Putting the Fun Back in Your Family Holiday Traditions
The holidays are a special time of year. They are a time for celebration, a time for family, a time for connection, and even a time for fun. The holidays are celebrated with a variety of traditions and in a variety of ways. Every year, my family wears matching pajamas to bed on Christmas Eve so we can wear them together on Christmas Day. For the first time last year, we included the dogs in it. Family holiday traditions give us a sense of belonging and help us connect with our family in what can often be a stressful time of the year. So, let’s chat about putting the fun back in your holiday traditions.
Oh Christmas Tree
The Christmas Tree. I bet you wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the Christmas tree is the most common of all holiday traditions. But that’s where the commonality ends. There are debates about having a real tree versus a fake tree and when the Christmas tree should be put up. Some gasp at the thought of putting it up before Thanksgiving, while others happily joke about it going up the minute the clock hits midnight on Halloween.
You can trace the history of the Christmas tree as far back as the 17th Century to the German Lutherans. Christmas trees were first seen in Pennsylvania around 1820 when many Germans immigrated to the United States. But how can you add some fun to decorating the Christmas tree? Well - with Christmas ornaments. If you have little ones, you can take them to the store every holiday to pick a new Christmas ornament for the tree. Then when they are on their own, you can present them with a box of the ornaments they picked out every year to decorate their own Christmas tree.
It’s Cookie Time
There is something about Christmas cookies and their aroma as they bake in the oven that makes you feel warm and fuzzy. There are many different kinds of holiday treats for Christmas. Here is just a sampling of some more traditional and popular ones.
- Holiday cut-out cookies
- Peanut butter blossoms
- Spritz cookies
- Peppermint bark
- Gingerbread cookies
- Candied nuts
If you’re unsure where to start, I found this article from The Pioneer Woman and think it will inspire you to make your own Christmas treats. Or perhaps you already have a set menu of treats and desserts you make for the holidays. Our family enjoys Coquito every holiday season, which is a traditional Spanish drink similar to eggnog.
You can add fun to baking Christmas treats by not doing it alone. Many families gather for a Christmas Baking Day and work all day on a tasty spread of sugar and spice. Another fun twist is having a Cookie Exchange. Get together, have everyone make their favorite Christmas treat, and then exchange at the party. Add some silliness with matching aprons or themed t-shirts, play Christmas music, have a flour fight, and revel in the spirit of Christmas.
The exchanging of gifts. It’s a timeless holiday tradition. But, do you ever find yourself trying to top last year's gift-giving? Do you never know what to get on your list? There are many fun ways to do gift-giving. Two of the most popular gift exchanges are a Secret Santa Exchange and a White Elephant Exchange. You can make things interesting and creative by doing different gift-giving themes. At a loss for what theme to pick - check out this article for 30 Next-Level Holiday Gift Exchange Themes and Ideas - Redbubble Life.
What if you were to choose a self-care theme for your gift exchange? Many of us struggle with self-care, especially around the holidays, and we can all benefit from exchanging only self-care items. And if you’re looking for self-care gift ideas, check out my shower steamers. Mix and match, or get them all in one shower steamer bundle.
How do you celebrate the holidays outside the home? Does your city put on a holiday parade that you go and watch? Are there holiday markets where you shop local businesses for those perfect gifts? Do you take your kids to see Santa? Does your town put on an annual tree lighting? Can you drive around your neighborhood and see houses decked out to the nines in lights corresponding to music playing on the radio?
These are just some of the events local communities put on to help you and your neighbors celebrate the holidays. Communities get increasingly creative every year, trying to make the holidays fun for all age groups. Families anxiously await to attend local holiday events each year and see what new and exciting things will be in store for them. Our family has enjoyed many of these events in the past from Breakfast with Santa to Christmas train rides. We always tried to do something new and fun as a family.
Family Holiday Traditions
As I said earlier, holiday traditions give us a sense of belonging and help us connect, especially when it comes to family holiday traditions. Our family loves to wear matching pajamas to bed on Christmas Eve so we can wear them together on Christmas Day.
There are many fun and creative ways for families to celebrate the holidays. How about doing a Christmas movie marathon? What about having a snowman-building competition if you live where you get snow for the holidays? Or gather inside where it’s warm and do a gingerbread house competition? Maybe your family likes to go out caroling in your neighborhood. Whatever holiday traditions your family participates in, remember to stop and enjoy the moments.
A Magical Time of Year
Holidays are indeed a magical time of year. It is a time for celebration and a time for family. It is also a time for fun holiday cheer. Whether adding new holiday traditions or trying to liven up the ones you already have, soak it all in and cherish the moments that will make memories for years. I hope you enjoyed reading this and discovered new ways your family can add fun to your holiday traditions. If you did, let me know; I would love to hear about them. Happy Holidays!