Meaningful Holiday Traditions For Young Children

Emerson (2) glues the ornaments on trees for holiday cards to send his friends.

Emerson (2) glues the ornaments on trees for holiday cards to send his friends.

Young children undoubtedly sense the holiday season. They can see the lights going up on houses throughout the neighborhood. They overhear holiday greetings being exchanged between adults. There’s a sense of holiday cheer mixed with holiday stress surrounding many of us. They might see the commercials or hear the songs changing on the radio station during the car ride.

There are many ways our children begin to identify what the holiday season means. They get ideas from all around us. Many people adopt the traditions passed down from family or even traditions started as a childless couple… but how do we mark these holidays in meaningful ways for our young children? How do we establish traditions that allow us to step into a magical place together to enjoy the season as a family? How can we instill in our children a connection to the season that goes beyond gifts and days off of school?

With 2 young children of my own, it has become increasingly important for me to think about ways to make the holidays fun and meaningful for our family. I want them to anticipate these special moments each year and experience simple ways to have fun together and connect with others. For us, one tradition we have adopted is making handmade cards for friends. This isn’t your typical holiday card exchange as we specifically made cards for Emerson’s friends that he has played with throughout the year. We tag teamed to do all the folding, cutting, glueing and coloring and spread some cheer kiddo to kiddo.

On my search for traditions we can adopt and enjoy, I reached out to some other lovely mothers who share their favorite meaningful holiday traditions with little ones. You’ll find below a section for non-location specific, and a section for those of you reading from Columbus (OHIO!) I can’t wait to hear what ideas you love and what new ideas you have to contribute (make sure to leave yours in the comments!)

Traditions You Can Do Anywhere

Gifts from the heart always make the best gifts for loved ones. Especially with young kids, having something they can create and be proud of brings an extra glimmer of excitement to the season. Eryn from 614MOM shares how her family incorporates a handmade touch to a holiday gift exchange.

Looking to step away from the gifts and the holiday bustle and put that money towards an experience with the family? Many people are opting for holiday travel traditions and loving it. Madison of The Mouse Mama shares 4 Reasons to Make Travel a Family Christmas Tradition.

Do you have a child who loves to perform? Perhaps being apart of a holiday production would be a fitting tradition! The whole family can beam with pride watching the loved one on stage. There are many productions throughout most larger cities in the winter months. Lindsay from Fit Where You Fit shares her daughter’s experience in a Nutcracker production here.

We can all picture the sack of toys that St. Nick carries, but what about a special bag of holiday books to bring the family together throughout the holiday season? Mary from Mission to Save shares why this holiday tradition has been a hit with her children through the years and shares the books her family loves most!

Looking to mix a favorite activity with a random act of kindness? You have to read what Abby of Cbus Momma does to bring the fun of holiday lights together with sharing some holiday cheer with a stranger. Check out their Christmas Tradition here!

We can’t talk about the holiday season without finding the best cookie recipes out there! Look no farther, because Kim at Wear Love Wanders has you covered with five of the best holiday cookie recipes that are sure to be a hit in your house! Grab your ingredients, an apron for the kiddos (or not!) and enjoy!

Easy Keepsake Chalkboard Ornament

Easy Keepsake Chalkboard Ornament

DIY ornaments are always a hit, but these Easy Keepsake Chalkboard Ornaments are absolutely adorable! I automatically fell in love with this homemade ornament idea from Melissa at Fireflies and Mudpies. Make sure you also check out this important read on the non-tangible gifts you can give your kids to stay connected and and strengthen family relationships.

The holiday season means we are coming upon a new year! As adults we have a number of New Year traditions and activities, but what a great time to connect with our children and celebrate with them as well! Alison of Radiance Reflected gives you some ideas on bringing in the New Year with children and also includes a tasty recipe you’ll love!

Celebrating in Columbus, OH.

Photo: Eastontowncenter.com

Photo: Eastontowncenter.com

If you are in Columbus, you know that the city knows how to provide a ton of great options for soaking up the season. These colder months in Ohio call for a good reason to get out and get moving. One great way? A holiday Christmas in Columbus Holiday Adventure! From things to do, things to see, and things to eat, Malini from Lakes and Lattes gives you a perfect guide to a fun adventurous day with the family in Columbus! Want to take it at your own pace? Whether it’s lights, trains or games that your children love there’s a way to incorporate it into a fun holiday tradition. Check out what Julie of What Should We Do Today Columbus shares about their 10 favorite Christmas traditions in the city and how Ashley of cbus4kids makes these 7 traditions throughout the city fun for her family.



As my son’s favorite stuffed Charlie Brown toy says: “This Christmas (or insert your winter holiday of choice!) is going to be the best yet. I just know it. All it needs is a little love.”

Be sure to share your favorite holiday tradition in the comments and let’s keep the ideas going! Commit with me to stepping back and remembering that this season is a great time to make memories together- big or small.