This post is being sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of Christmas. A white Christmas would be best, though rare in my part of the world. From nutcrackers and mistletoe to the magic of Santa Claus and the much-loved Coca-Cola® polar bear, the dreams were vivid.
As Christmas approached, there was nothing to stop my excitement.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care. Handmade by Mom, these red felt stockings would soon contain unbelievable goodies and NEVER coal. Of course, Dad would require us to take down the stockings before even considering a fire in the fireplace.
Holiday traditions. As I think back to the green and red paper chains my sister and I made counting down the days till we could run downstairs and see what Santa brought, I’m reminded of all the work my parents did to make our month memorable.
That Christmas magic – it didn’t end when I grew up. Now that I have a family of my own, I’ve incorporated some of those deep family holiday traditions, and added new ones too, ones that I hope my daughter will pass on to the next generation. And the next. And the next.
So here are my top family holiday traditions, and I hope that you might find one or two new ones that you might just incorporate into your own.
Top Family Holiday Traditions
So many traditions. So little time. December flies by in a flash, so get ready with these suggestions from the beginning of the month through Christmas Eve.
Beginning of December
- Send Traditional Christmas Cards – One thing that brings a smile to my face during the month is going to the mailbox. Though I dare say fewer and fewer friends and family partake in this old tradition, it’s one that I adore. If you send me a card, chances are that you have a place in our scrapbooks. Yes, I keep the photos you send in a scrapbook, and we love to compare the kids each year as they grow.
- Wear New Christmas Pajamas -While we don’t all have matching pajamas like some families do, (someone please convince my husband this is a cute idea), it’s a tradition for kiddos to get new Christmas pajamas. We’ve had everything from classic red, white, and green stripes to scenes with nutcrackers and penguins. Buy early, as they sell out.
- Use an Advent Calendar – Nowadays they’ve gotten so clever with toy-filled advent calendars or candy filled boxes to open. Back in my day, we had simple paper advent calendars. We would wake up each morning, run to the bedroom door where they were taped, and open that day’s’ number. I still have each and every advent calendar from when I was a kid.
- Add Poinsettias at Family Gravesites – We take a day and visit our parents’ gravesites, remembering Christmases long ago, and sharing those memories with our daughter.
- String Popcorn for the Christmas Tree – A fun activity, even if the kernels do get everywhere.
Of course, this mom and dad will want something to complement that salty taste of the popcorn. You do know you are supposed to eat some while you string popcorn, right? And that it’s not just for kids?
We’ll be reaching for a Diet Coke® while we finish our project. Grab some festive red and white striped paper straws at the local craft store for extra holiday fun. Kids will love it in their milk. It’s a given that Santa will too. And you, enjoy that refreshing Diet Coke® with a bit of pizzazz!
I stock the pantry each holiday season with Coca-Cola® products (which of course includes Diet Coke®). Whether you are expecting family for the holidays or have the occasional guest stop by unannounced with a special delivery, be prepared.
I love that Sam’s Club has a 35 pack available in many varieties.
One additional perk of buying Coca-Cola® products at Sam’s Club – Free Club Pickup! Yes, you can order and pay online while in the comfort of your own home. Then simply head to the store and bypass the register (as your order will already be in a basket), then check-in on the app or kiosk inside.
Another great alternative? Use Free Club Pickup to pull up in the drive thru area (available in select markets), and have associates load the heavier 35 pack Diet Coke® packages for you!
Now that’s what I’m talking about!
More December Holiday Traditions
- Adopt a Family or Child for Christmas Giving – Perhaps one activity that brings us closer as a family is giving to others. It’s so important to teach my daughter that the holiday shouldn’t be focused on yourself, but focused on others.
- Set up Tree in Kids Room – I love this tradition and it’s one my parents started when I was a little older. There’s something extra magical about watching all the twinkling lights in your own darkened room. For safety reasons, it’s always lights off at bedtime.
- Make and Use a Christmas Pillowcase – My mom made each of us a Christmas pillowcase to use during the month of December. My pillow pattern was a fun and whimsical animal winter scene. I’ll confess now that I still use it each December. So, we needed to make a new one just for my daughter. I had her great-grandma do just that with a simple snowflake pattern.
- Bake Christmas Cookies and Treats – Put on those aprons (my daughter and I have a matching set), pull out the flour and sugar, and make memories. In my home, you’ll find traditional sugar cookies, 7-layer cookies, and my mom’s pumpkin cookies. Mmmmm!
- Go See Santa Claus – Though the little ones might cry that first year (or beyond…I do have a few pictures we laugh about), it’s a must.
- Attend Local Events (Live Reindeer) – From theme parks to train exhibits and more, there is something incredibly fun in your own town, guaranteed. One favorite local activity of ours is to head to an arboretum or botanical garden, where we have seen live reindeer. That is unforgettable.
- Drive through the Best Christmas Light Neighborhoods
- Add Travel Ornaments to your Tree – Each time we take a family trip during the year, we purchase one special ornament (unless it’s our favorite location, and then we buy 5). As we put those special ornaments on the tree, we talk about our journeys. Great family time.
- Create Homemade Ornaments (Paper Snowflakes and more) – Especially for the kids tree, we love to make special one-of-a-kind homemade ornaments. Grab your cardboard, felt, paper, and wooden pieces, along with tape, glue, scissors, and ribbon. Get crafty. Make snowflakes out of paper. Create a picture frame decorated with red and green buttons. Be creative and be sure to date the ones you can so you can OOooh and AAhhh for years to come.
- Singing Christmas Carols – Sit down and sing a few. You might be surprised at which classics the kids don’t yet know the words too.
- Watch Christmas Movies – We have our television favorites and I’m sure you do too. I love classics from my childhood (any Bass and Rankin fans?), in addition to old black and white favorites. Of course, my daughter loves her favorite animated friends on the big screen. But each year, there’s usually a special movie in theaters just in time for the holidays, and you can bet you’ll find us there! Yes, imagine buttered popcorn and an ice cold Diet Coke®. That’s a Christmas gift in itself.
Christmas Eve Holiday Traditions
Then Christmas Eve comes along and the kids can’t contain themselves. Family is arriving. The kids wear their Sunday best. And if you are lucky, white flakes might start to fall.
- Attend Christmas Church Services – While I do know many who attend on Christmas morning, I love starting off Christmas Eve with this special time.
- Leave Santa some Cookies and Milk
- Leave Rudolph and Pals some Carrots – Yes, we don’t forget our animal friends in this house. They get carrots (or celery if we are out) and a bowl of water.
- Find out Where Santa Is – Use one of the apps available to track that Santa Claus down. Is he in Europe? Has he made it across the Atlantic Ocean yet? Time to get kiddos to bed!
This holiday season, include Coca-Cola® as part of your tradition. Pick up Sprite® 4 pack 2 Liter, Diet Coke® 4 Pack 2 Liter, Coca-Cola® 35 pack cans, or Coca-Cola® 30 pack Mini Cans beverages from Sam’s Club, then upload your receipt for a chance to WIN a trip for two to Los Angeles featuring:
- An exclusive red-carpet screening of The Greatest Showman, plus pre-show performance
- Round trip air transportation for two (2)
- Two (2) 20th Century Fox goodie bags
- Three (3) nights’ luxury accommodations in a Hollywood hotel
- VIP backstage tour of Fox Studios with lunch at the on-site restaurant
- Full on-site assistance from a personal winner manager throughout the trip
Don’t miss this incredible opportunity!
What Are Favorite Family Holiday Traditions That You Have?
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