It’s that time of year again! It may be a bit chilly outside, but I’ve found that the warmest memories for me are created in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s a time to be with the ones you love, share stories and laughter, and take time to reflect on what’s really important in life.
Every family has their own special way of celebrating the holidays, and many involve a tradition or two. From something as common as sharing Christmas gifts to a more obscure tradition like being the first to spot the coveted pickle ornament on the tree, it doesn’t matter what traditions you share as long as they bring you all closer together.
Scroll down to see 9 traditions you can start this year:
1. Bake cookies together.
This tradition is a favorite among many families…and a delicious one, too! My mom used to have a rule that you could only eat the cookies that you helped decorate. That really made us kids extra eager to lend a hand!
2. Have an annual potluck…with a twist.
To avoid duplicate dishes, each person attending can bring the same type of dish every year. We do this in my family, and my sister-in-law is really mastering the art of cooking potatoes a bunch of different ways.
3. Donate something.
Whether you’re donating material possessions like coats and hats, or your time at a food pantry, giving back to your community as a family is sure to bring you all closer together and really appreciate the blessings you share.
4. Take an annual family picture.
It’s always special when the entire family is together, especially when the kids get older and don’t come home as often, and a picture is the perfect way to capture the moment. If you keep an album of your Christmas family portraits and add to it every year, it’s an easy and fun way to look back and see how your family has grown!
5. Give an annual ornament.
My parents always gave each child an ornament for Christmas every year that reflected our hobbies and interests. Then, when we grew up and lived on our own, we had enough ornaments to decorate our own Christmas trees. (If you like this idea, make sure to check out the unique selection of Christmas ornaments from The Bradford Exchange.)
6. Have each person in the family light a candle.
Candles and flames hold a great deal of symbolism in many religions around the world. Having each person light a candle in the table centerpiece or around the home not only adds to the ambiance, it serves as a reminder that together you shine the brightest.
7. Have a “Yule Log.”
I don’t mean the kind you burn in the fireplace. (Although those are definitely nice to have as well!) Take a notebook or journal and have everyone celebrating the holidays write down their name and one special thing that happened to them that year. A new job, a new home, a new baby — anything!
8. Read something aloud.
My family has a tradition that someone (usually the youngest child) has to read “A Visit from St. Nicholas” aloud with vigor on Christmas Eve. Over-acting, heckling, and hilarity usually ensues, so it’s a tradition that will definitely continue throughout the generations.
9. See the neighborhood Christmas lights together.
Pile up in the car or take a walk around the neighborhood to see how other families are celebrating the season. “Oohs” and “aahs” are sure to be heard, and memories are sure to be made!
What holiday traditions do you have? Do you already do some from this list? I’d love to hear from you in the comments! No matter what traditions you and your loved ones share, the most important thing is that you’re spending time together.
If you’re hoping to make the holidays extra merry and bright this year, be sure to visit The Bradford Exchange Online to see our selection of Christmas decor and Christmas gifts. I bet you’ll find something special to share Christmas cheer!
Thanks for reading and please share this post!9 Holiday Traditions You Can Start This Year by Beth Simon