The holiday season is a time to build lifelong memories with your family. Traditions also help you bond and reconnect with loved ones, friends, and neighbors.
Creating traditions takes just a little time to plan.
1. Make traditional dishes for your holiday meals and include foods from your culture or foods you ate growing up.
2. Make a gingerbread house with your family. Those pre-made sets make it easy and provide you with everything you’ll need!
3. Check out holiday lights in your area. Get in the car, turn on your holiday playlist, and find brightly lit houses.
4. Record local holiday events on your calendar. Most cities have concerts, festivals, plays, and more to celebrate the season.
5. Go visit Santa! Do your research and find out what times of the day are best to this, like mid-week during the evening.
6. Go sledding, ice skating, or other outdoor winter activity with your family. A great time time to schedule this is on Christmas day, after the gifts are opened, the meal is eaten, and everyone is getting antsy from being inside.
7. Start the ‘Elf on a Shelf’ tradition. Your kids will love it!
8. Read holiday books before bed each night.
9. Go to a tree farm to locate the perfect Christmas tree. At home, decorate it as a family or let the kids do their thing!
10. Use an advent calendar to count down to Christmas. There are many varieties of advent calendars, from candles that are burned daily to boxes you open daily.
11. Set aside one night each week to watch a holiday movie or television special, such “Miracle on 34th Street” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
12. Purchase or make a holiday ornament for each child every year. This is a great reason to reminisce during holiday decorating.
13. Sit down with your child and write a letter to Santa.
14. Volunteer your time as a family at a soup kitchen or a food bank that hands out food to families in need.
15. Find a giving tree that allows you to sponsor a family in need or purchase toys for children in need. Go shopping for the items together and donate them.
16. Go through closets and donate gently used clothing (coats are particularly useful this time of year) to a local shelter.
17. If gifts have been sent from relatives that are far away (like grandparents), use Skype or another video chat service when they are opened so everyone can share in the joy.
18. Open one gift on Christmas Eve. Matching pajamas for the kids to wear on Christmas Eve is a great idea and make for a great photo op Christmas morning!
19. Track Santa’s progress across the globe on NORAD.
20. Purchase a new Christmas ornament that commemorates an event from the past year.