Hi, Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite holiday tradition?!”
I am a die hard Christmas lover! You could say I have Christmas in my blood. I decorate “ too early” and am the “all I want for Christmas “on November 1 type of girl. Unapologetically! It brings me true happiness. Now I can see you shaking your heads at me, I am aware this isn’t the norm for most. I will ask you though, what is it that makes the holidays feel special to you? To your family? I’m sure everyone you ask would have a different reason. When I think about why I love Christmas I won’t lie, my list is long! If I had to pick the one thing that embodied the holidays for me though, it would be the traditions.
Christmas Traditions have helped fuel the happy memories I’ve stored away.
If you think about it, Christmas in itself is one large tradition. The cutting of Christmas trees, leaving cookies and milk for Santa. Even Christmas Cards and Advent calendars (like this one using Elf on the Shelf) originated out of purpose. In an effort to spread holiday cheer, these traditions originated to show loved ones gratitude & joy during the depression. All born out of good and bad situations. Most of us have adopted these same Christmas traditions and made them our own. The things you look forward to, allowing us to soak up the magic of the season. While our eyes might not be as mystified as they once were, why can’t our hearts be? This year I encourage you to do the same as some of our grandparents or great great grandparents. Finding ways to make the the best out of what we have this holiday.
Light your favorite Christmas candle, pour yourself some mulled wine and get in touch with your inner elf. Now what did you enjoy most before all the responsibility of Christmas fell on your shoulders? Things that come to mind for me are the warmth of my family together, spending the whole day baking cookies, dancing to Bing Crosby in our kitchen and my grandmother putting out ribbon candy from the year prior because it ”doesn’t go bad.”
Let’s get back to the basics. What do you enjoy doing over the holidays? Do you pile in the car to go see the Christmas lights? Make hot chocolate and watch it’s a wonderful life? Whatever those things you look forward to are, do them and then find some new ones! Who’s to say how many traditions you can have? Do them all!
Here are some easy Christmas traditions to try with your family this year.
Make Christmas decorations together:
Bake cinnamon or ginger bread ornaments. String popcorn garland, or dry sliced oranges to hang on the tree. Make it a family affair, get the kids involved and make it a new annual thing. Added plus, your home will instantly smell like Christmas all season!
Holiday book swap for kids:
This year might not have you gathering as much as in the past. That doesn’t mean you can’t give gifts or spread some cheer to near and far friends. Ask your girlfriends to do a Christmas book swap. Kids love getting things in the mail and you can have your children help pick out which books to send to others. There are some great Christmas books for kids
While most of us are at home more now more than ever, plan a fun Christmas/Hanukkah dinner. Why wait! Rotate recipes each year, have kids choose and help shop and cook. Pick foods from other countries they eat at Christmas time so you’re learning about new things . If cooking isn’t your thing, support the local restaurants. Order your families favorites while celebrating the start of the season. Add some candles and Christmas crackers for an added pop of excitement!
Holiday themed YES Day:
Have a Christmas themed “YES” day! The kids want snowman pancakes for breakfast? YES! They want to watch ELF 37 times in a row? YES! Well maybe no…you know what – YES! Hot chocolate and cookies for dinner? YES! Kids of all ages will have fun with this. Let the stress of constantly saying no fall away for one day and enjoy yourself ! A great annual Christmas tradition must!
Family Christmas Scavenger hunt:
This activity works best with larger families or added relatives. Gather your people and form teams! Come up with a list of items you must find in your neighborhood or a specific drive. Make a list of Christmas/holiday items for players to find along the way. Take pictures of said items and whoever gets the most at the end gets a prize!
Play a good old fashioned board game or puzzle together:
My family used to play card games together every year on Christmas Eve. There are so many games on the market right now, from silly to challenging (there is even a plethora of games for preschoolers
). Another alternative is to find a family puzzle. Drink some hot chocolate while you piece it together. As always, shop local for these awesome finds! Places like Diversions
, G Willikers
and Noggin Factory
Traditions are meant to be special to you and yours. Do the things your family is excited about and weed out the rest.Pick one thing to plan to do each weekend that gives you something to look forward to and excites the whole family. Bring back some oldies or start some new Christmas traditions!
Despite what holiday you celebrate, these can be interchangeable. If you ask your friends what each of their holiday traditions are they will all vary. Regardless of how you are spending this holiday season I hope it’s joyful, memorable and safe.