Holiday Traditions to Start with Your Family

The whole month of December is always busy. Between shopping, parties, finishing up school, and the usual festivities, the month seems to fly by! Here are 25 ideas for new holiday traditions you can start this year with your family to spread some holiday cheer. 

  1. Cookie exchange party. Every guest brings a batch of their favorite holiday cookies to share with the rest of the party guests. 
  2. Go Christmas caroling. Bring along some hot chocolate and spread some cheer to all your neighbors!
  3. Elf on the Shelf. This has become increasingly popular over the past few years! Each day your kids will look for Santa’s little helper and see what silly antics he has been up to. 
  4. Local light displays. Most cities have a light display in the city park or down main street. You can even stay in your car and drive through them if it is too cold outside.
  5. New ornaments. Pick out a new one for each child every year. 
  6.  Giving tree. Many department stores, shelters, places of worship, etc. have a giving tree where you can “adopt” a child or family in need and get them some things they would like and need.  Purchase presents for the child or family you choose from the tree.
  7.  Donate food.  Food banks are very busy this time of year and are always in need.  Donate non-perishable items to your local food bank.
  8. Make candy. Supply all your neighbors with a special treat!
  9.  Write letters to Santa. Let each child write a letter to Santa and mail it off to the North Pole!
  10. Gingerbread house making contest. If you want to make it a little simpler, you can use graham crackers. 
  11. Go to a concert. Most cities have special concerts during the holiday season, and many of them are free! Bring your family to hear the beautiful songs of the Christmas season.
  12. Watch a movie. You could either watch the same movie together each year, or let each child choose a new movie and have a few different movie nights. 
  13.  Countdown to Christmas chain. Let the kids cut strips of paper and hook them together to create a countdown chain. Take turns taking a ring off of the chain each day.
  14. Holiday fudge. It’s a delicious treat any time of the year, and fun to make! 
  15.  Campfire with s’mores. Make a fire in the fireplace and share your favorite Christmas memories over this delicious treat. 
  16. Ornament exchange. You will end up with quite the collection in years to come! 
  17. Unconventional meal. As a fun idea for this new tradition, you could go to the store and give each child $3-$5 to spend on any food they want. Then head home, prepare all the diverse food picks into one meal, and eat by candlelight. 
  18. Exchange pajamas. You’ll have an instant family holiday photo op. 
  19. Decorate cookies.  Let the kids decorate sugar cookies with frosting and candy. 
  20. Bring dinner to a less fortunate family. Bringing dinner to a family in need would be even more meaningful if done on Christmas Eve or Day itself. 
  21. Visit Santa Claus. Most kids love being able to visit Santa and tell them what is on their wish list!
  22. Talent show. Every year, your family could get together and have each person perform a talent. It is likely to be a fun and funny event, and then you can spend the whole year thinking about what to do at the next talent show!
  23. Book advent calendar. Unwrap a book each day of the month and read it together as a family each evening. 
  24.  Hot chocolate bar. Make a big batch of hot chocolate and arrange lots of toppings and treats to flavor your drinks!
  25.  Reindeer dust. Look up a recipe online and sprinkle the dust in in front of your house on Christmas Eve. Your kids will be able to feel the magic.

We would love to hear about any holiday traditions you have with your family! Comment below with your favorite family traditions. 

Allison Green
Boston Tutoring Services

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