6 Christmas Traditions to Make the Holidays More Memorable
People tend to have different feelings when it comes to the holidays. Some see them as a high-pressure, stressful time dominated by materialism, but others see it for what it really is meant to be: a joyous time, meant for spending time with friends and family and creating lasting memories. For the latter, what makes the holidays so memorable are the traditions. Here are six great Christmas traditions to make the holidays season memorable year after year.
Cut Your Own Christmas Tree
In recent years, the fake Christmas tree has become the popular choice for many homes. They don’t make a mess of needles, they’re relatively cheap, and the same one can be used year after year. They’re especially attractive when you consider that buying a fresh one in your local grocery store parking lot is approaching the same cost as the fake one, but they barely last two weeks. Back in the day, getting the Chirstmas tree was a family event, where everyone would bundle up, grab a Thermos of cocoa, and go for a hike to find the perfect tree. While you cannot just go to any wooded area and cut down a tree, many public lands now sell permits to allow you to cut a tree of your choice, usually costing less than $10. Look up a place in your area that offers permits, likely a State Park or National Forest, and take the family on a trek to find that perfect tree.
Throw a Christmas Eve Party
While you don’t necessarily need to to have the party on Christmas Eve, having a big holiday get together for friends and family is always a fun and memorable tradition. Christmas is a time for spending time with loved ones so put together some hors d'oeuvres, make a bowl of eggnog and put on some Christmas music. This gives everyone the opportunity to catch up about what has happened over the year, break out those ugly Christmas sweaters, and sing carols around the piano. Don’t feel like cooking for a crowd? Make it a potluck and have everyone bring a side or a dessert. Or if you are willing to spend the extra money, plenty of places will cater a great holiday spread.
There seems to be a perception that most people nowadays don’t want to be disturbed in their homes (likely due to door to door salespeople). This is what many folks would use as an excuse not go charoling. That and the fact that it is just too cold this time of year. Well, put on your coat, gloves, and scarf, grab some cocoa and friends, and go charoling. If your neighbors really don’t want to have visitors, they won’t answer the door. But the ones that do answer the door will be overjoyed and surprised by the presence of carolers. Also, once you get going you’ll be amazed how many charols you remember the words to and how much fun you have, despite the cold.
Bake Some Cookies
Of the twelve months in a year, you can focus on your health in the first eleven. But by December, its time to splurge a little bit, and this is where the tradition of baking cookies comes in. Gingerbread, sugar, chocolate chip, snicker doodles, and a plethora of others, accompanied by a cold glass of eggnog are the dedicated sweet treats of Christmas. Bake up a few batches for yourself and give a few away to neighbors, family, and coworkers. Forget the fruit cakes, if you want a memorable baking tradition, go with the cookies.
Decorate the House
This is probably one of the easiest traditons to create as your family likely already gets together to decorate the house. This can often feel like a chore if done by one person or hastily done, but a few changes can be made to make it an enjoyable experience. Set aside a day early in December to come together and put up all the outside lights and decorations, then move inside to warm up and do the inside decorations. This could culminate in the entire family decorating the tree if you have one by this time. If not, you can make that a whole tradition on its own. Regardless, put on a Christmas movie or some music and break out the cookies you baked and make a night of it.
No matter what your situation is, if you are reading this, you are probably better off than many others. Take some time around the holidays and give to those less fortuante and do what you can to make their holidays special. There are a number of ways to do this. If you have the time, work in a soup kitchen or ring a bell for the Salvation Army. If your schedule is too full, at least be willing to donate some food, warm clothing, or toys to those that cannot provided it for themselves. It will go a long way to bettering the holidays for some and add to your Christmas spirit as well.