As your child ages into the teen years, you may struggle to find ways to continue the holiday bonding. In their infancy, it was easy. In toddler years, you had to try harder but it was still not that difficult. All you needed was prepared ideas. Now that your child is a teenager, they’re not under your supervision at all times anymore. You’re not 100% sure of their likes or interests at this point. They’ve made new friends at school, are involved in new activities, and no longer show interest towards finger painting or snow globes. What do you do to keep holiday traditions going between you and your teen?
Christmas Ltd. is here to save the day with fresh new ideas. Here are 9 ways that you can continue the Christmas bond. These grown-up activities can be equally meaningful experiences as those from their toddler years. More importantly, they now have the power to help others in the season of giving:
- Volunteer: Christmas is the best time of year for your teenager to get involved in selfless causes. There are many different volunteer efforts your teen can get involved in. These include ringing the Goodwill donations bell, bringing donated gifts to foster homes, or spending time in nursing homes.
- Pick out the Tree: You’ve always needed an extra pair of hands doing this task. Now you have them! Take your teenager out to help you pick and cut down this year’s Christmas tree. Ask them what they think about each tree as you’re both looking: “Is this one too tall?” “Do you like this one?” Make sure to engage your teenager as you pick out the tree together. Don’t just bring your teen as a spectator while you do the work and narrate it. Otherwise, it will be a very boring trip and they won’t want to do it again. Make it a fun learning experience.
- Go See a Christmas Movie Together: There’s always some kind of holiday movie out during December. Make a tradition to go with the movies with your teenager around Christmas time. Your child is closer to your intellect level now, which means you can go see something you mutually agree on.
- Trim the Christmas Tree: Your teenager is nearly full-grown. As a matter of fact, they might even be taller than you. They can now help you trim the tree, as they can reach the higher branches that they couldn’t get to before. Therefore, it can be a true team effort now. You two can even go shopping for new ornaments, tinsel, and lights to make this year’s tree special.
- Put Up the House Christmas Lights: If your teen has some real creative spark in them, they’ll want to join you in decorating the house’s Christmas lights. You two can make a blueprint plan of which colored lights should go where, as well as what other decorations the house should have. You should probably still handle all of the rooftop responsibilities so your teen can observe how careful you have to be up there. Just be sure to set a good example!
- Make a Special Holiday Dessert Together: Do both of you have a case of the sweet tooth? Open up that cookbook and learn how to make a new holiday dessert together! You can experiment with new recipes and decide on a mutual favorite to make for the entire family on Christmas.
- Send a Card to a Solider: Help your teenager see how fortunate it is to have your entire family together for the holidays. Send a card and care package to a United States solider overseas. Have your teen write a nice message to the solider, wishing them a safe return and happy holiday.
- Bake Christmas Cookies for their Classmates: There’s nothing that classmates and colleagues love more than holiday treats. With some fresh cookies, your teen will be the most popular kid in school by doing something completely kind and unselfish. How dreamy is that? Help your teen make some delicious holiday cookies for their classmates. Snickerdoodle, chocolate chip, and M&M cookies are always safe bets!
- Hold a Holiday Party: If you and your teen have a circle of friends that you’d like to celebrate the holiday season with, you could team up and have a holiday party together. This is a great bonding experience as you can meet your teen’s friends and they can meet yours. This way, you can see a little bit more of each other’s lives while also entertaining your own guests. The whole party can even come together at some point for a game of charades!
Just because your teenager is growing up doesn’t mean that your Christmas seasons have to grow apart. It might take more effort to bond with your son or daughter during teenage years, but it can be done as long as you acknowledge their maturity. With this respectable compromise as a parent, you can continue to make the moments together matter.
Once your child has moved past infancy, Christmas becomes a slightly more busy time. You child is no longer a baby who just lies in a crib all day and looks adorable for everyone. They’re now in explore-mode: crawling around the house, looking for something to do, and infinitely curious. This is an exciting time, as your child is getting ahold of their cognition and expressing their earliest forms of ambition and curiosity.
However, you must now work a little bit harder in order to keep them entertained. This is especially true during Christmas. Your child’s toddler days mark the earliest memories they’re going to have later on in life. You want those early recollections of Christmas to be special. In order for that to happen, you have to create some events for the child to participate in. Finding things that keeps a toddler entertained can be a chore. Fear not though: Christmas Ltd. has got you covered with 9 great ideas on what to do with your toddler’s Christmas!
1. Visit Santa: After a few years of learning about the big guy through picture books and movies, your toddler will be star-struck to finally meet thee Santa Claus! Take your toddler to the mall, toy store, or wherever Santa is making an appearance. Accompany your child during their first celebrity encounter, snap some pictures, but be close by if your child gets too overwhelmed.
2. See Christmas Lights: With those early Christmases in the crib, your baby probably didn’t get a chance to see many of those fantastic lights. Make a special night to take your entire family out to the most decorative neighborhoods. Drive by a few houses and find the most concentrated area of decorated homes. Get out and walk around with your toddler so they can experience the first sensory overload of beautiful lights!
3. Make Cookies for Santa: Now that your toddler has finally met Santa, they can start helping out in making his cookies. Don’t let your toddler get too close to the oven or anything hot, but have them help out in mixing the cookie batter and placing the cookies on the plate. The next morning, the cookies will be gone and your toddler will be so proud that they were able to feed Santa.
4. Painting: Arts and crafts are a great way to fill an afternoon with your toddler. There are so many fun ways that you can make paintings and pictures together. Here are a few great ideas:
- Using cookie cutters to paint stars and trees
- Painting holly leaves with a potato
- Finger painting with Christmas colors
- Sponge painting Christmas lights
5. Make a Frame Ornament out of Popsicle Sticks: For the last few years, you’ve made and bought new ornaments for your child. Now, they’re old enough to give you a hand. You can get them started with the classic picture frame ornament constructed out of Popsicle sticks. This way, you and your toddler can have an experience creating something together, while you also gain an ornament where you can put a picture of them in the toddler years.
6. Make a Gingerbread House: A gingerbread house can be very easy to make. Not only does it give you a chance to work together with your toddler, but it also results in a very tasty reward in the end for you both!
7. Make Reindeer Hand Ornaments: The cutout reindeer hand ornaments give you and your toddler a chance to be crafty and creative. All you really need is brown construction paper, googley eyes, fuzzy pipe cleaner, and some red felt buttons. Be sure to help your toddler when cutting out the hand’s shape from the construction paper!
8. Make Pine Cone Christmas Trees: Making a pinecone Christmas tree is a very fun, simple task. Not only that, but it also teaches your toddler how to be imaginative. By showing your toddler that you can make art out of an old pinecone, it will open their mind for all sorts of new ideas.
9. Hang Candy Canes on the Tree: Hanging Christmas tree candy canes is a great tradition to start. Create an assembly line effort as your toddler retrieves candy canes and you lift him/her up to put the candy canes on the higher parts of the tree where they cannot reach.
As a parent, the most important thing for you to concentrate on this: create fun memories. Do something enjoyable for both you and your toddler. Be patient if they don’t like every activity you try out. It’s okay! Just take note on what your toddler likes more. Formulate other similar activities based on their likes and you’ll do just fine.
Baby’s First Christmas is a longstanding tradition with families who have just gained a new member. When your newborn child experiences their first Christmas, you want to do something special to commemorate it. Although your baby might not remember anything (okay, they definitely won’t), they will see and appreciate the relics as they get older. Not only that, but the sentimental feeling of Christmas will be instilled in them early on. That feeling stems even deeper than a memory. Baby’s First Christmas is a landmark of your new family and you’ll want to preserve it.
Here are 11 different ways you can celebrate your baby’s first Christmas.
- Make an Ornament: This is probably the most popular Baby’s First Christmas tradition. Make an ornament with your baby and have them hang it on your tree every year. Baby’s First Christmas ornaments usually include the baby’s name, the words “Baby’s First Christmas,” and the year. Every Christmas, you will have this ornament for your child to hang on the tree. It will be a valuable memento of their very first holiday tradition.
- First Christmas Pajamas: Get your baby some Christmas-themed onesie pajamas to wear. This will be their very first outfit that they woke up to Christmas morning in, so you want it to be something special and vivid. After they grow out of these pajamas, you can keep them forever as a Baby’s First Christmas keepsake…but let’s not think about those days right now…
- Adorable Coveralls: There are only a few years where you can get away with dressing your baby with coveralls, so take full advantage of them now. Get your baby an adorable Santa outfit and savor the moments in pictures. One day, your child will develop a sense of shame towards these pictures and you’ll be able to tease them every year while secretly holding onto them for sentimentality.
- Make a Stocking: There is no Christmas without yuletide stockings hung over the fireplace. Make a cute mini stocking with your baby’s name on it and hang it next to your own. You can continue to hang the stocking as a Christmas decoration even when your baby has grown out of the “mini” size.
- Give Your Baby a Snow Globe: Snow globes are a magical vision for a baby. There’s something fantastical about a little miniature model being covered with snowflakes. Even as adults, we are still awed by this wonderful scene. Needless to say, your baby will be entranced by this magic. Help your baby shake the snow globe and see how the snow falls over the winter scene. Just make sure you always hold the globe for your baby as many of these globes are glass!
- Wind up the Music Box Together: The power of music is something that never wears off. A music box especially fills our hearts with nostalgia and childhood memories. Give this special gift to your baby. Show your baby the magic behind a simple music box lullaby that can soothe them gently to sleep
- Give Your Baby a Stuffed Animal: The perfect gift for Baby’s First Christmas is a cuddly sleeping buddy. Give your baby a stuffed animal that will keep their crib company for many nights to come. Common favorites include stuffed bears, giraffes, and elephants. Since it is Christmas, a reindeer would be a great idea.
- Christmas blanket: It’s always a nice idea to decorate your baby’s crib and instill the Christmas greens and reds that they will be recognizing for the rest of their lives. A Christmas blanket will be the most memorable of these crib artifacts. This blanket will warm your baby with the holiday spirit…and cotton.
- Write a Letter to Your Baby: They won’t understand it now, but this will be very meaningful to your child once they are at reading age. They will be able to see how much they were loved even before their memory can recall.
- Start a Scrapbook: A scrapbook is the perfect way to preserve a timeline of memories you hold dear. Make a Christmas scrapbook with Baby’s First Christmas being the first entry. Every Christmas, you can take out this book to look at old memories and add new ones.
- Make your Baby the Holiday Card: Everyone knows how much parents love showing off their new baby. Why not have the baby star in your seasonal Christmas cards? Nothing says “Merry Christmas” to your friends and family quite like sharing Baby’s First Christmas with everyone.
These are just a few ideas to get you started on your new family’s Christmas traditions. Congratulations on your new addition and have a blast creating new memories of Baby’s First Christmas!
I’ve got news, everyone: July is a hot, hot month. That’s all I have to report on that.
Though many of you are trying to scale back on sweets during swimsuit season, no one is above the enjoyment of ice cream during the most smoldering month of the year. But maybe you’re sick of the same old generic ice cream flavors available. Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry…bored! What can you expect though? It’s not like there’s a summer holiday that calls for different seasonal cuisine (unless you fashion a 4th of July hot-dog-flavored ice cream. No? Didn’t think so).