The holidays are a great time for building traditions with our kids.

We are always looking for loving and fun activities with our children. The holidays are no different. No matter what your family structure; mom and dad, single mom, single dad, two dads, two moms or any other loving situation, celebrating Christmas is an opportunity to create traditions that will last for generations. Here are a few from our family to yours.

  1. Make up a song about anything they want (ours is about a happy horse who first jumps in mud and then jumps in water. Works wonders with getting them to bathe.
  2. Make snow angels or mud pies, jump in piles of leaves and surrender to the rain.
  3. Play board games like Clue (we like “The Nightmare Before Christmas” version), Monopoly, Apples to Apples or Poker.
  4. Lie on the floor, grab their hands, put your feet on their bellies and make them fly. Laughter will most assuredly ensue. After they get past the fear of you dropping them.

5. While making the bed, have them lie on the bottom sheet and repeatedly lower the top sheet over them while revealing a different funny face every time you lift it. There will be shrieks and giggles.

6. Piggy-back rides on the sidewalk in front of your house. Invite the neighbors to join.

7. Speak with British accents (or American ones if you’re British) and sing Christmas carols loudly and proudly with operatic voices.

8. Climb trees.

9. Read “The Night Before Christmas,”“Polar Express,”“Dream Snow” and “Santa Mouse” while sitting together in a cozy chair.

10. Write a note to Santa and leave treats (and cheese for Santa Mouse). Then make sure your kids see evidence of the missing treats and Santa’s (and Santa Mouse’s) response to their note.

11. Watch “Elf” while eating spaghetti with maple syrup and “Big Fat Liar” with painted blue faces.

12. Act out “The Lion King” in its entirety in your living room while listening to the Broadway soundtrack.

13. Have them teach you dance moves to their favorite songs and then wholeheartedly rock it.

14. Ask what makes each of them the most happy and grateful and then tell them they are your sun, stars and moon.

15. After opening presents on Christmas morning, make confetti out of wrapping paper.

16. Teach them how to vacuum.

17. Tell them your favorite childhood Christmas memory. Mine was how every Christmas Eve, just before going to bed, my dad would drive us around to look at Christmas lights. It was magical.

18. Jump on a trampoline in Santa hats.

19. Play dodgeball.

20. Ride bikes with bells on them.

21. Roller skate together in the wind and use a sheet for a sail.

22. Take turns telling jokes and stories by the fire. (What do you call a singing elf? The best “wrapper” in the North Pole!”)

23. Bake cookies, pies, cakes and homemade mac and cheese together.

24. Snuggle in a blanket by the Christmas tree and whisper about wishes and dreams.

25. Wear red lipstick. All of you. Then kiss each other fiercely on the cheeks.

26. Hug them and squeeze them and tell them they are capable of anything and everything.

27. Say “I love you” 25 times.

What are your favorite holiday activities?

Originally published at on December 24, 2016.

Originally published at