Holiday traditions are a great way to spend quality time with family and create long-lasting memories. This time of year is filled with holiday hustle and bustle. Taking a few moments to soak in the season is beneficial not only for kids but for adults as well. It’s an opportunity to spend time together, take a break from shopping and embrace the holiday spirit.
Don’t have any traditions yet? Don’t worry. It’s never too late to make memories around the holidays. Whether your kids are growing up or it’s almost Christmas Day there are plenty of ways (and still plenty of time!) to start a new holiday tradition.
To get you started, here are 11 ways to start your family’s new holiday tradition.
Pass out cookies to neighbors.
Get the family together to bake and decorate cookies. Go all out. Make them from scratch and use plenty of icing and sprinkles. Put them in paper goodies boxes or plastic wrap and deliver. If you’re feeling extra festive, put the cookies in miniature stockings or gift bags and hang them on your neighbors’ doors. Baking not your thing? Pass out homemade cards or tree ornaments instead.
Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
It’s easy to get swept up in “things” during the holidays. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday…..seems like every corner we turn we are being asked to buy something. Take a moment to remember those that are less fortunate. Volunteer your time at a soup kitchen. It takes no money at all to brighten someone’s day. You’ll be filled with the Christmas spirit too!
Make gingerbread houses.
A box of graham crackers, icing and some gum drops is all you need to have a lot of fun creating delicious memories. Get creative with your gingerbread houses. Maybe they look more like beach condos, skyscrapers or whatever you like! Consider having a little friendly competition with the family or some neighbors. Winner gets bragging rights for a year!
Make a special ornament.
Each year make a special ornament for the tree. Popsicle sticks, pom poms and glitter are all you need. Don’t worry about the ornament looking perfect or Pinterest worthy. What’s important is that you have fun as a family thinking up new ideas and getting creative. Over the years you’ll be able to look back at all the ornaments and see how far you’ve come!
Get new Christmas pajamas.
Slipping into new Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve is not only cozy but fun! It adds a bit of excitement to the evening (not that you need anymore!). Get the whole family involved. Matching family pajamas are available at many local retailers or online. Don’t forget about your fur babies too!
Drive around and see Christmas lights.
What it is about Christmas lights that seem so magical? Nothing makes it feel more like Christmas than seeing those twinkling lights in the night sky. Soak them in! Load the family up and drive around your neighborhood looking at the lights. Explore other neighborhoods or popular shopping areas. The more lights the better!
Set up a Christmas Eve hot cocoa bar.
Make the night before Christmas extra special by setting up a hot cocoa bar. Fill jars with marshmallows, candy canes and chocolate sprinkles. Slip into your new Christmas jammies and sip on warm hot chocolate together as a family. For added fun, read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas or sing Christmas carols.
Create a holiday playlist.
Pick out all your favorite holiday songs and create a family holiday playlist. Call up grandparents, aunts and uncles and ask what their favorite songs are and add them to the list. It’s a great way to make extended family feel closer during the holidays. Listen to your holiday playlist when making cookies, wrapping gifts or looking at Christmas lights.
Watch a Christmas movie.
A family movie night is a great way to unwind and enjoy the holiday season on a chilly December night. Pop some popcorn, make some hot chocolate and pick out your family’s favorite Christmas movie. You can choose to watch the same movie every year or change it up! What’s important is that you’re all together.
Donate canned goods.
Spread holiday cheer beyond friends and family. Donate canned goods to local food banks or homeless shelters to help those who are in need during the holidays. Create a list of non perishables and canned goods and go grocery shopping as a family. Make the sole focus of the grocery trip about serving others.
Have a special Christmas breakfast.
It’s easy for Christmas morning to become all about gifts. Consider making a special breakfast together as a family BEFORE you open gifts. Make cinnamon buns, fruit parfaits, or Mickey Mouse pancakes. Talk about all the things you are grateful for and your favorite parts of the holidays.