Starting A New Holiday Tradition
When my four kids were small, and Christmas Eve was the longest day of the year, I started taking them to a Christmas Eve matinee, as a way to keep their mind off the anticipation of Santa—at least for two hours. Then, they started junior high and high school, and had their own business social lives. I thought it was time to forgo the Christmas Eve matinee, until my daughter, Molly, chided
me with, “But, Mom, it’s a family tradition!” Really? I had no idea.
Here are a few holiday traditions that could be fun to initiate with your own family this year.
PAY IT FORWARD
Teach your kids it’s better to give than to receive. If you know a family in need, take your kids shopping and let them select then help wrap gifts to give (anonymously) to the kids. Volunteer at a local homeless shelter. Send a care packages and cards to service members stationed overseas.
CUT YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS TREE
Bundle up and head to a local Christmas tree farm in search of the perfect tree. Look for a farm that offers hayrides, sleigh rides, Santa time, or other family-friendly activities. Then come home to
hot cocoa and a decorating party. (Christmas carols are mandatory.)
GIVE MOM (OR DAD) THE DAY OFF
If one family member usually handles the cooking, have the rest of the family take over, while they enjoy a day of rest.
HOST A MEAL FOR FRIENDS WITHOUT FAMILY NEARBY
The holidays can be hard, when you’re far from home and family. Include a single friend in your holiday plans or schedule a special brunch or dinner for a group of them.
START AN ORNAMENT COLLECTION
If you buy your child one special ornament each year, when they’re ready to leave home, they’ll have a collection to start their own tree. Select a theme for each child (musical instruments, rocking horses, Santas...) and add a piece to their collection, each year as they grow.
GO HOLIDAY “LIGHT-SEEING”
Pile in the car with hot cocoa or apple cider in insulated cups and drive through a different neighborhood each night. This is one activity you never have to outgrow.
You can’t really MAKE a holiday tradition stick. It does, or it doesn’t. But trying a few new ones will increase your chances that your family will find a special, new memory maker to enjoy together, year after year.