Family traditions are an important part of raising a family. It’s the traditions surrounding the Holidays that we usually remember when we get older. If you’re a young family and don’t have any traditions yet, or if you’re family hasn’t started or continued any traditions yet, here are a few suggestions:
1. Have a family baking day. My girls and I get together a couple of weeks before Christmas and bake our hearts out! We bake cookies, fudge, and other great Holiday treats. It’s a great bonding time for us.
2. Set a special shopping date just for you and your sisters and/or other female members of your family, to go out and shop for the men in your life. This is a great way to spend some time with those special people in your lives!
3. Take your kids to see Santa. Some of my kid’s greatest Christmas memories are of those when we took them to see Santa.
4. Set a Christmas decorating day with your family. Go get the tree together, then put on some Christmas music and decorate it and the house.
5. Get out the bible and read the Christmas story while you set up the Nativity Scene.
6. Have a Christmas family movie night. Watch your favorite Christmas movie with your family.
7. Go to the Christmas Eve service at your church as a family.
8. Make a special dinner for Christmas or Christmas Eve.
9. Make a special Christmas breakfast.
10. Play a gift giving game every year for the Holidays.
11. Start a gag-gift giveaway. Wrap up a gag-gift and give it to someone on your list. Then see who gets it the next year.
12. Put some acts of service cards in a hat or bowl and have everyone draw one or two out. Set a deadline when those have to be accomplished by. You can have everyone put their name and what act of service they’d like done for them on the card as well.
13. Take a new family photograph every year.
14. Put a special treat in everyone’s stocking; the same one for everyone that they know they will get every year. Some suggestions are: some cash, a new ornament, their favorite candy, a new toothbrush, lip gloss or chapstick, or new perfume or cologne.
15. Set up a special way to open your presents as a family. Make a game of it, or let everyone open one present each hour. This gives time to spend putting gadgets together and puts more meaning into the gift opening. It also makes the gift opening last longer, allowing for more family time.
16. Purchase only 3 gifts per each family member: 3 representing the Trinity and Christ rising on the Third Day
17. If you’re techie like me, send out a Christmas eCard to all of your family members and friends.
18. Send a text message to all your cell phone buddies, wishing them a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, or Happy New Year.
19. Go Christmas Caroling as a family.
20. Take up a collection amongst your family members and help pay someone’s gas or electric bill.
21. As a family, go help out at the local homeless shelter, food pantry or soup kitchen.
22. Get everyone together and play board games after opening presents. It’s a great way to bond and spend quality time together.
Whatever tradition(s) you start, make sure they are meaningful and ones that will make great memories for you and your family. I have found my kids really rely on those family traditions that have been set by their grandparents and others. When those traditions are dropped or stopped, for whatever reason, be sure to begin a new one. They do make the Holidays more memorable and meaningful.