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November 18, 2020

The holiday season is here and with it comes the time for holiday traditions. You may have traditions from generations past or you may be creating new traditions with your family this year. In addition to finding the perfect gift, having family traditions can be a great way to connect year to year over something special. Even better, these traditions can go with your children when they are grown. Here are a few holiday family tradition ideas to consider.

Holiday Family Tradition Ideas

Food based traditions

Does your family do a holiday meal together? Family meal times can be a perfect opportunity to create a new holiday tradition. Find ways to include the entire family in the meal. Take some time to include children in the family holiday meal and create memories that will last a long time. Even better, it will help children to take some ownership of the holiday meal. Here are a few food based traditions to consider.

  • Get children involved with cooking - This might mean letting them have one recipe they are responsible for, letting them peel the potatoes, or letting them help with drizzling topping on a baked dish everyone enjoys. Take some time to choose a job your child can take on that will let them feel like a part of the family meal.
  • Let children help with table décor - For some children, this might mean setting the table. For others, this might mean giving them crayons and letting them design the place cards for each family member. Or grab a backpack and head outdoors to collect some freshly fallen leaves and acorns for the table. Let the kiddos be creative with their ideas.
  • Have a family favorite food each year - Is there a favorite food for a member of the family or the entire family? Let children pick a family favorite food to include as part of your holiday meal. It can be fun to have a favorite food that reminds them of family holiday togetherness.
  • Bake together - Baking cookies, breads, cakes, or any other varieties of holiday foods together as a family can give you the chance to spend more quality time together. This is the perfect time to pull out your favorite cookie cutters or an apron that is special to you for some time together. 

Quality Time Traditions 

Spending time together during the holidays can get overlooked with all of the busyness that comes with the season. Take some time to make quality time traditions that are sure to mean a lot to your family. With quality time traditions, it does not need to be the investment on an entire day. Some activities can take a small amount of time but leave a huge impact. Here are a few quality time traditions to consider.

  • Holiday movie night - Put together a spread of some of your favorite treats and pick out a few holiday movies your family loves. Plan a holiday movie night together to enjoy an old favorite or try a new one. Wrap up in a blanket and enjoy the snuggle time as the movies play. If you want an added element of fun, let each person pick a movie or make it a weekly movie night through the holiday season.
  • Family Camping/Hiking trips - The holidays can be a perfect time to head out on the trails or go to a campground for some disconnected family time. Pack up a camping bag with snacks, games, and other supplies and head out together. Camping and hiking can be a great time to put away phones/technology and spend time together making memories. (Make sure to bring along a first aid kit in your camping bag packed with everything you might need while out.)
  • Cocoa and decorations - Another great family tradition is to put together a lunch bag filled with cookies/snacks. Bring the snack bag as well as hot cocoa, blankets, and head out to look at holiday decorations in your area. Spend time deciding on which house has the best decorations or which house has the silliest ones.
  • Craft and decorate together - Crafting and decorating can be a fun way to connect during the holidays. Whether you make salt dough ornaments, help prepare the family room with favorite decorations, or put together a fun holiday themed craft, you are sure to make some great memories together. 

Traditions That Give Back

The holidays can be a fun time for families as they celebrate the many fun things the season brings. Holidays aren’t always magical for everyone though. Some people really struggle during the holiday season and need a bit of help to find their joy. This is where building traditions that give back to others can come in. There are many traditions that involve giving to others that the whole family can be a part of.

  • Create Cards/Pictures - While many people will have family during the holidays, not everyone will. Reach out to a local hospital, charity, or nursing home for a list of names you can write to. You could adopt one person or use the entire holiday season to create pictures and cards that will bring joy to people during the holidays.
  • Give to food drives - Many local charities will be helping to provide a holiday meal to a family in need. Take some time to research which ones are looking for donations in your area. Add some special family time to this by letting your children go with you to buy and deliver these food items. Let your kiddos actually pack up backpacks with the cans to donate and it can be even more memorable.
  • Shop for another child - During the holiday season children can get really good at the words, “I want.” While there is a place for this, sometimes it can help to take them shopping for another child. Let them pick out the perfect gift for someone who may not have the same opportunities they do in life. For some added fun, allow them to wrap the present and attach a card they make on their own.
  • Volunteer - Many organizations are low on volunteers during the holiday season. However, most organizations welcome families who want to volunteer. Reach out to a charity or organization in your area and find out ways you can volunteer together as a family.

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