Creating Christmas Traditions

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Slow down to weave lasting memories in your home ... ones your kids can carry on.

This time of year allows you to weave together magical moments with your family. Don’t let the holidays pass you by without first creating Christmas traditions to last through the years

Read Christmas Books
Nothing like snuggling up together with a good book. Unplug the household machines and set aside 20 minutes an evening during the holiday break to read together. And, on Christmas Eve, create a tradition of reading  ’Twas the Night Before Christmas together.

Make a Saturday Baking Day
Your children will adore being in on your baking and participating in the decorating year after year. Favorite kid cookies include butter cookie cut-outs, peanut butter balls with a chocolate kiss and lots of others. Let the kids sift, measure, spread, decorate, eat!

Candy Cane Magic
One way children know that Santa has been there for sure is by discovering all the candy canes he leaves behind on the tree!

Make A Yearly Ornament
The Internet is loaded with great ideas for creating your own family ornament each year. Set aside one afternoon or evening to get this done and be sure to personalize it with your family name and the year. These will become a precious collection in years to come.

Make Homemade Presents
Christmas is about giving and not about how expensive a gift is. Make extra treats to put in a holiday tin and deliver them to a special family. Or get creative and show off your special talents by making jewelry, candles, soap, etc. The Internet is loaded with ideas for homemade gifts.

Attend a Christmas Eve Service
Eat dinner before or after, get dressed up in your Christmas Eve wear and head to church with your community. When you get home, have everyone sit around the Christmas tree, relishing in the glow of the night.

Set A Date, Trim The Tree
Select a date with your family that becomes your traditional “get the tree” date. Make it firm, year after year no matter what. Make hot chocolate, put on music and, after Mom or Dad strings the lights, let the kids decorate with their ornaments. They’ll put them all over the bottom of the tree, but who cares? You can come around when they’re sleeping and adjust it if you simply have to and then add your breakable precious ornaments up high.

kringle cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder

Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, mix until just combined. Add flour and baking powder in intervals. Divide dough into four equal parts, shape into four disks, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate one hour or until firm. Preheat oven to 375; lightly grease baking sheet. Roll out dough between two sheets of waxed paper, about 1/4 inch thick for crispier cookies and 1/3 inch thick for softer cookies. Cut out shapes with your favorite holiday cookie cutters and place on baking sheet. Bake seven to eight minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool for one minute, then place on wire wrack. Decorate with your favorite icing. Makes approximately two dozen goodies.


peppermint candy wreath
1 or 2 large bags of peppermint
candies (circle kind)
1 round foam wreath
hot glue
red ribbon

With your foam wreath, take a peppermint candy and glue it right to the edge of the outer part. Parents will need to help do this so that the children don’t get burned by the glue. Continue gluing peppermints around in a circle and then do the same for another ring of peppermints going inward. You can make as many rings of peppermints as you like. Take red ribbon and make a pretty bow to glue at the top in the center of the mints. Set aside to dry completely.

Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.

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