Nothing can make Santa Claus seem more real than the magic of tradition. The traditions which families embrace can be the roots of our celebrations for generations to come.
Traditions are a tremendous asset to our families. They can create lifelong memories for our children. And it can also create a sense of belonging that can be very comforting. For more info, here is a great article about all the benefits traditions offer us.
And it is never too late to start a tradition. I know as my family has grown, our traditions have evolved. For instance, we have already shared with you about the Santa Proof kit and how it makes Christmas magical. This will be a new tradition in my household that I hope will continue on until I have grandchildren (and beyond).
Christmas Day Traditions
On Christmas Day in my house, everyone must eat breakfast before opening gifts. The anticipation builds excitement. This was something my mom did when I was a child. We didn’t always do this, but as much as I protested having to wait to see what Santa Claus put under our tree, I really loved it. And I take pleasure in torturing my children the same way!
In honor of my Finnish mother, we make Pannukakku (Finnish pancakes) each year for breakfast (my recipe is just like this one). Now, in my adult home the kids can see our tree, and they like to guess what is in each box as we eat our breakfast (some of us more slowly than others).
At home, my parents had a fire going in the fireplace before we kids would go downstairs. We don’t currently have a fireplace, so we use our TV and a fireplace ambiance video on YouTube in honor of my childhood tradition.
Sharing Our Traditions
I asked some of my friends what their family does to keep the magic of Santa alive in their traditions. They gave me lots of great ideas!
My friend Cheryl said in her house each person gets three small gifts from Santa in honor of the three gifts brought to Jesus by the Three Wise Men.
And of course there is that special wrapping paper that only Santa uses! This was common among the friends I spoke with. My friend Jill goes a step further. She makes sure the Santa tags do not have her handwriting on it. She gets someone else to help her with this. This is such a great idea. As a child, my mom’s handwriting was one of the first clues that made me question “who really is Santa?”
Because of my handwriting analysis experience, I avoided writing on my kids’ presents all together. Each child had an assigned wrapping paper. They would know which wrapping paper was theirs because a few items in their stocking would be wrapped with it. And the presents under the trees were coordinated with the same print.
My friend Konni has magical gift bags for her children with their names on it! They appear Christmas Day and Santa only brings gifts that fit in the bags (the rest of the gifts come from family). Then on Christmas night, the bags disappear until the next year’s Christmas morning.
Traditions That Last
As our children get older, I think traditions become even more important. When life is so busy that we barely have time to eat a meal together, knowing that they look forward to our traditional holiday meals warms my heart!
Valerie has a special tree in her basement where Santa leaves his presents. As they finish up the family gifts, her boys know to check the basement door… which on Christmas day is locked (something they never normally do). She says her boys, though older now, still indulge her by acting surprised and wondering out loud, “Why is the basement locked?” Now that her children are older Santa Claus brings gifts that create a special family memory, such as a weekend trip, or tickets to an event or an escape room.
My favorite thing is to hear about adults that are still practicing the traditions of their youth. As a parent, I would be so touched if my kids thought the traditions I started with them were worth experiencing, even if we aren’t all together.
My friend Arlena and her husband said despite not having human children, they still leave out milk and cookies for Santa, and presents still appear under the tree on Christmas day!
My friend Maura said her parents or brother would always go downstairs to “check” if Santa had come before she was allowed downstairs. This way they could turn on the tree lights and Christmas music before she could see the tree. Her husband Dave still “checks” to see if Santa came for her today!
A friend sent me this great Christmas Eve tradition from a friend of hers that I fell in love with. She and her siblings would hide mugs around the house for the elves to find. When they would return home from their grandparents that night, the Christmas lights would be on and Christmas music would be playing. The elves had found their mugs and put cocoa packets inside of them alongside new pajamas. The best part of this story is she and her siblings range in age from 19-30.
Christmas traditions really can be magical at any age!
For proof that Santa is real, pick up one of our magical Santa Proof Kits.