Just about my favourite thing about Christmas, after the Baileys, is finding new Christmas family traditions to enjoy together.
I just love how instinctively my kids seem to 'get' how traditions work at Christmas time. From when they were tiny tots they grasped that a major part of the fun at Christmas revolves around doing the same things together as a family every year; from going to a candle-lit carol service and decorating our Christmas tree together, to writing a letter to Santa before enjoying a Christmas family movie night and counting down the days until Christmas with our homemade Advent calendar.
But Christmas is busy enough without additional pressure to create magical Christmas family traditions so here are six ideas for creating your own - we hope they inspire some ideas for special moments of family togetherness with the kids this Christmas!
1. Prepare a Christmas Eve box
This one's pretty self-explanatory and of course you can click the link above to read all about how to make your own but the premise is that you prepare a special box of festive treats to enjoy together as a family on Christmas Eve. When we shared this post a few weeks ago, lots of you told us on Facebook that you open yours on December 1st to mark the start of Advent so that your little ones will get all the enjoyment of their Christmas DVD and pyjamas throughout the month rather than just for one night - we think that's a fabulous idea!
2. Make a gingerbread house
We made a gingerbread house as a family few years ago after my mother-in-law popped the instructions for making one into the Advent calendar that she made for us. It was just the best festive family experience - fun, messy, requiring teamwork - and best of all you can eat your handiwork afterwards! I love this pretty simple gingerbread house recipe.
3. Make your own Christmas tree decorations
We know how much you guys love getting stuck into some festive Christmas crafts with your little ones, and I just love the look of these salt dough handprint Christmas tree ornaments. Who needs expensive Christmas tree decorations when you can make your own? (Credit: theimaginationtree.com)
4. Create a kids-only Christmas tree
I'd never have thought of this, but a friend put me on to the idea of letting the kids have their very own Christmas tree in order to deter them from attacking the real tree! It strikes me as a great idea if you've got toddlers - whose curiosity knows no bounds! And of course it's even better if it's not a real tree but one which they fiddle with to their heart's delight. Here is a lovely guide to crafting a toddler-friendly Christmas tree. (Credit:mothersniche.com)
Yep, really! I'm not sure this is something I'd ever actually consider trying but I just love the notion of building your own ice rink in the garden every Christmas. How cool is that?! (Credit: ChicagoParent.com)
6. Sleep under the tree
This is one Christmas family tradition that I plan to adopt in our house this year. I guess there might be the small matter of a pine needle in the eye to consider if your tree is a real one, and it's certainly not a tradition to adopt if your kids are very young but we're definitely going to sleep under our Christmas tree on the night we put it up this year. (Credit: The36thAvenue.com)
What's your favourite family Christmas tradition? And do you have a favourite Christmas family tradition from your own childhood? Come and tell us all about it over on our Facebook page.