Finally, the day is almost here and it’s time for fun Christmas Eve traditions for kids. Some might be generations old, some new and unique for your family.
Around the world, kids leave cookies and milk for Santa and a carrot for the reindeer. With eight reindeer and Rudolph, maybe they take turns eating the lone carrot. Maybe Santa shares the cookies with them or takes a few back for the elves. A tradition in our house is to leave them on a special plate the kids have colored. Since seeing this a few years ago, we use a paper plate each year and the kids use crayons and markers to decorate it with their best design for Santa.
Many Christmas Eve traditions center around food. On a radio call-in show, there were so many different ones. One family always had oyster stew and another had lasagne. Not just main dishes, but special desserts. A friend mixes pudding and whipped cream with torn bits of cake and tops it with cherry pie filling. Whether you do the same menu or a new one, kids enjoy being part of the action in the kitchen. Is there something your child can mix, stir, roll-out, or wash? Being in the kitchen with the adults means kids feel like part of the grown-up group. While we think this is work, from a child’s perspective it’s fun and they feel included.
Opening one present of new pajamas is a tradition for many families. After reading about the “Jolabokaflod” or book flood in Iceland, we’ve decided that sounds like a tradition for our family. For a warm, cozy evening people give books on Christmas Eve, then curl up by the fireplace with the books and cups of hot chocolate. We don’t have a fireplace but can turn on the tv and watch a burning log. What better way to share and enjoy the bedtime stories.
Whatever your family does, these fun Christmas Eve traditions for kids will echo in their memories in years to come. What are yours?
Harvesting and gathering are two major activities at this time of year so it’s appropriate they are part of autumn traditions for kids. North America, with Columbus Day in the U.S. and Thanksgiving in Canada, isn’t the only place that has holidays at this time of year. The dates may not be the same but some of the celebrations are similar.
Columbus Day is not celebrated in all the States. In some places though, families will have an extra day to spend time with each other and enjoy the autumn season. In Canada, Thanksgiving is a major holiday and families gather together. Meals are centered around the bounty of the harvest with turkey and pumpkin pies. Thanksgiving happens in November in the U.S. where winter doesn’t arrive quite so soon.
Although the Moon Festival was earlier in September this year, it sometimes falls in October. This is also a celebration to give thanks for the harvest and for family reunions. The moon is at its brightest and roundest in the fall. This is a major holiday in China and Vietnam and areas where there is a large population of Chinese people. The video below is based on the book, Thanking The Moon, by Grace Lin.
Traditions certainly connect families. More than that, as Anisa Raoof at Kidoinfo writes, “Traditions connect our children with our personal and cultural history and form the memories they will later share with their friends and families.” These ones also connect us with Nature. In places where we’re not actively involved with harvesting our own food, it’s easy to forget Nature’s central role.
For a play-of-the-day, is there a nature activity your family can enjoy? Maybe it will be visiting a pumpkin patch or a corn maze. It could be raking leaves in the yard and jumping in the piles, followed by mugs of hot chocolate. This might be the last camping trip of the season or a hike in the woods to see the fall leaves. Whatever the activity, can your family be creating new autumn traditions and memories?