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I’m thinking of how to celebrate Christmas in a meaningful way with toddlers.  My Lucy is 3 and I want her to have a special time of not only the gifts of Christmas, but for her to catch the meaning of Christmas too.

I think back about when my older kids Noelle and Ethan were toddlers.  My how time has flown!  Here they are in 2008.  Noelle is all dressed up, ready to work at the North Pole!

Christmas through the eyes of a toddler is especially magical.  Christmas lights are brighter, trees are taller, and gifts are bigger.  And why not?  The celebration of the Christ child’s coming to earth should evoke wide eyed wonder.  So here a few ideas for adding a few exciting traditions to the Christmas season especially for toddlers:

Go to your child’s favorite train or carousel ride and add a twist.  Give him or her some bells to ring while they ride.  The other riders should find it very festive.  If not, just take the bells away after the ride is over and walk away quickly!

Take a walk around your neighborhood in search of Christmas lights.  Vote on which house is the favorite.  Use flashlights for this North Pole adventure.

Make or buy photo ornaments.  Put your child’s picture in it and date the back.  Add a new one each year and watch how your children grow, right on your Christmas tree!

Have a birthday party for Jesus.  Enjoy a birthday cake for baby Jesus and celebrate His birth, the best birthday of all.

Make Christmas cards for teachers.  Draw Christmas trees, or cut out shapes to make trees, candles or candy canes.

Visit the zoo and enjoy the Christmas lights.  Pretend to be an animal and imagine what he or she would want for Christmas.  Maybe a big fish for the polar bears?

Create a hot chocolate bar with toppings.  Stuck at home one night?  Make the most of it with a hot chocolate extravaganza.  Use whatever you have on hand for toppings: whipped cream, ice cream, sprinkles, cinnamon, or chocolate chips.

Bake cookies and take them to a nursing home.  Your toddler will love all the attention he or she will receive when walking through the halls.  Call ahead and ask the activity director if there’s a certain resident that needs cheering up, or if there’s a special event they need goodies for.

What have been some favorite memories with your toddler at Christmas?

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