Shhhhh. Sneak up quietly. Hang the goodie bag on the door and then... run, run, RUN!!! This family Christmas tradition is sure to be memorable.
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Ding-dong-DITCH. It is guaranteed to get your kids excited and your blood pumping. A few years ago, we started this annual family Christmas tradition after getting Boo'ed on Halloween. The girls and I love Christmas lights, and we wanted to find a way to say thank you to the people who took the time and effort to string them up.
Will you join us in this playful family Christmas tradition?
Ding Dong Ditch Family Christmas Tradition
There are five simple steps:
1. Get out all the supplies.
You'll need things like pencils, markers, leftover Christmas cards, construction paper... whatever will spark the kids' creativity.
2. Set the mood.
Be sure to play some Christmas music in the background. And of course, the most important "supply" is hot cocoa. Keep the cocoa coming.
Want the BEST hot cocoa recipe ever?!?
Peppermint Mocha "Hot Cocoa" Truffles
3. Create the cards.
When the girls were in preschool, I would write the message with a highlighter, and they would trace the letters. I wish I had some photos of past projects. I imagine the cards melted the hearts of the recipients. We usually use old cards mismatched from our Christmas storage bin. Of course, you could buy new or make handmade cards, too.
Every year we keep the message simple:
Your holiday lights bring me joy. Merry Christmas!
4. Create the goodie bags.
In the past, we've included things like handmade ornaments, but last we gave out a couple of simple holiday treats (Snickers, Twix, and Hershey Kisses).
A couple of quick tips: bags with handles work great for hanging on doorknobs. Decorative plastic bags also work nicely for placing between screen doors or on the front porch without having to worry about snow!
Parent Tip: If you want to make this educational, have the kids count the candy bars in the bag. We would always line the bars up by rows of ten. Decide how many goodie bags you'd like to make and then ask them to divide the candy into X number of piles.
Honestly, this is the part of the tradition that makes it memorable. You're out at night, enjoying the holiday lights and searching for Christmas spirit. We'd form mission teams: one child and one adult per house. Usually, the other adult would park around the corner. We quietly sneak-up to the house and leave the goodie bag at the door. Then we hit the doorbell and BAIL.
*Safety note: Please be cautious of ice. Use your best judgment with your little one and their capabilities.
Be prepared for giggles. When we jump in the card, usually we yell, "Go! Go! Go!" to make it a bit more adventurous.
“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”
― Laura Ingalls Wilder
This whole tradition is truly only memorable if you're having fun and goofing, too!
PS: They grow so quickly! Here's a picture from our first Christmas lights walk with the girls as toddlers...