Spring is officially here and after a lot of indoor activities, we can't wait to…
Starting and continuing family traditions during the holidays can be so rewarding. Our family has our own set of holiday traditions and our kids look forward to them every year! We have compiled a list of things you and your family might find fun to do during the holidays. Maybe you do it once, maybe you will start an annual tradition. Either way, have some fun experimenting!
Cut your own Christmas Tree
Here are some farms to choose from:
Little Hills Christmas Tree Farm (now 2 locations), Petaluma
Larsen’s Christmas Tree Farm, Petaluma
Reindeer Ridge, Sebastopol
Garlock Tree Farm, Sebastopol
Victorian Christmas Tree Ranch, Sebastopol
Grandma Buddy’s Christmas Trees, Sebastopol
Frosty Mountain Tree Farm, Sebastopol
Santa’s Trees, Sebastopol
Celesta Farm, Sebastopol
Moon Mountain, Sonoma
Write a letter to Santa Claus
Our kids tell Santa about at least 1 good deed they did that year and then ask him for what they want. You can send them to Santa Claus in Santa Claus, Indiana (yes, there is a town called Santa Claus) and they will answer your child’s letter. Or there are lots of sites out there where you can get personalized responses from Santa but you might have to pay. Also, USPS has Santa mail program where the kids will get a response. More info: USPS Santa Mail
Buy a new Christmas ornament
We try to buy a new ornament for the tree each year. Christmas Fantasia in Petaluma has a wonderful selection to choose from.
Have your kids grant a Secret Santa Wish.
Take your kids to go pick a wish from the Secret Santa tree, help them purchase the gift, wrap it, and turn it in. It’s amazing how much they get into “giving” more than “receiving.”
Camp out in front of the Christmas Tree.
Lay the kids sleeping bags around the tree and tell Holiday stories as a family. Parents can camp too!
Host a Gingerbread House Decorating Party
Homemade Secret Santa
Each member of the family draws a name (keep it secret) and gives that person something homeade for Christmas.
Pay it Forward
Buy someone’s coffee or meal, make someone’s layaway payment, buy someone’s gas. Kids can do it too ~ buy someone’s hot lunch at school.
Elf on the Shelf
Make Gingerbread Man Cookies
Go check out Christmas lights
Every year we make hot cocoa and popcorn and pile in the car to check out everyone’s decorations. Petaluma puts out a map of homes to look at on December 1st. There are a couple of crazy homes in Rohnert Park that are a must see. And don’t forget Candy Cane Lane in Santa Rosa. Check out our Christmas Lights Event with a list of local decorated homes.
Donate old toys
Help your child sort through their old toys and donate them. Makes room for new Christmas toys too.
Christmas Eve Traditions:
Open 1 Christmas Eve Gift. The kids get to open 1 Christmas Eve gift; ours always contains the same thing: pair of new jammies, a book, a Christmas movie, hot cocoa, and a candy cane.
Make cookies for Santa. Leave them out with a note. Don’t forget to take some bites!
Make reindeer food. Reindeer food = oats + sprinkles + glitter; sprinkle out on the front lawn.
Draw names for Christmas jobs. Draw names for who will play Santa Claus on Christmas morning, who gets to pick the Christmas movie, who gets to read Twas the Night Before Christmas, etc.