For many families, holidays are made special by traditions that have been carried through the years. But one of the most exciting things about starting your own family is combining traditions from both partners and creating new ones.
Here 10 holiday family traditions if you’re looking for new ideas this year.
- Host a children’s Christmas Party. Set out ingredients to make Magic Reindeer Food and a Hot Chocolate Bar, decorate cookies, watch a favorite Christmas special and read a few stories. This year is the 50th Anniversary of the beloved television classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer; kids will love reading the special pop-up story and then watching the special!
- Make a Gratitude Tree. The logistics are up to you, but get creative with expressing everything you’re thankful for this year. Use paper or real branches, and hang leaves with pictures or words showcasing what you family is thankful for this year. BlueBirdBaby has a lovely example of a Gratitude Tree.
- Take the same picture every year. Serious or silly, snap a photo in same place and same pose every year and watch your family grow and change.
- Ever year make a new holiday dish inspired by your heritage or a country you love. Danish roast goose, Coquito (Puerto Rican Eggnog), and Bûche de Noël (French Christmas cake) are a few fun ideas.
- Go on a Holiday Lights Scavenger Hunt. Brainstorm ideas as a family of things you may see when looking at holiday lights, or get inspired by this printable from Moms & Munchkins.
- Holiday giving. While this one is something many families are good at, make sure to involve the kids! Let kids help choose items for Toys For Tots or your local adopt-a-family, feed the homeless together as a family, or volunteer at a local senior center during a holiday party. Helping the less fortunate is an important part of the season!
- Leave anonymous gifts for friends and neighbors. The gifts don’t need to be elaborate… A nice note, freshly baked cookies, or a small ornament will brighten someone’s day.
- Make Christmas Eve a big deal too. Set out treats for Santa, read a few Christmas stories, bundle up and take a walk to look at Christmas lights, allow the kids to open one gift… Pick a few fun things to really make Christmas Eve special.
- Record the memories. Christmas time and the end of the year is the perfect time to capture all the big moments your family wants to remember for that year. As a family, write these thoughts down in the same journal each year and then every Christmas, go through the book together and reminisce over all the great memories.
- Santa’s Toy Swap. We love this idea from Real Simple Magazine: along with treats for Santa, have your kids leave old toys under the tree on Christmas Eve for Santa to take back to the North Pole. This is a great way to clean out the house for new gifts coming in and donating to your local Goodwill.
Remember, part of the fun with family traditions is that everyone is involved. Ask your kids what traditions they would love to start and see what creative ideas they can come up with!