Holidays are always built around traditions. Most people are familiar with eating turkey on Thanksgiving, decorating a Christmas tree, belting out holiday tunes along with the radio, and consuming voluminous quantities of Christmas cookies and eggnog throughout December.
However, for all of the overlap in the events and activities, each family still celebrates the holidays in their own unique way. If you have a new family this holiday season, here are a few suggestions for fun holiday traditions you can start in your own household in order to give the season your own distinct flair.
Kick Things Off With a Bang
Most of the Christmas season is spent slowly building up momentum for the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s. However, one way to add a bit of your own flavor to the holiday season is to pull some of the festivities forward by a few weeks.
As Thanksgiving wraps up, take some time as a family to crank up the Christmas music and decorate your tree and entire house. Taking a day or two to specifically turn your house into a winter wonderland can be a wonderfully cathartic tradition each year. It allows you, your partner, and your children to relax after a busy, socially exhausting Thanksgiving holiday spent with friends and extended family.
Take a Trip
If you’re the adventurous type, you can turn the holidays into a chance for a family vacation. The size of the vacation is completely up to you. You can take the RV to a local national park, rent a posh hotel suite for a night, or spring for a full-blown holiday vacation abroad.
Whatever the specifics, heading out in search of adventure each holiday season can be a nice tradition that keeps your family close together during one of the busiest times of the year.
Build Traditions Around Christmas Movies
There are many simple-yet-fun traditions that can be made with Christmas movies. Decorating your tree while “A Charlie Brown Christmas” plays in the background, watching “Elf” together as a family every December, or catching “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Christmas Eve are all beautifully simple traditions that can bring your family together.
Another great idea is to select your own unique Christmas movie to add to your collection each year. While streaming services are great, they often have restricted Christmas movie options. Having a tradition of annually adding to your Christmas movie collection is a fun way to put yourself in the driver’s seat when it comes to your Christmas entertainment.
Add to the Family
The holidays can be the perfect time to add to your family. One fun holiday tradition is to choose a new pet each year. Before you roll your eyes at the thought of another new pet every year, consider the options. You don’t have to go all out and get your child that pony they’ve been asking Santa for over the last few years. You can keep things simple. Get a fish, a reptile, or a gerbil.
If you do decide to go with a larger option like a cat or dog, make sure that you consider all of the costs and responsibilities like food, vet bills, and insurance. You don’t want to wake up with a holiday hangover in January and realize that you took on more than you can handle.
Go the DIY Route
You’ve updated your family’s budget for the holidays and some of the bigger ticket items you wanted to do, like refresh your holiday decor, now feel a little out of reach. Instead of tightening your financial belts too tightly, consider some DIY options.
Consider starting a tradition where each of your children picks out an ornament to hang on the tree every year. You can even make them yourself to add a personal touch to the event. Ornaments aside, you can turn the creation of holiday-themed potpourri, paper snowflakes, and even homemade gifts into a fun tradition each and every year.
Make a Christmas Paper Chain
One fun tradition that can make the lead up to the holidays particularly exciting is creating a Christmas paper chain.
Start by linking 55 green and red paper loops together in a chain and then hanging it up after Halloween. Then, break one loop of the chain each day until Christmas. The thrill of the holiday countdown over the ensuing weeks is palpitating as the chain slowly but surely shrinks until it disappears on Christmas morning.
Creating New Traditions
Taking the time to create your own unique set of traditions, new and old, is a great way to infuse the holiday season with a sense of unique purpose. Family traditions like watching a Christmas movie, creating a Christmas paper chain, or adding a new fish to the fishbowl provide a host of exciting events for your loved ones to look forward to each December.
You can also host an awards show at home and make up silly or sweet awards to honor or recognize the lovable personalities of your family members. You can give them customized trophies or plaques for being the best parent, being the most tidy, or even for their quirky habits.
As you fill your holidays with annual events and activities, you’ll find that you’re already looking forward to the next celebration by the time you get ready to pack everything away for next year.
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