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8 Fun Family Holiday Traditions For Older Kids & Teens

My kids are getting older and some of our traditions from when they were little are no longer things they enjoy doing at Christmas time. So we’ve had to adjust our holiday traditions and add new ones as the kids age so everyone still has fun. I miss the days of watching Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer, making Reindeer food to sprinkle on the lawn, reading A Night Before Christmas…the good old days. But times change, kids grow up, and we have to adapt. 


1 Jingles the Elf- my little kids still love Jingles the Elf on a Shelf. Jingles isn’t a naughty elf though, she just moves throughout the house to new locations every night to keep a watch over the family. The big kids get involved by coming up with new and creative places for Jingles to sit and the little kids like to search for her every morning. 

2. Family Movie Nights- we are big movie lovers in this house and Christmas time gives us a lot of movies to choose from. I recently shared our favorite holiday movies and we also watch a lot of the Christmas movies on ABC Family. We light a fire, make crockpot hot chocolate, and eat Christmas cookies or Grinch Crunch Popcorn, snuggle under warm blankets, and enjoy our favorite movies. 

3. Christmas Lights- the kids no longer want to do the long drive through the Christmas town that is about 45 minutes away from our house. So we compromise because I don’t want to give up the tradition totally. Instead of hot chocolate from home we make a stop at Starbucks (Peppermint Mochas for the big people, and Peppermint Hot Cocoa for the little people) and drive around a few of the neighborhoods near us while listening to Christmas music (Penatonix Christmas album, anyone? So amazing!).

4. Christmas Cookies Decorating Party- the kids all have a favorite kind of cookie so starting this year they are going to help me make their favorite cookies. Then we’ll have their friends over to help decorate all the cookies to give as gifts to the neighbors. 

5. Giving Back- we always choose several children off the Angel Tree to buy gifts for but as the kids get older I want to do more. I want them to understand that it is always better to give than to receive and Christmas time is the perfect opportunity to really drive that message home in children. This year we all participated in making care packages for the homeless, we have committed to providing 5 Christmas boxes for local foster children, we are collecting coats from family and friends for a local coat drive, and we are continuing to do the Angel tree. I hope my kids grow up with a heart for serving others!

6. Ice Skating- our city has a beautiful ice rink in the winter time set up right in our uptown. We park at Matt’s workplace parking garage for free, and try our luck on ice skates. It’s gorgeous with all the lights and the huge city Christmas tree set up. The kids love it. 

7. Christmas Shows- this year we are taking the kids to see the A Christmas Carol at the Children’s Theatre, we are going to see the Singing Christmas Tree, and we’re going to watch Polar Express in 4D. It’s really nice to be able to sit through shows now without kids getting bored. 

8. Snowman Breakfast– one of our newest traditions is to do a Snowman breakfast the morning of Christmas Eve. We make Snowman shaped pancakes, snowmen out of powdered donuts and straws, and white hot chocolate. I think the kids will love this!

I just love the Christmas season and I hope we’re making a lot of life lasting memories for our kids. My wish is that one day they will continue a few of these traditions with their own kids. 


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