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Try a New Family Holiday Tradition

Bring the family closer together this Holiday Season with these smile-inducing traditions.

Family traditions are wonderful, aren’t they? The anticipation. The preparation. Knowing that your family has done this activity in the past and will continue to do so, makes an activity powerful. Hopefully, your family traditions also are a load of fun, because the Holidays are all about spending time together as a family.

Although we all love traditions, it doesn’t mean you can’t adapt or update things. Variety is the spice of life! What’s the worst that could happen? You don’t like the new activity and you don’t do it again next year.

You may already have a few traditions in place but I want to inspire you to start a new one this year or add to an existing holiday tradition. Chase those bah humbugs away!

Here’s a list of ideas for enduring Holiday Traditions for your family. Have fun!

1. Holiday Tea Party. Mother & daughter, sisters, friends, Grandma & Granddaughters. Check out your favorite place or host one yourself. Your house is probably already decorated for Christmas and you can use the Christmas cookies you've baked as treats to make this an easy event. 

2. Hide ‘n Seek Traditions. A fun way to usher in the Holiday Season is with Holiday hide and seek traditions like Elf on the Shelf or the Christmas Pickle. We've been having fun with our Elf on the Shelf for 6 years now, so let me share my experiences in my post 8 Ideas to Have More Fun with Your Elf on the Shelf or the handy tips in What to Do When You Forget to Move the Elf on the Shelf.

3. Create a Holiday Scrapbook. Together as a family, create a scrapbook of the previous Holiday family gathering. Everyone can decorate their own page and it’s a nice way to sit and talk about what you enjoyed last year.

4. The Competitive Holiday Spirit. Why not organize a Holiday Olympics to get the competitive juices flowing? If you have a Nintendo Wii console, your family can see who’s the best at bowling, tennis, or 3-Point Shoot-Out. Or, make a contest out of the Holiday tasks you need to do – Who can wrap a present the fastest? Who can untangle the first string of lights?

5. Extreme Gift Exchange. Sometimes the weirdest gifts are the most memorable. Why not inspire some creativity in your family by creating an oddball gift exchange? Have everyone in the family come up with some silly ideas for a gift theme and then sit back and laugh as the gifts are opened. Some ideas we have done in our family include:

  • Give a piece of funny (or incredibly ugly) artwork (kids and adults can draw pictures for their contribution, too)
  • Funny T-shirts
  • Socks (the uglier the better)
  • Pick a country out of a hat and buy a funny gift that represents that country
  • Choose a letter out of a hat and the gift must start with that letter
  • Gift must be bought at a convenience store or truck stop

6. Start a Neighborhood Decorating Contest, Progressive Dinner or Tree Looking Parade. Get all of your neighbors to put out Snowmen each year. Then have a party and ask everyone to vote on who has the best “themed” decorations. Or have a progressive dinner where the neighbors go from house to house “tree looking,” to admire everyone’s Holiday decorations.

Help us add to this list. Tell about some of your favorite Family Holiday Traditions.

Here's a link for even more simple and creative ideas for Family Holiday Traditions.

Debby December 15, 2011 at 03:10 AM
One of my favorite traditions is giving an experience instead of a material gift. For example, we've seen stage shows (Billy Elliot; Lion King; Blue Man Group) and sporting events (hockey and baseball) as a family instead of a large material gift (we may still give a small token gift).
Sue Kirchner December 20, 2011 at 09:41 PM
That's a great idea, Debby! Experiences are way more memorable than material gifts.

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