The Best Christmas Traditions To Start With Your Kids

*This is a collaborative post

When you have small children, it most definitely is the most wonderful time of the year. All the clich├ęs about seeing Christmas through a child's eyes that you never really understood before suddenly come to life when your little person is in the world and old enough to understand what the festive season really means.

There are so many great Christmas traditions out there that you can choose to be a part of - but what is even more special is choosing to develop your own traditions as a family. These rituals are what really bond families together, make beautiful memories and contribute to a magical holiday season together. And who knows, one day your children may be passing these traditions onto kids of their own!

Set Up A Reverse Advent Calendar
Opening the little window each day and finding a treat is a key build up to Christmas each year and a timeless family tradition, but this year, how about making a reverse advent calendar together with your kids? Get a large cardboard box and each day of advent, have your children add something to it, such as items of clothing, tinned foods, packets of biscuits or toiletries to be given to a food bank, homeless shelter or charity. Teach them that Christmas is about extending warmth to others as well as eating chocolate, and you are giving them a gift that will last a lifetime.

Create A Christmas Safari
If your children like adventures and exploring, a great little activity to get them out and about is creating a Christmas safari trail to follow. Set a list of festive items that they need to spot - a red Robin, a snowman, a Holly Bush or similar. Take pictures of each thing they spot and post online in your Christmas safari album - just make sure that you have a great data plan first (2GB of data with unlimited call and text for only £7.5 is a great start!) Each child must complete their list to get a small prize, like a hot chocolate with marshmallows. It's a great way to get kids out of the house and active when the weather isn't so good.

Start A Christmas Pyjama Tradition
Picture the scene: it's Christmas morning and the whole family are piled into your bed, cosy on your home, snuggled up and excitedly investigating their Christmas stockings! What would be the perfect addition? Warm and snuggly Christmas pyjamas! Yep, giving the kids new pyjamas to unwrap on Christmas Eve is a great family tradition to start. It builds the excitement of going to bed on Christmas Eve, and makes sure they're warm and cosy in style on the morning itself. You can even get matching family ones if you want!

Making Christmas Cards Together
Each year, we go out and buy packs of Christmas cards - but how much nicer is it to make cards together with your children? Pop to your local hobby store and get some crafting materials - card, glitter glue, stick on eyes, pom poms etc, and have an afternoon hand making Christmas cards for your family with the children. Not only is it a lovely activity together when the weather isn't so good outside, but it also means you create handmade, special cards that family members will treasure.

Create a Gingerbread House
There's nothing that looks more festive than a beautifully decorated gingerbread house, decorated with sweets and colourful icing. You can buy pre-made gingerbread house kits or get creative and bake your own. Make sure there are plenty of icing decoration tubes, sprinkles, sweets and edible glitter for you and the kids to go crazy with decorating! Give everyone a different piece to decorate, then bring it all together to form a delicious and decorative miniature house, dusted liberally with icing sugar for that extra festive flair. You could also make one for a loved one like Grandma - it's a lovely gift and very tasty, but also a fun thing to do together.

Do A Tour Of Christmas Lights
If the homes in your local area go all out with Christmas decorations, why not take the kids on a walking tour to see all the lights? Map out a gentle route that will take you past all the decorated houses - you could also make it part of your festive safari if you like- and take hot chocolates in a travel mug and some flavoured popcorn to enjoy en route. You could even let them stay up past bedtime as an extra treat. This idea hardly costs anything but makes a brilliant memory.

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