Making the Holidays Memorable for Kids + A Gift Guide

December 12, 2019


Making the holidays memorable for kids! - M Loves M @marmar

This is the first year that Augustine has memories of the previous holiday season. It’s been so fun reminiscing with him and seeing him get excited for this year. I can’t wait to make some more holiday memories with him and Corinna, so I thought I would share how I’m making the holidays memorable for my kids!

  How I’m Making the Holidays Memorable for My Kids

Special Ornaments

I usually pick up a special ornament or two throughout the year when I see ones I love or as souvenirs while traveling, but I’m really excited to start helping Corinna and Augustine build their collection. When I asked for holiday tradition recommendations on Instagram, I got a few recommendations saying I should gift each child one ornament that represents their year. I thought was so sweet! I’m planning on getting Corinna a first Christmas ornament, and for Augustine, I’m thinking something that represents his interests right now would be good, like this dump truck ornament that I can add his name to.

Reading Holiday Books

The first bit of holiday fun we enjoyed this season was reading holiday-themed books together. It is such an easy and healthy holiday activity that doesn’t involve sugar or running around town. These are some of the books we’ve been loving lately! Another Instagram suggestion that I loved was to let everyone in the family open up one present on Christmas Eve, but for all the presents to be books. I think that is such a lovely tradition!

Lights, Lights, and Lights

Children love lights. On houses, on trees, anywhere really. We’ve been decking our house out with decorations and are planning on driving Augustine around to see lights of course. But we also thought it would be fun to go see all the holiday decorations at Downtown Disney!

Advent Calendar

I have such fond memories of opening my advent calendar each year as a child that I wanted my kids to enjoy opening one too. Augustine is still too young for a daily piece of chocolate, so I chose this fabric advent calendar that I can add little toys and activities to. I’ll put in a few treats, just not every day. Our advent calendar is sold out, but this one is super similar and under $20.

Gingerbread House

Is there anything more fun for a kid than making a gingerbread house?? There is no need to fuss with making them from scratch, Trader Joe’s has really affordable gingerbread house making kits. Or you can go old school and use graham crackers. Your kid will love getting creative and spending time with you doing something special no matter what materials you use.

Elf on the Shelf

Do we really even have a choice to skip Elf on the Shelf?? It’s so popular we kind of all have to stick together on this one. Yes, it’s a bit of extra work but Augustine really loves his “Manno”, so I am so happy we started this tradition last year!.

The Giving Manger

Traditionally you hear parents tell kids to be “good” during the holiday season or they won’t get presents from Santa. I’m not sure that method of discipline will ever work for us. But what I do think will work for our family is The Giving Manger. This set comes with a sweet book that explains the real meaning of the holiday season. It comes with a manger that you fill with hay whenever your child does something helpful. The idea is that when you do kind things for others, you’re doing something for Jesus as well. I think having a fun way to reinforce positive behavior will be such a merrier way to embrace the holiday season, plus it celebrates what Christmas is all about!

Holiday Pajamas

I can’t resist holiday family pajamas! Augustine just so happens to love it when we all match too. We try to wear our holiday pjs the whole season though, not just on Christmas Eve. Such an easy way to make the holidays memorable!

Making Our Favorite Recipes

Our family loves food! And luckily we love to cook and bake just as much as we love to eat. I want to start making some holiday recipes that we’ll repeat every year. That way the kids always have a few tasty meals to associate with the holiday season and home. Right now, I’m considering picking a Christmas cookie off this list and this apple, gruyere, and golden onion grilled sandwich would be a perfect Christmas day lunch meal!

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Gift Guide: For the Tiny Tots

I find really little kids the hardest to shop for. Once they are four or five, they can start to really tell you what they want for presents, which I think makes things a lot easier! Especially when you’re shopping for someone else’s kids who you might not know as well. If you’re not sure what to gift your favorite tot, I think a classic toy is a good place to start. Like this iconic Radio Flyer Scoot About. It’s been popular for decades, so I’m sure kids still love it today! I can speak from experience that Corinna loves this plush elephant thumbie. She received it as a gift and it has her initial embroidered on it which is such a sweet touch! I love that Pottery Barn offers gifts that you can monogram, like the coasters I shared in this gift guide for the hostess.

Another good go-to gift for a tiny tot is to deck out their play kitchen. Little kids always love their play kitchens, so I thought a fun set of play pots and pans would do the trick. Or you can treat them to a fun toy ice cream maker. Mom will be happy that no actual ice cream is involved!

If you’re looking for a really original gift, I can’t wait to read these cute cards to Augustine and Corinna. Each card shares the achievements of a woman who made history in some way or another. How sweet is that?? I also love a good book with a message and will be picking up this adorable book for Augustine about learning that it is okay to be scared sometimes.

Sometimes toddlers who don’t really care about presents that much, so it’s best to impress mom and dad. They’ll be eternally grateful if you gift them something that will keep their child entertained on the flight or drive home {like these fun finger puppets}. Or a cuddly stuffed animal. I think Augustine would love this feisty dragon! Mom will also really appreciate the fact that these adorable booties have a nice strap that will make sure they actually stay on the little one’s feet lol!

P.S. For even more holiday gift ideas, click here!


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I’m going to be doing some giveaways over the next few weeks as a way of saying thank you for following along this past year. It truly means a lot that you take time out of your day to visit my site, leave comments, like my photos on social media, and send me messages and emails. You all are seriously the best and I feel so lucky to have gotten to know you through this corner of the internet.

For today’s giveaway, I’m actually giving away a BUNCH of Tarte cosmetic products. Check them out on Instagram but there are so some highly coveted makeup products that I think you’ll love! To enter all you have to do is subscribe to my newsletter and leave a comment on this post. That’s it! If you want an extra entry, you can always tag a friend in my latest Instagram post and tell her about the giveaway. I’ll be announcing all of the giveaway winners in my Sunday newsletter on December 22nd. So stay tuned!


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