Do try these at home! They have brought us so much joy and love, and we hope that they do the same for your family. So – carefully curated for your benefit – here are our three favourit-est (this should be a word!) ideas:
1. Everyone bring/send something for the Christmas tree
Every year, it’s a lot of fun setting up the Christmas tree and in our family, when we first got married, we did something by accident that ended up having a big impact that continues fifteen years later. We asked everyone who came in to our house to visit for the holidays to bring something we can add to the tree. We also asked people to send us ornaments in lieu of gifts.
It’s how we ended up with a collection of all of the Hallmark Star Wars Collectible Keepsake Ornaments* (people seem to know we love Star Wars!), most of the Pier1 Imports’ collection of Christmas balls (we love the Cheer1 Imports catalog*), as well as an awesomely eclectic set of creative takes on what can go up on a Christmas tree – from handmade paper snowflakes, to a rock climbing carabiner with a red bow, to the Incredible Hulk action figure.
This little idea led to so many wonderful moments of surprise, with the bonus that they get re-played every time we unpack things the next year! So many great memories of fun events and people come flooding back and Christmas becomes more and more about family and friends, as our tree develops more and more of a unique personality.
2. Send Christmas tree ornaments to family and friends
This can be one lovely and inexpensive thing to send to family and friends. Ornaments are often small, light and travel well and – related to the number one above – are something that can be resurfaced year to year.
Especially when hand-made by kids, these are some of the most memorable and cherished gifts people love (and there are tons of surveys showing that). All you need is glitter glue and paper or inexpensive balls from crafts store or even cooked spaghetti that has been allowed to harden – see our Pinterest page on how to make Spaghetti Ornaments and other suggestions).
3. Storytelling from Christmas tree ornaments
We have made that into a game you can play anywhere there is a tree with more than just decorative balls (great place to play this if not at home is with trees in Christmas store displays or at the Festival of Trees for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation* at the Four Seasons, Vancouver). Each player chooses three items from a given tree and then challenges another to make up a 5 min story about those three items. And then you reverse until everyone has had at least one turn.
It’s like a Rory’s Story cubes* for the holidays (we love that game in both original and action editions). Some of the family’s favorite stories come from the mad line up of events trying to make sense of how the three items are connected. And the youngest players are sometimes the ones who outshine the rest of us – so put your fast thinking cap on!
And what are your best ever traditions related to Christmas tree?
Alexandra T. Greenhill, MOM MD, CEO of myBestHelper, best place to find great child and home care – and super busy getting ready for a fun family holiday time!
* Note: we don’t make money off any recommendations we make