Does your family have any special holiday traditions? Today, we’re sharing 8 Family Holiday Traditions that you can start this year!
Family Christmas Traditions
At this time of year when the stores are bursting with holiday décor and intense purchasing pressure, it can be nice to take a step back and remember the things we are truly thankful for this holiday season. By focusing on family and creating lasting memories with some endearing family traditions, we can reclaim the season from commercial indulgence and instead, wrap ourselves in love and good times.
This year, try adding some new traditions to your holiday schedule and see what hilarity and lasting memories you can build!
12 Dates of Christmas (or the season)
Instead of giving gifts or filling stockings with less-than-appreciated goods, instead share cards with holiday season dates! Get some pretty envelopes and cards, label each with one of the 12 days of the season. On the backs of each card, write out a family “date” – share hot chocolate, a drive to look at lights, etc. – rather than accumulating things, instead spend quality time with the people you love.
To help tailor long gift lists and ask kids and adults to tailor their list to include things they want, things they need, things they will wear, and things they like to read to help gift givers find truly memorable gifts to share. Check out our One You Want, One You Need, One You Wear, One You Read gift guide for kids.
Host a cookie bakeoff
While holiday cooking exchanges can be a little intense, hosting a family cookie bakeoff or decorating competition is a fantastic way to share the kitchen with little ones and help everyone share in the fun that is crafting delicious baked goods to share. Don’t forget prizes for all the competitors!
Sharing the gift of your time is not only a memorable experience for you and your little ones, but it sends a strong message as well. And, with all those days off, getting out of the house and taking in a new perspective can be just what everyone needs. Look for opportunities that welcome the kids or at organizations that are meaningful to your family.
Practice Random Acts of Kindness – and Planned Acts of Kindness
There are so many wonderful resources for random acts of kindness with kids – but I think it’s also important to plan acts of kindness. Anything from putting aside some money for a charitable donation (we like to buy gifts for our local Women & Family Shelter) to writing a thoughtful note to someone who made a difference for you this year, teaching kids to look for random opportunities and actively plan acts of kindness is a year-round tradition that you can start during the holidays.
Celebrate with Kindness Elves
This is a new tradition in our home and I’m super excited about it. Kindness Elves are these sweet, handmade elves that appear in your home during the holidays and encourage kids to spread joy and kindness every day. (I really love it as an alternative to the Elf on a Shelf.) Our Kindness Elves will be making suggestions for kind or joyful things we can do each day like bake cookies for teachers, or shovel a neighbour’s walkway.
As a bonus, my daughter loves playing with them and they come with a mini dollhouse that is very portable for holiday travel.
Rather than necessarily purchasing all exchanged gifts new, make a new rule – everyone must give one handmade gift. Pull out the supplies and have a crafty and creative party! The recipient will appreciate the love and hard work, and it can be amazing to see what those we share each day with are capable of! Gifts for pets are fantastic candidates for handmade items – they don’t care what it looks like. Many animal shelters and humane societies will also take handmade pet toys and supplies, so long as they meet their safety standards.
Write a year in review
With New Year’s right around the corner, take advantage of the days together during the holiday season to jot down ideas for the annual update – whether you share it with friends and family outside your immediate household or not. Kids love recalling their annual highlights, and you’ll all have a blast bringing to mind those events you may have forgotten.
Choosing how to spend your time and resources during the busy holiday season can be challenging. However, these holiday traditions give you the chance to slow things down and spend time with the people you love most this year, without fighting the crowds.