Wishbone. Usually, with the wishbone you make a wish and whoever breaks the bigger piece their wish would come true. Hence the ‘wish’ part. My brother and I were always the ones to break it together. We mainly used it as bragging rights because we all know one sibling needs to be the winner with everything. It’s an exciting way to end a fun filled day. Plus, I always believed my wishes would come true when I broke the bigger piece… and I still do today.

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Cutting Your Own Christmas Tree. I am SO excited to start this year. My parents always bought a real Christmas tree for my siblings and I during the holiday season. We wouldn’t let them buy a fake one until we were old enough. But seriously, who doesn’t love the smell of a fresh cut pine tree in your home?! That’s one of my favorite scents. Now that both kids can walk, we are going to cut down our own this year and I can’t wait! Now I might regret the watering every day and the pine needles constantly falling, but my kids are going to love it just as much as I did as a child. Plus, it’s an awesome way to create memories and have some family time.

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Bake Homemade Cookies. My mother is the queen of making homemade cookies from scratch. Still to this day, she makes batches and batches of fresh chocolate chip cookies and I am always right by her side helping her. When I was younger, it was licking the spoon and eating her dough. Today, it’s helping her every step of the way while my kids eat the dough. I definitely want to keep this tradition going until my children are old enough to share it with their children. My mother always hid them from us also so we didn’t demolish them in less then a week. I’ll be doing that also. Maybe stash them in my room, so I can sneak one or two. 😉

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Donate Old Toys. My kids are spoiled. Honestly, who’s child isn’t? They have piles and piles of toys in their room, the living room, everywhere! They can never seem to have enough. Well now, we decided every year before Santa comes visit we are going to donate our old toys to places where they will be used. The kids are learning that Santa won’t come unless they share old toys that they don’t play with, because they need to make room for the new ones. Plus, it can help other young kids who don’t have many toys enjoy their holiday season.

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Go See Christmas Lights. One of my all time favorite things to do. We are fortunate enough that our area has SO many places to visit during the holiday season. We always visit a place called Christmas Magic and we take one evening to drive around our area to look at all the drive thru lights. I am grateful for the people who go all out during Christmas, because my kids LOVE looking at lights. They are always amazed by it. My son now reminds me that we must go see Christmas lights before Christmas day. It’s certainly a favorite of his.

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Christmas PJ’s and A Movie. On Christmas Eve, my little ones get to open one present. It’s always their Christmas PJ’s and a movie. My oldest is now catching on to the tradition and he’s already pointing out certain pajama’s that he would like for Christmas night. Once they are opened and dressed, we snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie before bed. We also sneak in some hot chocolate and a peppermint crisp or two, then we pour some milk and leave some cookies for Santa when we’re done.

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Santa Tracker. Now-a-days it’s so much easier to track Santa. Us adults download the app on our smartphone and the kids can check on where he is at. My kids really enjoy doing this and it’s a good way for them to learn other locations in the world. For an awesome mom tip, download the Santa FaceTime app. The kids think they are FaceTiming Santa and he helps them stay on the nice list because Santa is watching. Mom win!

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There are so many more holiday traditions I would like to try. This time of year is my favorite and spending quality time with my family means to most to me. I’d love to hear what you have in store this holiday season.

I hope you have an awesome one.

 

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Christmas Magic

Hey Ya’ll!

Christmas is right around the corner and I wanted to write a quick post about our evening last night at Christmas Magic. This is our third year going and it never fails to amaze. If you live near central Pennsylvania (or like to travel), this is a magical place to visit! It’s located at Rocky Ridge County Park in York Pennsylvania. It runs from November 24th – December 30th and runs 7 days a week.

Upon arriving, there are numerous light displays on your drive to park. You drive under a sign and through light tunnels. My son really seemed to enjoy it. Plus is took away some of wait time to park.

Admission was $10 for adults and $5 for children 4 and older. After paying they provided you with 3D snowflake glasses which my son enjoyed because every light looked as if it were a snowflake. The lights run along an outside trail about a mile or so long with stops in between where you can warm up next to a fire and see displays in the warmth. There is also a building with snacks and hot chocolate if you or the kiddos get hungry.

There is a large train garden display for little ones who love trains (like my son). It’s nicely done and it’s my sons favorite part every year. He could sit in there and watch them run for hours. They also decorate it with a lot of children cartoon characters so the kids love it!

Let’s not forget at the end.. Santa! The kids are able to sit on a sleigh with Santa and of course tell them what they want for Christmas while us mama’s snap photo’s! There is also a display outside where you can take family photo’s.

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This is truly a place for all ages. Young or old. The display of lights is phenomenal and will definitely put you in the holiday spirit. This could be a quick walk through or you could spend the evening there. It truly made me excited for Christmas Day to be here and it’s a great time for family bonding.

Hope anyone close can make it out and enjoy it! Have a great holiday! xo