Holiday Family Traditions
It’s never too late to implement Holiday family traditions, especially during the winter season! You don’t even need to celebrate Christmas to enjoy quality family time that will leave pleasant, long lasting memories for years to come (though there are plenty of Christmas themes to take advantage of too!).
Watch Corny Movies
This particular idea isn’t exclusive to the holidays but you’re definitely more likely to find extremely corny movies! Few things feel as comfy as snuggling up with your loved ones under blankets while watching a laugh-inducing film. Besides, not every Christmas flick is pure trash- you may find yourself pleasantly surprised by the charming characters and warm storylines. Point is- if your couch is a predictable destination for you and your family this year- may as well share the screen with everyone else. My suggestion? Put all your devices in a nearby basket and set rules to prevent each other from being sucked into their feeds and timelines.
Exchange Christmas Pajamas
Every year my family looks forward to this. My mom is really great at sewing and years ago instilled the tradition of making each of us our own flannel pajamas. We always look forward to seeing what material design she chose for us- from flowers to cats- it’s always special. The best part is getting to open them on Christmas Eve so we can show off our new digs on Christmas morning as we enjoy the day.
While you don’t need to sew your own, you can certainly adapt this tradition for your own family. Maybe assign each member a person to buy PJ’s for- or put one person in charge and rotate every year. No matter which way you do it- everyone is sure to enjoy the extra festive touch to the holiday. Consider involving designs and styles that are not limited to Christmas so they can get year-round use of them (but always connecting them to the memories of your family and the traditions you all keep).
Hunt for Presents
You’re family probably enjoys a good Easter Egg hunt every year right? Why not bring some of that energy and spark to this holiday? If you have younger children, they will love the idea of hunting for their presents! Pick some clever hiding spots, incorporate ‘notes from Santa’ that have hints on them- and maybe save the biggest presents for the hardest locations. Instead of sitting by the tree all day- encourage some traditional game style activity.
Everyone will have a little bit more appreciation for their presents when they had to earn them!
Cookie Swap and/or Yankee Swap
If you have older children, perhaps in lieu of some of the more ‘childish’ traditions out there you could start something new! A family favorite on the farm is our annual Yankee Swap- where we invite our closest family and friends over for a night of fun. Everyone not only brings a present under $15 but also partakes in a pot luck dinner. After we eat we all pick a number (1 – however many are there) and start opening presents in numeric order. It’s always fun to see what people get, and how hardcore people are when they see something they want.
Want something a little less potentially barbaric? Go with the cookie swap! Everybody bakes (or buys) their favorite holiday cookies and brings enough so everyone can go home with some of each kind. Even younger families can enjoy this one- plenty of sweets to go around leading up to Christmas!
Pick out and Decorate the Christmas Tree
When you have older children it can be hard to keep up with some of the traditions you may have had when they were younger. One way to keep some of the magic alive is by making a point of getting together every year to pick out the family Christmas tree and spend a few hours decorating it together. It’s a great way to go through all the old ornaments made as children and collected through life. Nothing is more symbolic than gathering around as a family with a mission to celebrate life, nature and beauty.
Pick a Favorite Dessert or Meal and Serve it Every Year
Some families scramble every year to decide what to have for their family dinner on Christmas. This year, sit down with everyone and talk about the meals they’ve most enjoyed over the years. From appetizers, main courses to desserts- have everyone contribute and then set the plan in motion!
Our family always has the same meals every holiday- but we often switch it up by assigning different people to make different things. That way there is always some variety in presentation and recipe. By instilling this tradition, mouths will start watering for next year even just a few hours after eating dinner! This is also a guaranteed way to ensure everyone gets something they will enjoy. Don’t let any one member of the family struggle with the meal planning anymore and everyone will benefit! Eating is one of the biggest holiday family traditions, might as well get the most out of it 🙂