Easy Christmas Traditions You Can Start With Your Kids

It’s almost Christmas! And with that, at least in my house, comes traditions. Since this is the first year we have a child in the home, both my husband and I are both very exciting to start implementing traditions from our own childhoods, as well as starting new ones.

Are you wondering what Christmas traditions to start in your home? I know I went searching the internet to find ideas when I found out I was pregnant (I found out last July…I love Christmas, okay?) Look no further! This post has TONS of ideas for you and your family.

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I’ve collaborated with a few other mom bloggers, asking them the Christmas traditions they want to start or already do.

Easy Christmas traditions you can start with your kids

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. Purchasing through these links will not increase your individual price. However, you will be helping a fellow blogger out.

Heather’s Christmas Traditions - Old fashioned fun

When I found I was pregnant, I was excited for the obvious reasons but also because I couldn’t wait to implement some of the traditions we did as a kid. I couldn’t wait for Christmas specifically. Our little guy is 7 months old and will be 9 months when Christmas rolls around, but that’s ok! We want to start our traditions early so that he remembers them from a young age.

Picking a tree & decorating
We will have a specified day where we will go pick a tree, then come home and decorate the tree and the house. I always did this as a kid and it was one of my favorite days! While decorating, we’d play Christmas music and have hot chocolate on the stove. This can also be a great tradition even if you already have a fake tree. Just pick a day to decorate it and your house!

Christmas Eve
On Christmas Eve, my mom would always pick out a present for us to open – it was usually pajamas. Then we’d watch the original Grinch cartoon movie. I plan on doing this same thing – except I want to start making a Grinch hot chocolate – green hot chocolate with heart sprinkles! Then my kids can open a gift of my choosing (probably pj’s) and then we can watch the Grinch together before going to bed.

Looking at Christmas Lights
I definitely want to drive around looking at Christmas lights. It’s always so peaceful to me to just drive slowly and take in the pretty lights and snow (if you live in a snowy area). I’d love to bring a thermos of hot cocoa and play Christmas music while we drive around. Plus, I live in the Chicagoland area and that means we’re near the Home Alone house! My plan is to drive around that neighborhood and look at the lights over there since it’s a very nice area.

It’s these little things that not only make me nostalgic for when I was a kid, but really put me in the Christmas spirit. The best part is: these things don’t cost much money! Not only that, but they are so easy to implement. Your kids will love having small things like these to look forward to every year. I can’t wait to introduce these traditions to our little one – they are something I always did as a kid and are very important to me so I hope he will cherish them as much as I do.

Buy less, love more

Who am I?

I am a stay at home mommy & founder Slice of Ky.

I know being a SAHM, you do a lot. Yes, you do earn your rights to hubby’s money, but I can’t be the only one that feels bad about that….right? I grew up in a household that didn’t have much money to blow. I am a proud survivor of dollar tree (gasp!) and “you’re only getting 5 things” (double gasp!) Christmas’s.

Luckily, it’s a little easier to dip into hubby’s pocket when it’s gifts for your kids. This is actually Evelyn’s first Christmas! She will be 10 months old AND I AM SO EXCITED. I know everybody’s present situation will be slightly different. Some families have the extra money to spend, while some families will not be able to provide much – but that’s okay! I’ve briefly talked to my husband about what we’ll be getting her. I say briefly because it’s basically me just rambling to him while he gives me a few “uh-hums” and “sures.” I am hoping we are able to set a foundation for later holiday seasons in life.
Basic kiddo present guideline:

  • Something they need

  • Something to wear

  • Something to read

  • Something they want

The Holidays don’t need to be full blown in order to make cherished memories. We are intending on focusing on the time spent with family, not the overabundance of gifts. Netflix, hot cocoa, and picturessounds fairly surreal to me! I am so incredibly excited to start this Christmas tradition. I hope one day my sweet little Evelyn can do the same for her children!

Check out the full post at Holiday shopping guide for the SAHM

In a Pickle

Who Am I?

I am the mom behind My Favorite Job Title is Mom, and I currently live in northern California.

My Tradition

My favorite Christmas tradition is one that my family did when my sister and I were little, and I plan to introduce my son to the tradition as soon as he’s old enough. The tradition is finding a hidden pickle ornament on the tree. The ornament is hidden after the children go to bed on Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning, the first child to find the Pickle ornament gets an extra gift. In our family this was candy when we were little and a Starbucks gift card when we got older. For a single child, the pickle ornament has to be found before presents can be opened.

The History

We started doing this tradition because our family is German and supposedly it’s a German tradition known as Weihnachtsgurke. However, few people in Germany have actually heard of this. No one is exactly sure where this tradition came from. The most likely story is that Woolworth’s stores started selling glass ornaments imported from Germany in the 1880s. These ornaments were shaped like various fruit and vegetables, and pickles were likely among the selection. A salesman found himself with a lot of pickle ornaments to sell and thus invented the tradition. There are two other stories associated with this tradition, but they are probably a little too far-fetched to be accurate.
1.) A soldier fighting in the American Civil War was born in Bavaria. He became a prisoner of war and begged the guard for one last pickle before he died. The guard gave him one and the pickle gave him the strength to live on.
2.) Two Spanish boys were traveling home for the holidays and stopped at an inn. The innkeeper killed the boys and put them in a pickle barrel. When St. Nicholas stopped at the inn, he found the boys and brought them back to life.

Current Status

Regardless of its origin, the pickle ornament has become a major part of Christmas tradition in America. Pickle ornaments are widely available in a variety of sizes. This can be helpful so that for little kids you can use a larger ornament and you can use smaller ornaments as the kids get older. Pickle ornaments can still be purchased in the original glass material; however, they are also available in metal and plastic varieties for households with young kids and pets. Some cities have even become part of the tradition! Berrien Springs, Michigan is known as the Christmas Pickle Capital of the World. The city even has a pickle festival during the first part of December.

As for My Family

My son won’t quite be a year old yet as of Christmas, so he may still be a little young to take part this year. However, by next year, he will learn to be a pickle-finding expert. However, there will still be a pickle to find, as my mother hides a pickle for my sister, me and our significant others to search for. The winner still gets a gift card and it’s just as competitive as it was when we were kids.

Salt Dough Ornaments

Who am I?


When I was a child, I would make some kind of craft to give away to my loved ones for Christmas. Some years I created ornaments, baked goods, or made a Christmas decoration for each family member. It meant a lot to be able to give something that I made.

As a result, I have started my own kiddos young with the tradition. My first attempts at doing salt dough ornaments with them were quite messy and comical. If you are interested in reading how to make these cute ornaments, check out my blog post. It’s a very honest and real post about the process it takes to make these with young kids here in the U.S. up north in cold Minnesota.

Check out the full post with the link below!


Cassie’s Christmas Tradition - A religious take

Who am I?

Cassie from White Sands & Cool Breezes

I remember growing up that our biggest Christmas tradition was going to midnight mass. We’d either stay up until it was time to go, just watching tv, and/or listening to music, or we’d go ahead and go to bed then get up, get ready then go to mass. We’d go straight to bed after we’re got home from church. In the morning we’d see what was in our stockings first. Then someone, this became me as we got older and is still, would pass out all the presents. We’d spend the rest of the morning opening presents and playing with them. Mid afternoon we’d have our big Christmas dinner: turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, green bean casserole, rolls of some sort and for dessert pumpkin pie. We would then take a much deserved and wonderful nap:) the rest of the day was playing with our presents, watching tv and just spending time as a family. As we got older we started adding in going to see a movie at some point too!

An Untraditional Tradition

Who am I?

Raina from Kentuckian Momma

Not every family tradition is, well, traditional. Such is the case in my family.

First, let me tell you a little about my Grandmother who started this tradition. She was born in the 1920’s, so she was raised during the Great Depression. She has always been a practical person. Not to say that she won’t get you something for the fun of it because she does have an amazing sense of humor. This tradition is steeped in basic necessity. It is the most basic of necessities that she wants to make sure that both the men and the women in family have met at least once per year. The men get socks. However, for the ladies, we have the Panty Tree. Yes, a Panty Tree! I mean everyone needs underwear right?!?!

Once a girl in the family hits the age of 8-10, she is allowed to participate in everyone’s favorite holiday tradition. Well, at least it’s the favorite in my family. We have run the gamut from literal granny panties to thongs and everything in between. We try to keep things more in the brief, binkini, and hipster family of Women’s underwear since those will actually get worn. Although, Grandma loves buying them, we have delegated the task to one of our female cousins. By doing this, we ensure that we will have sizes and styles that everyone wears. All panties are numbered and hung from a stick in a pot (aka a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree) or, more commonly, a hanger built for air drying undies. We take turns drawing numbers. Then, in dramatic fashion, the lady in charge (usually a cousin) calls out numbers. This is done in no particular order. She just grabs the first pair of panties and calls the number on them out. Usually, we reserve the most comical pair for almost last to keep the suspense going. In the end, we all get a good laugh, a new pair of panties, and another blessed year with our Grandmother.

easy Christmas traditions you can start with your kids

I hope you were able to take away at least one idea from this; there are so many great ideas here! Comment with your favorite Christmas tradition!

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10 Educational Toys Your Toddler Really Needs

Before we dive into the list of educational toys, I'd like to say a massive "Thank you" to Heather for allowing me to invade her lovely little blog. But don't you worry it's just for the day. Her article is listed on my blog. If you're wondering who am I? Hi, I'm Kinga - a mommy to a lovely little boy and a HUGE coffee lover. I blog about motherhood and how to be a successful mompreneur at Kingascorner.com Enough about me, now let's get back to today's article, shall we? I am constantly searching for toys for my little one. I don't mean just simple toys, but educational toys that can really teach him something. This is extremely important for them (children in general) as they learn everything through playing. The below list is formed out of toys that we already own (exceptions apply) and my baby loves playing with them. There are a few that are "too advanced" for his age, but it doesn't really matter. We're still having fun and learning with them. I just have to watch him closely so he won't put stuff in his mouth, that doesn't really belong there!

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10 educational toys for your toddler

*** this post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you decide to use them I'll get a small compensation (at no extra cost to you). However, all the opinions are my own! For more click here.***

1. Building blocks

This is one of the things we don't have at the moment, but we have something similar. But we have it on our wish list if that counts. We've introduced to him wooden blocks at around 10 months. We already have had a Jenga game around the house and we decided to let him play with the pieces. That's the main reason why we haven't bought the actual building blocks, yet. So why stacking blocks is beneficial for your baby? It develops hand-eye coordination, but most importantly this will teach your baby the basics of geometry. Always a bonus, no?

2. Shape sorting cube

A shape sorter is a perfect toy to develop baby's problem-solving skills. It also encourages logical thinking in order to solve a problem or a puzzle. I introduced him with one of these toys about 2 months ago and he loved it. He doesn't really know what to put where, but if I show him what piece to put where he will do it. Sometimes he stacks them one on top of each other and he's so happy, he even claps. There are many benefits of this toy, besides the obvious ones like learning about colours and shapes. It can also teach them about the "cause & effect", it can develop problem-solving and fine motor skills. Another great thing about this little toy is that you can create one of your own at home. It doesn't really need to be perfect, as long as it's safe for your baby, you're good to go!

3. Wooden puzzle

I'm mostly referring to these early learning puzzles. We have similar to these ones at the moment, but obviously, any puzzle work just fine. This is one of my favourite toys for him. I guess I enjoy them more than he does, but he'll have plenty of time to learn. He doesn't know to "play" with them yet. At the moment we have our own little game that involves him throwing the pieces on the floor and mommy puts them back on the board. It's the perfect little game, believe me! These puzzles are meant to develop fine motor skills and what's really important is that they develop baby's tiny brain.

4. Books

These can be any books. We have quite a variety of them touch and feel, musical, animal sounds, storytelling and he loves them all. Be aware that your baby might get bored of the books really easily. I know for sure that these can get really expensive in time. Therefore I would recommend checking out your local library. It can be a HUGE lifesaver and pocket saver as well. It's not a secret that books are meant to teach your baby stories, words, sounds, textures, colours, numbers and lots more. They can also stimulate curiosity and feed their imagination. Personally, I think books are essential in your baby's life, but it's up to you of course.

5. Bath time crayons

We were gifted some bath time crayons by one of my mommy friends. I never knew they existed before! I don't live in a cave, I promise! My little one loves drawing with them. So easy to clean, they don't leave marks on the bathtub and they don't contain any harsh chemicals. Which is always a plus. You don't have to use these specific crayons, but you can always use a regular pencil and a piece of paper and let your baby "get creative". I saved up his first ever "drawing" which was at 10 months. It's only a mixture of lines, but it doesn't really mater. We had so much fun that day! So, how is drawing good for children? Well...that's how they express their feelings and it also prepares them for writing. Ever wondered why philologists exams involve drawings? What we draw can say a lot of things about our desires, inner thoughts and what we truly wish for. I won't bla about this too much, but in summary, psychology is related to what people are drawing. Such an interesting subject! Maybe is just me.

6. Magnetic board + magnets

Magnets can be extremely dangerous for young children. However, if you watch them closely and you don't leave them unattended while playing you won't have any issues. I am also aware that these might be too advanced for a 14 month old toddler, but it can be very entertaining for them. It's a good activity for a rainy day and I can assure you that your little one will be busy! We have animal, letters and numbers magnets. I plan on buying some fruit and veggie magnets as well (not quite sure yet). These are really good to show and teach them various animals, numbers and the alphabet. Magnets are also a good way of teaching them the "cause & effect", which is another problem solving skill.

7. Playing cards or Flash Cards

Similar to flash cards, but specially designed for toddlers. These are meant to teach your child new words and its associated picture. Later on, when he's old enough you just show them the card and they can name whatever they see on it. I found them very useful and I love that we can all play together. It's a different and more enjoyable way of teaching your toddler. It most certainly captures their attention and they get more excited of this way of learning.

8. Cup stacker

To be honest with you I don't "understand" this toy, but I do know that it keeps my baby busy for a little while. He plays with them in a different manner, but he'll get around it eventually. Whenever I stack them for him, he'll always destroy my little tower. As simple as this toys seems to you, it's very beneficial for your baby's development. Fine motor skills, visual and spatial perception, balance and creative play are some of them.

9. Lego Duplo

If you didn't know Lego Duplo is the "smaller" version of Lego. Meaning that they are designed for children that are 1/5 years old. The pieces are a lot bigger, making them perfect for younger kids as well. Lego has many benefits not only for your child, but for you as an adult as well. Here are some of the main benefits:
  • Constructive skills
  • Fine motor skills
  • Teamwork
  • Organisational skills
  • Better focus and concentration
  • Creative skills
  • Sense of accomplishment
  • Lateral thinking and planning ahead
  • Develops problem solving.
I remember that I also had something similar to Lego when I was little. I loved playing and building stuff. Many people are inclined to think that Lego is a boys toy. That's totally wrong! Girls are enjoying Lego too, so don't be reticent to try it out.

10. Ring stacker

This is one of the simplest, yet very effective toy I grew up with. Maybe that's one of the reasons why I wanted my little one to have one as well. All its benefits are similar to the cup stacker and the building blocks, so I won't repeat myself here. But I wanted to mention it so you have more options to choose from.


That's everything I had to share with you today! And again, HUGE thanks for Heather for having me onto her blog today. I hope that you found this article helpful and if you enjoyed it, please hop over to my blog as well. Until next time take care & stay beautiful! xoxo Kinga

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10 educational toys for your toddler

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Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid To Use A Pacifier With Your Young Baby

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I can’t tell you how many times a random person has said to me “wow, you let your baby use a pacifier?” And he’s 6 months old! How dare they say that to me? What is it about having a baby that makes people think they can say whatever they want to you? Sigh…but that’s a whole separate blog post.

 Anyway, yes I use a pacifier and yes, I think it’s actually a GOOD thing! Liam doesn’t have a pacifier in his mouth 24/7 – he uses it for comfort when he’s trying to sleep or is upset. Without it, we probably would be struggling to get through the night still!

 Our only issue is he only uses the Wubbanub. He won’t take any other type; but that’s not really a big issue. We bought 2 so we have a back-up! 

why you shouldn't be afraid to use a pacifier with your young baby

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So why are pacifiers so scary?

One of my favorite parenting books, Touch Points, goes into a little more detail on why pacifiers are NOT bad (before a certain age). The author is a pediatrician and from what he’s learned is that many people are afraid of two things when it comes to them: 

-Crooked teeth
-Being unable to wean off of it

And these are absolutely valid concerns. However, a baby under the age of 4-5 needn’t worry about crooked teeth due to the use of a pacifier or thumb for sucking, and as long as you drop the pacifier early enough, its a non-issue.

In my experience, dentists don’t usually begin to worry about thumb sucking until a child is five years old
— Touchpoints author, T. Brazelton

As far as becoming addicted to it, many experts recommend weaning your baby off their pacifier before 1 years old. After that, it becomes much more difficult (but not impossible). I’ve even read that 9 months should be when you decide to wean them off. Before 9 months, the association isn’t as strong and taking it away shouldn’t be an issue.  

Liam is approaching this age so we are starting to think about weaning him. I’ll admit – I am nervous! Again, he doesn’t use it constantly but he it’s a huge help when he’s fussy or upset or on the brink of sleep. He has started using his thumb more lately, though! We’re hoping he will forget about this Wubba and just go for his thumb.  

Another thing Brazelton mentions is that it’s perfectly healthy and even encouraged that a young baby has something they can use for comfort. He mentions that fetuses even suck their thumbs in the womb and even goes so far to claim that sucking a pacifier can help reduce the risk of SIDS (he says that some medical journals have shown this). Not allowing your baby that comfort item (thumb, or pacifier) is only putting stress on him/her. So if your baby wants to use their thumb or a pacifier, let them! Show them that you are there to help through hard times and that these simple actions, such as sucking a thumb or paci, are something he can rely on when he’s upset.

I’m absolutely an advocate for using a pacifier, or even sucking a thumb. It’s imperative to wean them off at an appropriate age, but when your baby is young (less than 9 months), then please, let them use it!

Any mama’s afraid of the pacifier? Any swear by it? What about babies who never wanted one?! Tell me in the comments!

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19 Tips For Better Sleep For Your Baby

During the past 6ish months, I’ve done a lot…I mean a lot…of reading on baby sleep. It’s probably the thing I’ve Googled the most. Any other mama’s find themselves Googling baby sleep tips constantly?

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I’ve found tons of wonderful and useful tips through my reading and I decided to compile all the things I found that actually worked for me. So, if it’s 3 am and you’re desperate for something to try to get your baby to sleep better, then here’s a quick and easy list to reference! I didn’t want to write super long explanations for each of these because I wanted the point of it to be easily and quickly read. I hope you find these useful!

 Those with asterisks can turn into sleep associations so read my note on that at the bottom of the list.

These can be used for naps or bedtime! You can also use multiple tips at once, try them all, or pick one you think works best!

19 tips for better sleep for your baby

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1. Implement the 5 S’s – swaddle, side-lying, shushing, swaying, sucking. For more info on this, check my post on the 4 pregnancy and parenting books you need to read. (Only use a swaddle until your baby can roll over, then stop).

2. Use a sleep sack. We love these ones.

3. Give your baby a warm bath.

4. Read your baby a story. Your baby loves hearing your voice so reading any story will do!

5. Implement a bedtime routine. This can be whatever works for you, but something to signal bedtime really helps baby wind down.

6. Make baby’s sleeping area as close to pitch black as possible.

7.  Use a pacifier.* We really only use pacifiers (we LOVE the Wubbanub) for naps and sleep and he’s okay with that!

8. If already eating solids, feed your baby dinner after a bottle to fill their tummy.

9. Use a sound machine. We have this one and always have it set to white noise. We use it for naptime and bedtime.

10. Rock your baby.*

11. Feed your baby.* If it’s the middle of the night and you’ve tried everything except this, then feed him/her! Babies up to 9 months may still need 1-2 feedings over night. I know we’ve had nights where we thought he CAN’T possibly be hungry but nothing worked so we fed him and then he passed out.

12. Softly sing a bedtime song.

13. Use a bedtime/naptime phrase to signal it’s time to sleep. I always say “have a good nap, Liam” and then walk out. For bedtime I say “goodnight, Liam. I love you” and then walk out.

14. Move baby to his own room. When you feel ready, this is a great one. We moved Liam to his own room and crib 2 weeks ago and he’s sleeping better. He no longer can smell mother’s milk as easily and our own sleep noises are no longer distracting him.

15. Don’t let him/her get overtired.

16. Make his/her bedtime earlier. This goes hand in hand with #15. We were putting Liam down at 8:45 or 9 and it was rough. We started pushing his bedtime earlier and it’s so much better. Now he goes to bed between 7:30 and 8.

17. Give your baby an infant massage

18. Walk out of the room. We find that if we linger too long (even if he’s crying), it makes it worse. We soothe for about a minute and then walk out. 9 times out of 10, he quiets down a few minutes later.

19. Put your baby down drowsy but awake.

19 tips for better sleep for your baby

 *Sleep associations can turn into a big problem later down the line. Usually, for babies younger than 4 months, you don’t need to worry about it. But once they are a little older, they may start NEEDING these things to sleep. That’s why it’s important to put your baby down drowsy but awake, so they don’t rely on things like rocking and nursing to go to sleep.  

I am by no means an expert in babies or in sleep. More than anything, this is a compilation of just tips I’ve picked up through reading many, many articles and books on babies. I hope you find this in your time of need and find it helpful!

I think if you implement a few of these, you’ll notice baby’s sleep is better. And if you’re already doing a few of these to no avail, then try adding more in! Having a baby is totally a trial and error game.

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Mamas, is my list missing anything? What are your tried and true baby sleep tips?

19 tips for better sleep for your baby

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Let Go Of Your Mom Guilt For Good!

I’ll be honest – a big reason why I’m writing this post is for myself.  I found myself feeling so guilty recently and I thought, “Stop that! You’re doing your best!”. So I decided to write a little about my own mom guilt and how I’m handling it. Hopefully you will be able to apply to it to your own life (if you’re feeling that guilt too).

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8 Things To Carry In Your Diaper Bag - Summer Edition

I know when I was first packing my diaper bag I had no idea what to put in it! I didn’t want it to be so heavy that I dreaded carrying it but I also wanted to make sure I had everything I would need while out and about. Read on to see what I pack in mine for the summer. The best part: I ONLY have the essentials!

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The 3 (FREE) Essential Downloads Every Mama-To-Be Needs

Are you a mama-to-be? Are you weeks or even days away from giving birth? Congratulations!! You’re about to embark on a wonderful (albeit chaotic) journey of raising a little human! Now, my son is only 3.5 months old so I’m definitely not an expert here, but I do think having a baby qualifies me on some extent to give out a little bit of advice.

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The 5 Items Every Busy Mom Needs

Now that I’m at home all the time with a 3.5 month old, I find myself rushing around to get things done. Running out of the house, rushing to the store, and quickly grabbing things I need is now all on my resume as things I’m an expert at. With those skills comes some items I NEED to make my day go smoothly. Mom brain is real and I forget stuff all the time! But there are a few things I consistently have with me that I don’t think I could get through my day without.

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