I don’t have the sharpest memory, to be honest, so the things I remember are the holiday traditions we did year by year. Snapshots of my childhood. Traditions create memories and make the holidays the best time to be a kid! We’re still establishing family holiday traditions in our home, so our kids can look forward eagerly to the holidays each year!
Traditions create memories and make the holidays the best time to be a kid!
Kids are wired for wonder. Our boys love driving home through the dark, trying to spot where a new set of lights have sprung up on a house in our neighborhood.
Cutting our own Christmas tree is the kickoff to the holidays. They anticipate the annual trip to the tree farm, tromping around to find just the right tree. By now they know to look for one just a little taller than their dad. This year, we allowed them a lot more responsibility in hanging ornaments, and nothing got broken!
Another tradition we have in early December, is taking the boys to see “the trees” – our local art gallery’s Festival of Trees show, and they get to wander through galleries filled with Christmas trees and crafts!
Those are our standard “must-do” Christmas traditions, but we also try new activities. This year, because our boys love spending time outdoors, we took a trip to their cousins’ house in the woods to have an outdoor decorating party! (Believe me, if we had pine trees in our backyard, they’d ALL be decorated!).
A pine tree is a like a blank canvas of possibility. I loved watching the boys decide where to put the ornaments. Or, suddenly begin a candy cane tossing game to see who could hook a candy cane on a branch! See, it’s this kind of silly impromtu fun that makes the holidays the best time to be a kid – kids can let loose their creativity at this time of year!
Letting kids decorate is a simple and creative play opportunity where every child can get involved at their level. There’s no one way to play – just let the tinsel and glitter fly!
The boys spent a happy hour with a basket of vintage-y ornaments, decking a tree out in bright colors of celebration. Their little noses and cheeks got a bit pink, but they stayed warm, thanks to winter play clothes from Gymboree! Knit sweaters and lined pants, fleecy button-downs and fleece lined boots kept them toasty.
My youngest dislikes jeans intensely. So I was happy to find sweater fleece joggers that don’t look so much like sweatpants. He was happy because the white flecks reminded him of snow. I was happy how the thick quality of the pants would keep him warm.
We paired it with Gymboree’s Incredi-soft Fleece button-down – they need to make blankets out of this stuff. It is so warm! My five year old says this is his favorite outfit because of the orange stripes (orange is his favorite color). And that geometric bear hoodie – I don’t think he took it off for three days! But I think his outfit is my favorite because it reflects the colors, patterns and coziness of winter.
My older son is a lot easier to please with clothing – he’ll wear anything. He picked out a fair isle cardigan with a snowflake motif and lined cargo pants. A blue waffle knit tee gave him a layer of warmth underneath. He loves how the sweater gives him a more “grown-up” look! (And I love that it’s still comfortable for him to play in!).
I love how their wintery play outfits came together!! I don’t always get very matchy-matchy with them, but do you notice how their hats reflect each other’s outfits? Having matching duck boots coordinated their looks (and those boots will come into play later when snow comes!). Plus the outfits are so cute, I got really sweet pictures for the Christmas card while they played!
And of course… adding hot cocoa into every holiday tradition is a must.
I know by preserving a simple routine of holiday traditions, we’re building a storehouse of memories for my kids. And we’re creating an atmosphere of anticipation as the season begins. Isn’t the best part of being a kid during Christmas that fizzy-build up of excitement!? Kids don’t really realize this yet, but we know, it’s in the waiting where we truly enjoy the special moments!
And… it’s easy to shop for those special moments at Gymboree. They carry all the cute and cozy clothes you’ll want for this holiday – whether taking family photos, visiting relatives, or enjoying outdoor fun. Or, maybe just staying cozy in your pajamas on a snow day!
Shop online or in their stores to see their full collection of kids clothing (and their sale prices are crazy amazing! Plus you can earn GymBucks too!).
Check out Gymboree’s latest styles for kids and comment below on what your favorite holiday outfit for your kids would be or share one of your family traditions with me! I love getting new ideas!
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Thanks to Gymboree for sending products and a gift card in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.