1. Go Christmas tree-hunting and decorate the tree together as a family. We usually do this First Sunday of Advent. Always at the same place close to where we live, the kids love running around and play hide and seek amongst the trees. We then pick out the prettiest one (always a bit too big, of course). We go home and decorate it while listning to Christmas music and drinking glögg.
I’m what you can call a Christmas-addict, I have always been and always will be. I start early with both decorations and the Christmas music, making Christmas treats also comes a bit early (but to everyones delight). I love traditions and even more so since we had kids. It has been important for us to find a few special activities that we can make our own and really look forward to every year. I wanted to share these, and maybe add a few more to the list.
2. Find personal ornaments for the kids. I adore vintage ornaments for the Christmas tree and are always on the look out for really special ones. This could also be a very sweet gift for the kids, make or buy one special ornament for the kids each year, you will end up with a very special and personal collection. It's not always easy keeping them in one piece with small kids in the house so you have to count on a few loses.
3. Make all kinds of Christmas treats. Being Swedish I love to make the classic Swedish goodies like Lussekatter, chocolate covered marzipan and gingerbread cookies of course. This is all easy to make and the kids love to join in!. Start early in December and save a few bags of Lussekatter in the freezer, they will last all December!.
4. Organize a Christmas party. We have had a yearly Christmas party for years, long before we had any kids. We serve Mulled wine and loads of yummie Christmas treats. It's so nice, you get to see everybody before they leave town and you really get into the Christmas spirit!.
5. Watch as many Christmas movies as you can. Cuddle up in the sofa and watch your favourite over and over again. We can't get enough of Love Actually, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Home Alone, The Nightmare before Christmas and The Snowman. Well, the list is a mile long...
6. Celebrate every Sunday of Advent. We light one candle for each Sunday up until Christmas. We usually have a long breakfast and the kids open the Advent calendar while the grown-ups (us) drinks lot's of coffee. A perfect start to a special Sunday.
7. Read your favourite Christmas books to the kids. We have a good stack of Christmas books we read in December. The kids get to pick and we all sit in the sofa together or under the covers. It's amazing how a good book calm's them down and you can enjoy some yuletide peace and quiet.
8. Go to a Christmas concert together. This can really be a highlight in December, nothing get's you in the Christmas spirit like some Christmas music!. Find out when your local church is holding concerts or make it down to your local Christmas market if they have some entertainment. Traditional carols or some classic pop tunes, it does'nt matter, enjoy!.
9. Hang stockings and open the gift in the morning on December 23. This is not just for the kids, I grew up with this tradition and still do it. We get one small gift for everyone, wrap it and hang the stocking on the end of the bed. We then open them together in the morning of December 23rd. Just a really nice preview of the BIG day.
10. Make the traditional rice pudding for Santa and put out a bowl on the night before Christmas Eve. Let the kids stay up and watch when Santa finds the rice pudding, it’s a magical moment (believe me, I have been there). My daughter recognised Dad's socks last year so it looks like Grandad will be on Santa duty this year.