With 4 boys, 6 and younger, along with Autism and Sensory Integration Disorder, we live a busy and crazy life, but we find time to create our own family traditions. Here are some super simple Christmas traditions that we do every year. They are cheap, free, and/or easy!
- We create our own advent calendar from toilet paper rolls.
It is super simple. I tore a piece of cardboard from a box while I allowed the boys to cut and tear the toilet paper rolls into 3’s. I then poured white glue on a plate, let the boys swirl around one end of the roll in the glue, coating the entire circle. Then they placed the cut rolls on the cardboard. We let this dry overnight (with weight on top) and then taped the tissue paper squares over each roll. It doesn’t always look pretty, but we made it together.
Each day has an EASY activity that we decided together while making the calendar, such as: watch a Christmas movie with popcorn, go to a new park, drive around to see Christmas lights, and a few of the rolls have candy in them.
- We decorate the tree together.
I spend 30 minutes ALONE unpacking all the non-breakable ornaments. I lay out a towel and place each ornament on the towel. The boys are then allowed to pick up one ornament at a time and place it on the tree.
Our tree is not perfectly decorated, but it brings so much joy to all my boys to know that they decorated it by themselves. I do NOT move the ornaments when we are done. This is their tree too, and after all, Christmas is more about them than having a perfectly decorated tree.
- We build gingerbread houses.
Buying kits gets expensive when there are 4 kids plus adults, so we use graham crackers. You can find a tutorial on Pinterest. Below is a pic that gives you an idea as to how we do this. I simply pre-cut the crackers into the correct shape and put each “kit” into a baggie. You can also turn over sugar ice cream cones and make Christmas trees with green frosting and candy decorations. This is a bit easier for the younger ones.
- We make homemade ornaments every year.
You can buy kits for this, or you can cut out card stock paper, glue a picture on it, and tie a ribbon to hang it. I buy kits after Christmas each year. They’re super cheap, and the stores usually have cute ones left.
We have made picture ornaments, handmade snowflake ornaments, beaded ones, the possibilities are endless. Plus, the kids get excited to see all the past ornaments up on the tree.
Sometimes traditions can be tough when the holidays get crazy, but I challenge you to do one thing with your child every year, no matter how small. It can be taking one picture, getting hot cocoa…make your every day non-challenging activities into yearly traditions that your kids will remember forever. Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy these easy holiday traditions!