The holiday season is upon us and so are the traditions! We all grew up with some sort of traditions surrounding holidays. There are so many great ones out there, you might be tempted to incorporate them all into your annual holiday schedule. But resist the temptation! Find the traditions that you and your whole family love. And remember, its okay to trade some traditions out. Perhaps that traditions no longer fits your family or maybe there’s a different tradition that would better represent your family.
Here are a few family traditions you might want to try this year!
Actvitiy Advent Calendar
I wish I had discovered this one years ago. I found this one in 2019. Of course all my children are now grown, so I decided to use it for my husband and me. You can create a calendar or have special tiny boxes labeled 1-24. I found a wooden box with just enough openings. I write down different things we can do each day or I put a special gift inside.
Activities can be cutting out paper snow flakes, watching a Christmas movie, going out for a special holiday treat, making a gingerbread house. I’ve put Christmas socks in the box, favorite candies, etc.
What ideas do you have for an activity advent calendar?
Instead of Black Friday shopping, we have decoration day. The day after Thanksgiving, we spend getting the house ready for Christmas. I bake all sorts of goodies for everyone to snack on throughout the day. It is usually appetizers such as BBQ meatballs, cocktail wieners, sausage balls and Hawaiian ham rolls. Special snacks like chocolate covered cookie dough, Snickerdoodles, and pecan balls are there too.
We put the tree up and everyone adds all the ornaments we’ve collected over the years. I still have ornaments they made in preschool. Some are a little cruched and crumpled, but they go on the tree every year.
And of course we always have to look back at the past few years decoration day photos to remember whose turn it is to put on the star.
Some families have Santa traditions, some don’t. And I get all the reasonings behind it. You have to decide if Santa is right for your family. For us, we went to the mall and got Santa pictures every year. Santa left a present or two. One year my middle daughter decided to become pen pals with Santa.
With today’s technology, there are so many fun ways to have Santa traditions, from video calls from Santa to personalized emails!
Elf on the Shelf
This is a really fun tradition that showed up after my kids were past the “magic of Christmas” age. But we do have classroom elves that visit every December!
Honestly, this is a tradition that is just as fun for the adults as it is for the kids! Every year we try to out do the day before !
If you do Elf on the Shelf, what has been your favorite way to pose your elf?
Family Picture Tradition
Some families like to take annual Christmas photos. They make really great memories. Honestly, this one is hit or miss for us. I always want pictures of everyone around the tree. I usually remember with after everyone leaves or as we are taking the tree down.
But I think it is the ones that are the most important are the one of the family just being family. Those are the moments you want to capture and remember.
These are gifts that are purchased every year. For example, at our house, everyone gets pajamas to open on Christmas Ever. I also get everyone a new calendar for Christmas. (And more look forward to it! ) Some people give person a book on Christmas eve ( a Icelandic tradition and a great one for all book lovers!)
There are many special gifts you could give that can be a handmade gift (we enjoy the crochet dish rags) or if you make vanilla or other special treats. I know I look forward every year to our neighbors gift of fudge!
This is a tradition my husband started out first Christmas. For 15 years he purchased an ornament (some times more than one) at Things Remembered (no longer in our area). Then began maing his own. Each one has the Christmas number and the year and sometimes something special as well. I really look forward to these every year.
I also get every family member a new ornament to represent the year. For exmple, our youngest daughter is engaged, so I purchased a 1st Christmas Engaged ornament. My other daughter is in school for sign language interpreting. She’s getting a “best sign language interpreter” ornament. I try to choose ornaments that help us remember things form the year. (Yes, we have the 2020 ornament with toilet paper as well as the “our first pandemic” one! )
Thanksgiving has become known as “turkey” day. Valentine’s Day is full of special chocolates. What is something special that you only make at Christmas time? For us, it is Snickerdoodles, fudge and truffles.
Pick a favorite snack or dish that everyone in the family loves. Be sure to write it down. As your children get older, allow them to help you bake/cook the special treat. Eventually, you will find yourself handing down that recipe for your children to bake/cook for their own families!
Where are some fun holiday places or activities you like to go to during the holiday season? Is there a neighborhood with amazing Christmas displays? Perhaps a church that puts on a great nativity?
Check with local places such as zoos or children’s play spaces for special holiday activities.
There are so many free or cheap traditions you can create now that your children will love as they get older. Even though my three are all adults, we still do many, if not most of these traditions!