Kid-Friendly Christmas Traditions We Love

by Shannon Hembree on November 30, 2011

It’s that time of year again. Stores are selling their wares, people are embarrassing themselves at office holiday parties, and parents everywhere are warning their children that “Santa is watching!” Christmas is almost upon us, so it seemed only right to start a Christmas list. No, we’re not talking about who’s been naughty and who’s been nice (although we think that would be a fun list to make!); we’re talking about a list of fun things to do with kids this time of year.

Below are a few of our favorite Christmas traditions. We’re posting this early, because we want you to e-mail us at or comment on this post so we can add your favorite things, too. Enjoy!

NORAD Santa Tracker: The story about how NORAD started tracking Santa is adorable. The fact that you can track Santa’s Christmas Eve journey is awesome! Here is the history of the program and a link to the Santa Tracker. Again, awesome.

The Christmas Pickle: Yes, you read it right, it’s the Christmas Pickle. Rather than try and explain this one, we will retype the information directly from the tag that came with our Christmas Pickle. Yes, we are the type of people to save tags with special meaning…

“The Legend of the Christmas Pickle – This is a tradition that starts many years ago. The Christmas Tree was decorated with glass balls and ornaments. Among these decorations, one special pickle ornament was carefully placed within the boughs of the tree. On Christmas morning, the first child who finds the pickle gets an extra Christmas gift.”

Note: we don’t hide the Christmas Pickle until Christmas Eve after the kids go to bed.

Elf on the Shelf: OMG, OMG, OMG – we love this! A toy elf that “reports” back to Santa on who has been naughty and who has been nice. It actually sits in your house and “watches” your children. The creepiness factor of having an elf stalking your family is far surpassed by the value of telling your small children that one of Santa’s elves is stalking them AND monitoring their behavior. You may not even need timeouts until after the holidays… Check it out…

Toys for Tots: They wear uniforms. They collect toys to give to needy children for Christmas. What’s not to love? Still not convinced? Read on…“The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.” Toys for Tots is a great way to help needy children and to teach your own children about the joy of giving. Learn how you can help!

Christmas Cookies: It sounds ridiculous. Of course Christmas cookies are a part of Christmas, but have you ever baked them with your kids? We mean really baked them, not just letting them lick the spoon or stir a bit. This year, let them help you measure out the ingredients. Let them pour, mix, and decorate no matter the mess. It’s a memorable experience that is camera-worthy, even though you may wind up depositing a few in the nearest garbage can.

Letters and E-Mails To and From Santa: Hmmm…we haven’t done this, but we are intrigued. Have you? We found a million websites that promise to send personalized e-mails and letters to your child. If you have done it, what website did you use, and would you recommend it? Inquiring mama minds want to know…

So there you have it – a quick and dirty list of Christmas traditions we love. If you have suggestions for fun things to add, send them our way! We would love to add them to our list!

Happy Holidays from Mamas Against Drama!


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