When I think about the holidays, I think of spending quality time together with my family. Even though we have only been married five and a half years, Blaire was born only a few days before our first wedding anniversary, so we have had the past four and a half years to build traditions together for our own little family.
And honestly, they all just came about naturally. We didn’t put pressure on ourselves to create traditions. As Blaire went from being a baby to a toddler to a preschooler, our traditions have grown with her interests.
Holiday traditions don’t have to be fancy or expensive. The most important thing is you’re doing something that gives you the opportunity to spend quality time together as a family.
1| Decorate Christmas cookies together.
Even if they’re store bought sugar cookies already cut into shapes. Make extra for your neighbors!
2| Go caroling.
It doesn’t matter if you have the best voice. Most kids LOVE to sing! And it’s the thought that counts.
3| Donate old toys.
Go through toys and donate anything your children haven’t played with in the past few months. It will make room for all of the new presents they are sure to get.
4| Make a Christmas Eve box.
Wrap up PJs for each kiddo, a bag of popcorn, candy and a new movie.
5| Visit Santa.
Maybe they’ll even want to sit with him to get a picture and not just wave at him from afar.
6| Drink hot cocoa.
Extra points if you have marshmallows and whipped cream on top!
7| Pick a Christmas movie and watch it together every year.
We have already seen the new Grinch in the movie theatre, so I think we will have to add this to our list starting next year!
8| Go on a Christmas light tour.
We seriously do this every weekend once Christmas lights are up. It is one of Blaire’s favorite things.
9| Bake a birthday cake for Jesus.
Blaire LOVES baking.
10| Have a family game night.
We try to do this once a week because Blaire loves it so much.
11| Build a gingerbread house.
This actually might be the hardest tradition because actually building the gingerbread house isn’t all that easy. Decorating it sure is fun though!
12| Make a donation to RMHC.
It can be hard to find time to give, especially around the holidays, RMHC makes it easy. It takes two minutes to make a donation and your gift to RMHC gives families the gift of togetherness.
If you aren’t familiar, through the Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Room programs, RMHC provides places for families to stay. These places are only steps from the hospitals where their children are receiving critical medical care.
When a child is diagnosed with a serious illness it is obviously an emotional strain on a family, but it is also a financial strain. The children are sent to a hospital with the specialists and the treatments the child needs. Many times this is in a different city or even another state.Without the help from RMHC, families would have to pay out of their own pockets to stay in the same town their children are receiving medical treatment.
While we are able to easily have a family game night in our living room whenever we want, families with sick children spend long days and nights enduring all of the stress and heartache that comes from the diagnosis of a life changing illness. Being able to sleep only steps away from the hospital, or in a Ronald McDonald Family Room inside the hospital, where their sick child receives treatment brings parents and families so much — joy, courage, comfort, strength and togetherness.
The holidays are such a special time of year. We definitely hope our children remember all of the fun things we do together, but we also want them to realize how lucky we are. Lucky that they can get the Christmas presents they want. Lucky they get to spend time with so many family members. And lucky that we have a roof over our heads. Lucky that we are all healthy. Lucky that we are fortunate enough to pay it forward to others who aren’t so lucky.