How about ten suggestions for holiday traditions to start with your family to add continuity to your seasonal celebrations.
The holidays are just around the corner, and it’s got me thinking about family and traditions. Growing up, we had all kinds of rituals around this time of year. We also decorated our tree on Christmas Eve and took it down on ‘Old Christmas Day’ or January 6th every year. We were allowed to open one gift on Christmas Eve so that we would go to bed without a fuss while ‘Santa’ made final preparations for the Big Day. We were always given a new pair of pajamas, so that we looked particularly cute for the annual family photo in front of the fireplace.
Our Christmas dinner always included the same items… turkey, of course, stuffed with my grandfather’s dressing made from Newfoundland summer savory… and English style trifle for dessert. Mom also made a dark fruit pudding that only the adult ate because it had a rum sauce that was liberally poured over the top.
As I hit my teens, some of the family traditions were a bit irritating, like having to be home on Christmas Eve for that family photo, when I really wanted to be out with my friends. But by the time I was an adult, I found myself replicating those traditions in my own home. I’m a domestic disaster in the kitchen when it comes to cooking, but I make a trifle for the annual Christmas dinner and our cranberry sauce from scratch.
Here are TEN IDEAS FOR FAMILY TRADITIONS that you could add to your seasonal celebration.
- Get in your cozy pajamas with a cup of hot chocolate and READ The Night Before Christmas out loud on Christmas Eve.
- Download a Christmas audiobooks to listen to over the holidays.
- Surprise your best friend or family member with a new book in their stocking. My mother put a romantic mystery paperback in my stocking every years to encourage me to read!
- Get the family together to play “I spy” with the ornaments on your tree. Do you remember where the ornament came from? Is it one from your childhood? A family heirloom?
- Gift your child an ornament every year. Make it a memento of a big moment or achievement from the last year.
- Prepare a special meal for Christmas Eve like a fondu.
- Give each family member a book on Christmas Eve and spend the rest of the night reading curled up in a comfy chair.
- Pick a special holiday themed movie to watch together as a family on Christmas Day.
- Find a holiday craft to do together on the lead-up to the holidays, like making cookies or ornaments.
- Look for an opportunity to volunteer together or provide some other type of community service, like a gift donation as a family, during the holiday season.
Traditions signify the continuity of life from one generation to the next. They bring with them the warmth of family, even when you can’t be together during those special times of the year. The best thing about traditions is that it’s never too late to start one. Do you have any holiday traditions that are passed down through your family?