Holiday Traditions to Start with Your Family
My entire life, the holiday season has always been, hands down, the best time of the year for me. When I was growing up, I always knew what to expect – we’d go to my aunt’s house to play in the pool and then have the most banging Thanksgiving dinner, and then on Christmas Eve we’d go to the candle light service at our church where I’d nap in the pews, and then we would come home and I would proceed to not sleep a wink the rest of the night, and then on Christmas morning we’d go back to my aunt’s house for more presents and more swimming (I grew up in Central Florida, by the way). It’s what we did every year, and I loved that I could count on these traditions.
Since having kids, however, the holiday season has gotten even more magical, if you can believe it, because becoming a parent means that you are now completely in charge of creating all of the fun holiday traditions YOUR kids get to experience each year. So cool, right?
If you’re looking for a few traditions to start with your family right now, here’s a list of easy ones!
Come up with a non-negotiable holiday schedule.I love this one, because it gets your kids excited about each little thing coming up. For us, it means we don’t acknowledge each holiday until it’s “the right time.” We don’t talk about Christmas before Thanksgiving. And once Thanksgiving happens, we still don’t talk about Christmas until after my December birthday passes (sorry, kids). And so on. It’s aggravating to my husband who would prefer to start blasting Christmas music the second we get in the house after Trick-Or-Treating, but even he admits it’s super fun, because it hypes up each holiday on its own!
Reimagine gift giving.Come up with a unique-to-your-family gift giving tradition in your house. It could be that, if you have a big family, you draw names and only get a gift for that one family member, a la Secret Santa. It could be like our family in which whomever GIVES the best gift “wins” Christmas (I imagine a Christmas trophy being constructed in the near future). This is such an easy and fun way to make the routine of gift giving just a tad more special than it is on its own.
Create a unique holiday meal. For us, it’s Christmas waffles. And this started actually the first Christmas my husband and I were married, before we had any kids. We stupidly registered for a waffle iron, even though we knew we’d never use it, and so we busted it out on Christmas morning because why not? This is now our tradition each year – waffles on Christmas morning (and no other morning throughout the year, if you can believe it). My friend’s family does margaritas all day on Christmas. Whatever decorates your tree, friends!
Let your kids DIY decorations.Popcorn garlands, paper snowflakes, gingerbread houses, homemade ornaments… these are the things that make the holidays so magical.
Matching pajamas.I have to admit – I’m still trying to hop on this train, but my husband can’t stop sending me pictures of matching family pajama sets. As cringey as it feels in my gut, it does look super cute in photos. And, bonus? It’ll probably embarrass my boys immensely once they’re teenagers, and I’m all about that.
What holiday traditions are you hoping to start with your family this season?