You all know how much I LOVE Christmas time! It is my most favorite season of the year and I love adding new traditions to our regular ones every year. I am so excited to
Start a New Family Tradition this Christmas
By Christine H.
I love Christmas. From the music to the lights to – yes! Even the commercials. I have a lot of friends whose teenage disenchantment with Christmas has lingered on into their adult years, mostly because they hate the consumerism and chaos. But that’s the beauty of Christmas… it is what you make it! So, if you want to start establishing some positive family traditions for Christmas, here are some ideas to get you started.
This is at the top of my list because I think that it’s an important one. You want to counter the consumer-culture of Christmas? Make a new tradition to serve. If you’re not sure what to do, you can always go in for a local “Toys for Tots” or “Sub for Santa” drive. Contact local senior living centers and see if you can contribute a tree or stockings, or caroling visits with your children.
One of my favorite techniques to make serving at Christmas fun requires a little bit of initiative from each member of the family. Let everyone know that they should find someone to serve during the month of December. It might be a classmate, or a random run-in at the store, or someone within the family. Each time someone accomplishes the goal of service, make a marker. Like, for example, putting an ornament on a special tree, or writing it down and rolling it into a scroll to put in a special box. This might even create wonderful Christmas memories to look back on.
A Healthier Take on Christmas Treats
Usually, the reason that we’re all determined to be healthier for our New Year’s resolution is because we glut ourselves so much over Christmas. So much of Christmas tradition is about which sweet treat to eat next! Well, keep your family a little healthier this year by creating some traditional dishes, snacks, and treats that don’t pack such a sugary, caloric punch. There are plenty of sugar-free snack ideas out there that are naturally healthier.
Here are some ideas…
- Strawberry santas
- Popcorn (doesn’t have to be caramel corn, do kettle instead)
- Special fancy cheese plate
- Fun pancakes (go for whole-grain ones if you want more health)
Instead of bringing home yet another cute santa, consider some DIY decor that you can do with the kids this Christmas. They’ll be bringing home plenty of paper crafts from school, but you can create something really fun and unique with your efforts combined at home.
- Paper chain
- Popcorn garlands for the tree
- Snowflake wonderland
- Decorated cards for Santa
- Waterless snow globe created from mason jars
- Tin luminaries
I love having a low-key task that you can do together during those slow days after Christmas. Isn’t it strange how the days leading up to Christmas are packed, but as soon as the presents are open on Christmas day, we take time off work and go our own ways enjoying our loot? Having a certain kind of present each year that encourages a family activity is a great way to start a tradition. Pick out an increasingly difficult puzzle each year as a family gift that you can all enjoy at your leisure on Christmas Day.
Not into puzzles? Consider an intricate lego set, a family board game, or even sleds that you can all go out and use together.
Reimagine the Christmas Cards
I love Christmas cards, but I know that the huge list of people to send cards to each year can be exhausting. Additionally, who really does that newsletter update on the family anymore? It can get generic.
Instead, you can think of a more fun way to do this where the whole family is involved. For example, check out some of the fun Christmas videos that families are doing now. OR, you might want to have the children each write their own letter update on the year and send it to Santa (and keep a copy forever for yourself, of course!)
Obviously, this could never be a comprehensive list. In my experience, the very best Christmas traditions happen organically. It’s just something that was fun one year that continues on and on. One friend I know always watches kung-fu movies and eats Chinese food with her family on Christmas. Another friend loves to build pillow forts. These aren’t the kinds of things that you can find on a list; they’re special because they’re personal and unique to you and your loved ones. Whatever the activity is, just take the moment to spend some quality time with your family this year. What’s your favorite Christmas tradition?