Create Your Own Holiday Traditions: Christmas Memories that Last
Rejoicing with your family can be such an adventure during the holidays! It's easy to keep memories alive if you have special family traditions to celebrate.
Make this holiday one-of-a-kind with traditions like cruising to see houses with awesome Christmas lights on display or playing in the fresh snow, making angels, having snowball fights, or building a snowman.
#1 Holiday Decorating
Decorating is the art by which families display how much they really care about Christmas.
Christmas Decorating Outdoors
Make a choice on which type of decor you wish to show off. Outshine your neighbors by displaying beautiful lights on your home! Keep your outside lights neat with a minimalist approach. Don't forget to incorporate wreaths and garland in the outdoor decor.
Another way to decorate outdoors is to focus on distinct Christmas themes like reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh, snowflakes, and plenty of greenery. This house has something for everyone.
Add your own signature pieces like a nativity, Santa's village, and/or inflatables of cartoon characters or a snowmen family.
Bring the holiday spirit to your neighbors or even your town when they cruise by to see Christmas lights.
People will experience the joy of remembering why we celebrate Christmas when they drive by and see your beautiful lawn.
Christmas Decorating Indoors
Add a small Christmas tree decorated in different themes in each additional room.
Pick silver and purple ornaments, tinsel, beads, bows, and a silver star on a little tree to make your "purple and silver" Christmas tree.
Buy blue little ornament balls, gold tinsel, gold beads, blue ornaments, and a golden angel for a "gold and blue" Christmas tree.
It may be a lot of work to buy, decorate, and store three feet tall trees for each room, but when the holiday comes around, the beauty of it all will be worth it.
Consider buying a real tree if you never have. Decorate it with memorable decorations from your children. Maybe limit it to one per year per child. That way your tree won't get too full.
Add balls, ornaments, bows, beads, and a star or angel on top. Make it beautiful to you and your family. Decorate it so well that every time you walk by it, you have to stop, stare and smile.
Ordinate your Christmas tree with ribbon. Take your time, and think about how department stores decorate their stores’ trees. Match the colors of the ribbons, ornaments, tinsel, beads, etc. Outdo the department stores!
A Nativity Scene
Decorate your home with at least one or more nativity scenes.
A Christmas Village
Do the same with a Christmas village. Each year buy a new piece to go with your village, and make it a tradition to do so.
Hang a special stocking for each member of the family. Make sure they know who gets which stocking if they do not already have names on them. Fill them with candy, small toys, gum, apples, oranges, nuts, lip gloss and other kinds of make-up, yo-yo's, and anything else that is inexpensive but will fit in that tiny space.
#2 Giving and Receiving Christmas Gifts
3 Christmas Gift Exchange Ideas
#1 Buy for the Children Only
For Christmas if you have a very large family, it may be best for everyone to only buy presents for the children aged ten and under. This will greatly save on holiday shopping, considering most people still at least have to buy for their immediate family.
#2 Draw Names
Another way to save money with a large family is to draw names. Have all the girls draw girl names and the boys draw boy names. Have each family draw a name from the opposite family involved in the celebration. Do this around Thanksgiving, and set a spending limit of around $25.00. This will give each person time to shop.
Also, drawing names may leave family members with a blank head, not knowing what to buy the other person. This could be true for your immediate family too. Therefore, it’s a great idea to make shopping lists or want lists.
List a few reasonably priced items that you want for Christmas, and give it to the people who are buying gifts for you. They will appreciate it, because not only do they have to rack their brains trying to figure out what to get you, but they will also know they bought you something you actually wanted for Christmas.
#3 Play a game, like scavenger hunt, so that children can take more time hunting all over the house with clues you create. Then at the end let them be surprised with a big gift that wouldn't have fit under the Christmas tree. What a story to tell later on and what fun!
How to Buy for the Difficult People in Your Life
- 3 Easy Last-Minute Holiday Gifts to Make for the Hard to Buy For
Running out of time to make homemade holiday gifts this year? Here are 3 original ideas that will knock the socks off your loved ones. Be unique and creative, and make a gift for anyone on your list!
Gifting - Who does something special?
Do you do something special to make sure it's fun for the kiddos?
Tradition of How to Open Christmas Gifts
Consider letting everyone open one gift on Christmas eve. This is especially fun if each person has a ton of gifts to open on Christmas morning.
To enjoy the holiday longer than expected and to ensure that each person’s gift is seen by all of the other members of the family, gifts can be opened in a circle.
Each person can open a gift one at a time. After one person opens his or her gift and shows it off to everyone, the next person in the circle can then do the same.
It is a fun way of opening gifts, and it builds the anticipation until each person's turn comes up in the circle.
#3 Celebrating Everything Santa
Santa is a special gift for children. As proof that he came on Christmas eve, the “big” Santa gifts aren’t under the tree until Christmas morning. All of the children should have to go into the living room at the same time to see the treats Santa brought.
The cookies and milk they left for him the night before should be touched. A bite out of a cookie and a few drinks of milk are proof that he enjoyed his treats.
Have you always left Santa treats on Christmas Eve?
#4 Playing in the Snow
Enjoy a special traditional breakfast every Christmas morning. If there is snow, enjoy making snow angels, snow men, and throwing snow balls.
20+ Snow Activities for Kids
- 20+ Activities to Do in the Snow | Parents
20 great games to cure cabin fever. Some of these ideas are off the chart cool like making critters out of the snow and participate in snow graffiti. It also explains how to make "molds" in the snow by using kitchen dishes and some imagination!
#5 Christmas Cooking and Baking
Christmas Dinner Ideas
- Turkey or Ham
- Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
- Dinner Rolls
- Stuffing or Dressing
- Relish Tray
- Cranberry Sauce
- Green Bean Casserole
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Fruit and Jello Salad
- Sugar Cut-out Cookies
- No Bake Cookies
- Pumpkin or Cherry/Apple Pie
- Gingerbread Houses
#6 Playing Holiday Games or Activities
Buy a Gingerbread house kit, and make an awesome yummy Gingerbread house. Another idea is to have a contest with everyone making their own Gingerbread houses.
Play some fun board games with the family or put together and use as a family any tool that you got for Christmas like a new video camera. You can capture memories to look back on with that!
Check out holiday parades or sports events on TV on Christmas.
Do you go caroling during the holidays?
The Top Christmas Songs
I'll Be Home for Christmas
Angels We Have Heard on High
It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
The 12 Days of Christmas
Jingle Bell Rock
Rockin Around the Christmas Tree
O Holy Night
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Find something that everyone will enjoy, and go for it! If too many ideas get thrown in the idea pot, write them down on paper, put them in a hat, mix them up, and draw one idea. If you finish that idea in time, you could even draw a second idea, and fill up the day. Many people are so exhausted from cooking, cleaning, wrapping gifts, getting up so early, etc., that just chilling out, and taking a nap sounds very appealing to them.
Drive around, and look at the impressive light displays at different people’s homes or at universities. Some places are famous for their Christmas light displays, showing tons of Christmas scenes lit up with beautiful lights. Take the whole family, bundle up if it’s cold, and enjoy walking around the Christmas light display a time or two. If there is a place to ice skate, rent some skates, and enjoy the sport as a family.
The Country's Top Christmas Events
www.visitingdc.com/neighbor/national-christmas-tree-lighting.htm. The president makes formal remarks about the ceremony as he lights the evergreen.
www.cityofchicago.org/specialevents. Musical performances, holiday music, tree lighting, and a visit from Santa.
www.ococean.com. Display of lights, performing song and dance, a visit from Santa, and free train rides.
www.macysholidazzle.com. Floats, Christmas music, celebrities, and Santa.
Holiday marketplace, handmade works, live Christmas music, and yummy food. Location: 645 E. First St, Bethlehem, PA, 18015
www.coeurdalene.org. 1.5 Million lights. Lake cruises, North Pole Workshop, a Musical show, and festive boat rides.
The Country's Best Light Displays
Make Christmas magical for you and your family by creating your own special family traditions!
The Country's Best Christmas Stores
#7 Capturing and Sharing Precious Moments
When enjoying the festivities it's easy to forget about the most important way to save those precious moments: taking pictures! So, break out your phone and start taking tons of pictures.
You can store them in your phone to later print or just share them on Facebook. Another option is to take the images to a drug store or supermarket and have them professionally framed or have a novelty item made out of the picture.
Those items make great Christmas gifts. Consider key chains, puzzles, ornaments, or even a canvas to hang on the wall.
Creating Your Own Christmas Traditions
These are all just suggestions. You can make your own Christmas traditions based on the ages of the members in the family, the sexes of the individuals in the family, and the habits of the family.
For example, depending on the weather, the men may want to go hunting. The women may want to go shopping. Typically, malls are open on Christmas day so that is an option.
Regardless of the holiday and who you get to share it with, make it special this year. If you can't be with your family during Christmas consider doing volunteer work. There are always volunteer opportunities especially during the holidays.
"The best portion of a man's life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love." - William Wordsworth
Unique Christmas Traditions
Do you celebrate your own holiday traditions?
Remember to make your own traditions; whether you are just starting family traditions or have done them for years, share them with joy and love with your family. You will have some great memories to share when you do!