INSIDE: Ways to upcycle classic Christmas traditions with your teen daughter.
It is hard being a mom of teens during the holidays. Some of our Christmas rituals feel too childish, yet they still long for traditions. I've been trying to tweak our family customs to be more age-appropriate but yet still, keep the core of the tradition the same.
Upcycling Classic Christmas Traditions With Teen Daughters
I wanted to share what we're up to this year, in case you are struggling with this too...
Taking Gingerbread Houses Up A Level
My girls have always loved little gingerbread house kits, but this year they feel too juvenile. One of my daughters loves to bake, so we're stepping things up a notch this year. We're baking, building, and designing our own gingerbread house. We've got a shared Pinterest board for inspiration.
Want to try it too? Get all the details of our gingerbread house build here!
SUPPLY LIST: Gingerbread Mold & Huge Bag of Gumdrops
*This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link we may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Wearing "You Pick It" Matching Dresses
As little girls, I loved dressing my two ladies up in fancy matching holiday dresses. Now that they're teens, I don't pick ANY of their clothing. I asked if they'd be interested in picking out a matching color at eShaki and customizing dresses this year. They agreed!
But before we ordered, my youngest (and most fashion-picky daughter) found this casual dress while running some holiday errands. My older daughter and I ordered the same dress in holiday colors to match her preferred black. While we always went with velvet when they were little, the minimalist in me loves that these are casual, and they'll be repurposed all summer long.
Upgrading Holiday Arts & Crafts To "DIY"
I always loved kids' crafts, and I was sad to see that phase of childhood pass. I am always on the lookout for projects to do together that won't be automatically deemed "boring." Last year, we had so much fun making photo ornaments for my mother-in-law; we're doing it again this year for ourselves.
Want to try them too? You can get instructions on my friend Rebecca's website here!
SUPPLY LIST: Wood Slices, Matte Photo Paper, Fancy Ornament Hooks
Getting Creating With Wrapping Presents
Instead of wrapping all the gifts on my own, I enlisted my girls to help shop and wrap this year. They've taken it to a whole new level of creativity! The girls are wrapping in brown craft paper and decorating the packages with gouache paint. So cute!
SUPPLY LIST: Gouache Paint Set & Crafting Paper
Getting Back To Basics With Our Advent Calendar
For a while, when the girls were little, we did an activities advent calendar (check out the free printables here), but now we're back to chocolate! Instead of secretly buying and stocking the calendar, the girls helped pick the candy and took great joy filling the pockets. The sweets of choice this year?!? Andes mints and Ghiradelli caramel minis.
We also have a new pup in our house, so of course, we had to get him an advent calendar of his own. We love this Dog Advent Calendar with Himalayan treats.
Cleaning With Candy Canes
While we still have classic candy canes in the house, what the girls were most excited about this year was Mrs. Meyers Peppermint bundle. Yes, you heard that right. They love doing their chores and handwash dishes with a festive scent. I love knowing they're washing their hands well with the soap. Who knew cleaning supplies would somehow be exciting!
Sharing Hot Cocoa & Coffees
Every winter, our family makes these hot cocoa meltaways. If you've never had real homemade hot chocolate, you must try this recipe with your family. Instead of just making cocoa with the meltaways, my ladies are making mint mocha coffees this year.
We've been buying a lot of whip cream, and we have Wilton Peppermint Sprinkle Crunch in the house … because life is better with whipped cream and sprinkles.
This year, the "one thing" my daughter wanted to do this season was bake cookies for neighbors. I love this about her! Instead of baking treats for us, we're sharing. We've got a cookie date planned for this weekend and a bunch of adorable holiday boxes ready for gifting.
SUPPLY LIST: Cute Cookie Boxes & Parchment Paper Sheets
Holiday Romances and BINGO!
While we still love all the classic holiday movies, but we've also been watching teen romance flicks together on Netflix. Our favorites so far are Dash & Lily (a mini-series movie) and Let It Snow.
We also printed these adorable (and free) Christmas Movie Bingo sheets and played with the A Christmas Prince series. It. Was. Hilarious. This game is definitely going to be ab ongoing tradition at our house!
All this being said, some traditions remain the same…
I'm still cutting snowflakes to decorate our windows with my teen as we watch flicks. We still decorated our tree before Thanksgiving, but while listening to their Spotify list (which lucky for me, includes a lot of my classic favorites). And both girls are still looking forward to bundling up for a Christmas Eve walk to look at neighborhood lights.
In the end, while I am happy to hold on to these traditions, I am not sad to see others evolve. I love watching my girls grow, change, and become more independent.
Sharing The Magic
So often as moms, we take pride in "making the holiday magic." I've been feeling very overwhelmed as of late, and holiday tasks were suddenly feeling very heavy. Have you been feeling this too?
There —is— joy in the holiday chaos/work … if digested in bite-sizes tasks. Can you share that joy with someone? Can you turn your "have-to" into a "get-to" for someone else?
I'm starting to see the opportunity to tag-team the holidays with my girls as they get older and already love it.