The Little Things Add Up To Big Memories
We have all heard the expression, “It’s the little things.” I love the little things! Sometimes little things wind up being big memories and little things can make someone’s day. Friends, what exactly ARE the little things, though? What do you enjoy? What are the little things that seem to make all the difference? Here is a list of some little things that I and my family enjoy during the holiday season.
1. Put the Christmas tree up, as a family
My mom and dad started this and it has become a tradition in our family. Instead of one person putting up the tree and holiday decorations, we ALL do it. We put on Christmas music, we take pictures and videos. It has become something that the kids and the adults look forward to. We also take it down as a family.
2. Bake cookies
Oh, I LOVE the smell of baking cookies! You know what’s even better than baking cookies? Eating cookies! Oh, wait… I meant baking them with the kids. Every year, the kids love making sugar cookies or gingerbread cookies and using the cookie cutters to cut them out into little shapes. This year, I have some “ninja bread” cookies to try that I got in a kit from Walmart. There has been MUCH excitement over it. I’m not really sure WHY they are so much cooler because they are ninjas, but to little boys, they are. I love the looks on their faces and the fun that they have when we do this together. It also incorporates math and reading skills, so bonus on this one because it has some educational value!
3. Look at Christmas lights
This one is another tradition. When I was a kid, we would have Christmas on Christmas Eve with one of my grandparents and then we would all pile in the car and drive around and look at Christmas lights. Then, we would go to the park and walk through some of the larger light displays. It was cold, but it was very fun. We still enjoy doing that with our kids now.
4. Ice Skating
Last year one of our local parks put up a seasonal ice skating rink outdoors. It was quite affordable (I think around $5 per kid or so for 45 mins). The kids loved it! I think we went twice. The rink was actually Teflon, which I found quite interesting. No risk of melting that way! They skated around and then we got hot chocolate. There was a bonus for this one too… they went to bed and slept very soundly that night!
5. Movie night
We love our holiday movie night. Turn out the lights, pop popcorn (over the stove, because hubby insists that it tastes 100 times better that way), and eat pizza while we watch a holiday movie. This one can be done at home, or you could go see one in the theater. Last year we went and saw Star Wars in the theater. It was a bit pricier that way, but still fun! I also love the discount theaters for this option.
6. Let the kids have a “camp out” in front of the Christmas tree
The night after we decorated the Christmas tree last year, my oldest son asked if he and his brother could “camp out.” They made a pallet on the floor and slept in front of the Christmas tree. You could fix this one up with a blanket fort or indoor tent if you wanted. They definitely had a great time!
7. Let the kids buy Christmas presents for each other (separately).
This does not have to be a lot of money. It could be as simple as taking them to the Dollar tree and giving them each a certain amount of money. It could be more elaborate than that; whatever the budget allows. I love this because it gets them thinking about giving instead of getting, and they have to think of what someone else would like. My kids are always excited when one is opening the present from the other. The shopping trip also gives them an opportunity for alone time with a parent. Make this quality time by being interested in whatever your child is saying and discussing things with them.
8. Have a date night with your spouse
I love this one too. The kids go stay with a relative and we have a date night. Win-win. The kids usually have a blast with whatever relative keeps them and my husband and I have some alone time together.
9. Do a DIY Christmas present
One year, we made salt dough ornaments for various family members. 3 or 4 years later, they are still holding together too! I used a recipe I found from “The Happy Housewife” blog. Click here for the link!
Another year, we made handprints in plaster of Paris and painted them, and we have also painted shirts. Again, this one shifts the kid’s focus on giving instead of getting, and it also saves money because you are not buying separate gifts for everyone from the kids. The grandparents are especially appreciative of this type of thing.
10. Hot Chocolate, Hot Apple Cider, Hot tea
Yes, I know this one is another that is in the food category. I still love these. They just spell out comfort food and holidays to me. I will make separate posts with the recipes for the homemade hot chocolate and the homemade hot apple cider. There is just something very comforting about a warm beverage on a cold day. It seems to warm your whole insides.
What are some little things that you and your family enjoy? Leave me a comment below. I would love to hear from you!