Christmas traditions that don’t cost the earth

Christmas Traditions 

I love Christmas. For me it’s always been a magical time. But with the rise and rise of social media it is one area of our lives where comparison-itus can really hit hard.
There can be this feeling that we have to Do all the things, Go to all the places and Buy all the stuff to give our kids the best Christmas.
When really, for me at least, the parts of Christmas I remember most from my childhood are the small things.
The extra time with my Mum and Grandparents. The Christmas dinner and left overs on Boxing day.
Leaving a mince pie for Santa
and the games we played.
Oh and how good the house smelt! And just the feeling of magic in the air, like anything is possible.
I hope that when our littles are bigger they too remember the small things, that actually aren’t that small, after all.
Here are some “traditions” for Christmas that don’t cost the earth in terms of money or waste. Some that we do and others I found that sound like fun.

Make some decorations

We use scrap paper, old magazines or newspapers to make paper chains.
We use cardboard to make stars like these
We’ve used Kraft paper to make 3D stars and I’ve seen old wallpaper used really effectively in this way too.
This is how we made ours…
Also snow flakes for the windows just cut from paper. These are all really simple for the littles to do, it doesn’t matter if they’re not perfect, it’s just good fun.

Christmas painting

Continuing the Christmas crafts. Using hand prints to make Santas or feet to make reindeer is lots of fun and they can also be used as Christmas cards.

Letter to Santa.

About as traditional as you get. We generally write letters to Santa at the start of December and pop them in the post. The girls usually share a little about what they’ve been up to this year and then we sneakily keep them for when they’re older (or we are and feeling all nostalgic!)
I know others do this differently, such as writing the letters and burning them, or even sending/burning them Christmas Eve.
Which every way you do it, it’s sure to inspire some magic.

Decorate the tree together.

Now I’m not going to lie… I am a bit precious when it comes to how my Christmas tree looks. (I know it’s ridiculous, I’ve tried, can’t help it) So we a second tree in the playroom which the girls have free rein to decorate how they would like.
We use the same decorations for both trees every year. We help them with the taller parts and the traditional untangling. Other than that we are relegated to passing them the decorations. We play Christmas music and celebrate after with a hot chocolate.

Christmas baking

We’ve yet to attempt gingerbread house, but we do make gingerbread and the girls cut the biscuits into various Christmas shapes. (Sometimes with the odd

Making gingerbread cookies,

dinosaur or something thrown in for good measure, depending on what cookie cutters the littles find)
A quick yummy pretty fool-proof* fun task that we all enjoy and makes the house smell amazing!
*If I don’t forget to take them out of the oven..oops!

You can find our favourite Gingerbread recipe HERE
(ours never look this pretty! but they taste gooood.)

We’ve also tried our hand at mince pies. And festive sausage rolls.

Visit Christmas lights.

We’re really lucky that we have a beautiful Georgian town near us who (pandemic allowing) do a beautiful Christmas lights switch on that we go to most years. All the lights in the whole of the town are white and it’s just stunning.
But any Christmas lights are pretty magical to be fair, especially when you’re tiny.

Snack for Santa

And the reindeer of course!
Santa always gets a Mince pie, and the reindeer a couple of carrots. And the girls insist on leaving him a glass of milk too.

Elf on the shelf.

Not around when I was little that I know of. Annnnd wasn’t something that I particularly wanted to start, but Nana bought some Elves (thanks Ma) so start we did. And, to be fair, our littles love it.

We have a couple of twists though. We generally don’t put our decorations up until around the 10th -15th of the month, and the Elves only arrive after the decorations are all up. (therefore we save ourselves a few nights of thinking of things for them to do!)

The Elves are not there to keep an eye on or spy on the kids, that just makes me uncomfortable. There’re here for a well earned break after a busy year.

Sleepover by the Christmas Tree.

Not one we’ve braved yet, but I know a couple of people who do this every year and their littles love it. Just be prepared to not get that much sleep. (And remember to turn the lights off before You go to sleep)

Christingle or Carol services.

Candle light and Christmas carols, Christingle is quite magical.
Places like national trust venues, near us have carol singing that you can join in with at their properties. Keep a look out in local papers, or online.

Christmas Books.

We have a couple of Books which are very Christmassy and firm favourites for sharing around Christmas as bedtime stories or anytime stories.
(To be fair the littles would read them all year so I tend to hide them in Jan to keep them special)

Snuggle down for a Christmas film.

There is something very magical about snuggling down with just the twinkling fairy lights, (maybe some candles, if safe to do so) in PJ’s under a blanket all together to watch a festive favourite.
Hot chocolates, a mince pie and/or a gingerbread biscuit make it a yummy treat too.

What’s your favourite Christmas Tradition? Are there any you’ve carried on from when you were young? Let us know in the comments.

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