As creatures of habit, we find contentment in the repetition of traditions. Having something to look forward to offers us a sense of calm or excitement. As families grow older, things once counted on may begin to change. Traditional gatherings at holiday time may become less frequent or disappear altogether. There may be the loss of those you love, and family dynamics may change due to aging relatives, kids moving away or other circumstances that affect the holiday traditions you’ve always counted on. Losing these traditions can be hard, no doubt about it. For this reason, it’s important to hold tight to those you love and create new customs that may ultimately become new traditions. Think of wonderful ways to create new, lasting memories this holiday season and traditions you can look forward to for years to come.
Here are some ideas….
Decide how you would like to donate this holiday season and find a church or organization that accepts that type of donation. There are angel trees, toy donation boxes, family-in-need sponsorships, food banks and more. If you search for a way to help others enjoy the holidays more, you will find it. And in doing so, you and your family will enjoy the season more, as well.
A Night In With Good Friends
Make hot cocoa with marshmallows, build a fire, and make s’mores, have everyone wear their favorite holiday PJs, play holiday songs and if you’re really feeling adventurous…let the kids bring their sleeping bags and camp out in the living room. Most of all, have a warm, wonderful time!
Plan a Special Holiday Meal
Make an elaborate charcuterie board with something for everyone, plan a meal to celebrate your family’s heritage, or cook everyone’s favorite foods all at once for one amazing, long, leisurely holiday meal that everyone will always remember. Put your creative touches on this special holiday meal idea and watch it be amazing!
See the Holiday Lights
Bundle up and pile into the car. Get in line early! Drive through a nearby, magnificent lights display or just drive through the neighborhoods, admiring the houses covered in holiday lights. Share the magic with the ones you love most.
Hang an Annual Ornament or Two
Purchase or let guests bring an ornament each year. You’ll be able to remember the years gone by when looking at the ornaments, and the tree will be filled with special heirlooms that can be passed on to your kids for their holiday trees.
Make it a Contest
There’s nothing like a little competition to bring people together. Whether it’s gingerbread house building, turkey drawing or a scavenger hunt…get competitive and make memories with your holiday guests!
Start a holiday puzzle together at the beginning of the season and work on it a little bit at a time to relax and rejuvenate through all the hustle and bustle.
Say what you’re Thankful for
Give everyone a note card and pen and have each person write down what he or she is thankful for, then drop all cards into a jar. At the end of the holiday meal, read the cards out loud around the table and try to guess who wrote each one.
Pick out your Tree
Choosing and decorating a tree for the holidays is a most treasured tradition. Take a trip to a tree farm to find just the right one for your home. Stop for hot chocolate along the way and make it a day to remember for your family.
Snap a Family Picture
Starting this year, find a great spot and take a picture of the family. In a few years, when you have a stack of treasured photos commemorating your family’s holidays, this will be one of the things you’re truly thankful for! You might set up an appointment and have a professional take a photo, or round everyone up and snap some less formal shots when everyone is together…either way, this will be a tradition you’ll be glad you started!