Making the holidays memorable is important to everyone, each and every year. I’m always on the lookout for some great things to do with the family that are meaningful and that are traditions that we want to carry on with our kids and that they will want to take with them when they leave the nest. Of course, the standard family dinners, church services, and attending holiday events will always be staples, I love the idea of having something that is a less mainstream that our family enjoys together. Here are some ideas for amazing holiday family traditions that you can start this year.
Whether you have extra time together over the holiday break or only a bit of time during the holidays to do something special, we have ideas that you can use or modify to create something wonderful and unique that your family can continue, year after year.
Holiday Family Traditions that Give Back
Volunteer Together – There are so many wonderful organizations that serve others who need extra hands around the holidays. Whether you’re helping out at the local animal shelter, ringing a bell outside a store, or serving a meal to the less fortunate, giving back to others is a holiday family tradition that will make you feel good, as well as give you a bit of perspective during the season.
Support a Family Member’s Favorite Cause – Make a donation to each family’s favorite cause a part of your holiday giving. Everyone has something that is dear to their hearts and it will be so meaningful to see a donation in their name under the tree. Don’t leave the little ones out, either! Donating to their favorite museum or a community effort to build a new park on their behalf will be something that you can share with them later on when they understand.
Create a Kindness Calendar – Make a plan together over the holidays for acts of kindness and giving back that lasts the whole year through. Gather everyone’s ideas and create a kindness calendar and post it somewhere that you will see it regularly. If any of your ideas require advance planning or scheduling, get that done now so that you are ready to go when the time comes.
Invite Someone to Join Your Festivities – Just about everyone knows someone who isn’t able to be with their loved ones at the holidays. Include an elderly neighbor, a family that is new to the area with no local relatives, or anyone who might need a friendly face in one or more of your holiday traditions.
Start Your Own Meal Train – If you’re off over the holiday break, look out for a family or families who might not be. A single mom who is working through break or a family who is a little tight on cash at the holidays would greatly appreciate a night off from worrying about dinner. Whether you deliver meals or invite folks over, it will be a fun holiday family tradition that gives back.
Special Things to do Together
Write the Story of Your Year – Invest in a scrapbook or fancy notebook and work together to write the story of the highlights and memories of the past year. You can look at it throughout the years and reminisce about good times, enjoy fond memories, and see just how much everyone has grown and changed over the years.
Create a Unique Spin on a Holiday Recipe – Food is holiday staple for most families, but it can be fun finding new things to bring to the table. Add something to a standard holiday recipe to make it your own or let everyone have a hand in adding a new dish to the menu.
Visit a Local Landmark or Attraction Together – Think outside the box and go on an outing to a local fun spot together. Choose something that will be fun year after year, as the kids grow. You may enjoy ice skating, an indoor pool, a hands-on museum, a visit to the Planetarium, or something totally different and unique to your family’s interests. The important thing is the time you spend together.
Host a Game Night – Invite over some friends, make some great snacks, and host a huge game night! Everyone can bring a favorite board game or you can theme the night around one of your favorites. The time spend having fun with family and friends will be something that you’ll want to repeat every holiday season.
“Unplug” For a Day…or more! – With electronics and technology topping many holiday gift lists, finding time to spend together that isn’t online or in front of a screen can be a challenge. Set aside a day – or even several days – where the screens are turned off, the controllers are put down, and you are fully present with each other. Talk, play games, have a singalong, cook together – there are so many options – the important thing is the time you spend together creating amazing family holiday traditions.
What traditions does your family have during the Holiday’s? I would love to hear them.