As stated on previous blogs, the memories created during the holiday season are far more valuable for many than the tangible gifts received. Christmas pajamas, cookie exchanges, Christmas tree shopping and decorating are a few traditions that families or communities follow religiously. Whether your community has long lived traditions or looking to start some, there are many that can be uniquely incorporated. Here are a few:
Depending on the climate in your area, this can be done indoors or outdoors. Kids will be thrilled to set up sheets indoors or tents outdoors with sleeping bags, pillows, and Christmas lights to decorate. Read Christmas stories with snacks or play games or simply enjoy each other’s company.
Elf on the shelf is a very popular tradition where the elf is moved to a different location daily. A twist could be to do an act of kindness daily. This could be a range of different things including
a. Volunteering in the community
b.Paying for the person behind you in the drive through
c. Helping someone get groceries to the car
It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate to spread some holiday cheer. The little things touch the hearts of others.
Children’s Christmas tree.
This is a win-win for parents and children. It is an exciting time to decorate the family tree, but often children ideas for what ornaments to use and where they go do no align with parents’ vision. A smaller tree reserved for however the children want to decorate it allows them to be as creative as they want.
New Year’s Prediction Jar
Setting goals for the New Year is a common practice. Before the year ends, it can be a lot of fun for the family to predict what will be different by the time Christmas comes around next year. Have everyone write their predictions down and store in a box until next year.
For younger children who believe in magic, this is a fun tradition to start. Have them plant peppermints (as seeds) shallowly in the ground. Once they are asleep, parents can pull up the peppermints and replace them with candy canes in the same spot. The excitement over growing candy canes is bound to one for the books.
Some families have one tradition and some have many. It’s fun to add to these traditions and pass them on to other generations. It’s important to realize that it doesn’t just have to be traditions shared with family, but with church groups, coworkers, and friends as well. After all, those within these groups often become extended family.