Wish List Wednesday || Meaningful Gifts for Kids

Between shopping, decorating, parties, traditions, baking, traveling and more, the holiday season can quickly escalate from enjoyable to stressful for us. And now that our minis are at an age where they are excited for Christmas I want to make sure we make it as meaningful as possible without overextending ourselves (I’m looking at you, Elf on the Shelf). So this Christmas I’m hoping to implement just a few new traditions and continue some old traditions that require minimal effort but still excite our kiddos and provide a good mix of Jesus and Santa!

So today I’m sharing a few simple Christmas tradition items you can use throughout the season with your children.

Christmas Traditions

Advent Calendar: From candles to candy, there are tons of advent calendar varieties to choose from. Last year we received a wooden tree calendar with little boxes which we fill with m&ms. Every night leading up to Christmas Caroline would get so excited to open the next box (and eat an m&m). We saved the advent calendar as the very last activity before bed so it also doubled as an amazing toddler incentive to eat dinner, take a bath, clean up the toys and get in jammies. 🙂  

Fisher-Price Little People Nativity Set: A super simple way to break down the Christmas story for little ones. Both of our kids love this set. This is also a GREAT gift for baby’s first Christmas!! 

Books: God Gave Us Christmas //  The Night Before Christmas // Itsy Bitsy Snowman // How the Grinch Stole Christmas // How to Catch an Elf // The Mitten // Christmas in the Manger // The Polar Express 

Mini Christmas Tree: Last week a note was sent home with both Thomas and Caroline’s daily report cards asking parents to consider putting a small Christmas tree in their kids’ bedrooms this year. Each year it’s encouraged to add a new ornament so that one day when our kiddos go off to college they have a small tree with lots of meaningful ornaments of their own. Cue the tears.

Christmas Pajamas: I’ve already covered this in a previous post so I won’t go in to it again.   

Pickle Ornament: If you don’t already have a pickle ornament for your Christmas tree you need one! The person to find the pickle hiding in the tree on Christmas morning gets to open the first present. 

Magic Reindeer Food: Last year one of the little girls in Caroline’s class gave all the classmates bags of “magic reindeer food.” I thought this was the cutest idea and we loved sprinkling it in the yard on Christmas Eve! Reindeer food is a mix of oats and glitter which makes for an inexpensive gift idea if you’re trying to gift a class full of kids something at Christmas. I found this super cute printable too!

Cookies & Milk for Santa: Growing up we always set out cookies and milk in front of our fireplace for Santa as well as some carrots for the reindeer. I love this special little set!

Birthday Cake: This is a tradition I really wanted to start last Christmas but dropped the ball. Each year I want throw a little birthday party for Jesus with a cake or cupcake and sing “happy birthday” with the kiddos.

Want some additional tradition ideas? Check out my previous post on meaningful holiday traditions!





  1. Jo
    November 23, 2016 / 4:09 pm

    Love these! Lawter loves her personal mini tree- I need to find one for Tell now! I've been looking for a good advent calendar that will be something to look forward to doing with them too- we had one grown up (and now fight over who gets it for their house eventually) where you move the bear on Velcro through the rooms in the house looking for Christmas. : ) and I love that nativity set and think L might be old enough this year to start getting some meaning from it so just might have to pull the trigger on it. Thanks for sharing and have a great Thanksgiving with the fam!

  2. Robbin Writes
    November 23, 2016 / 6:26 pm

    Every year for Christmas, my parents gave me an ornament when we decorated our tree – always some kind of angel. When I finally moved completely out of my dad's house after grad school, I had a box full of beautiful ornaments from them as well as some given to me by my grandparents. Now, my fiancé and I decorate our own tree with my ornaments and those given to him by my parents as well. It's really special!

  3. Lindsey Smith
    November 25, 2016 / 11:05 pm

    I love these ideas, with two littles under 3 in the house, we are trying to set in place ways to incorporate traditions. I love the small nativity scene and also the advent idea. We do pj's 🙂 I also heard about instead of elf of shelf, the elf of kindness or the kindness nativity (looking into). Thanks for the ideas!

  4. Lizzie Somerset
    November 29, 2016 / 11:03 am

    Love the birthday cake for Jesus idea, all to easy to push him to the side with everything we could fill our festive days with so I love that you sing happy birthday to him! x

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