When growing and rearing a family of your own, you’ll have plenty of challenges ahead of you. One way to help foster healthy family relationships amidst tantrums and time outs is to instill family traditions that develop happy memories and positive bonding experiences. With the holidays around the corner, now is the perfect time to begin creating those traditions together. But you don’t want just any old boring holiday cliches! You want something unique that you can enjoy every year.
Here are some ideas for creating memorable and unique holiday traditions for your family to cherish.
Bake Some Holiday Cookies
All kids love sweets. All kids love doing things with their family (even if the older ones won’t admit it). So why not combine the two and bake some cookies together? Don’t just go for the refrigerated version that you buy in the grocery store. Go all out, like with this delicious lemon butter sugar cookies recipe.
But it isn’t the baking that is the fun part, it is the decorating! Take the kids to the store and get some frosting canisters, cookie cutters and holiday themed sprinkles and candies.
Give To The Less Fortunate
Teaching to be generous and empathetic is among one of the greatest lessons you can teach your children. One way to instill those traits in them is to give to those who are less fortunate.
Choose a charity, such as Sub For Santa or The Christmas Box International. These provide gifts for families who are struggling, including toys, clothing and other items that they wouldn’t be able to afford.
This has an additional benefit: it teaches your children to be grateful for what they have, including the gifts they receive every year.
Make Gift Giving a Game
Now that my kids are teenagers we have established a rather fun annual tradition. We do only two gifts every Christmas from one another, one serious and one silly. At first it started with funny little jokes from earlier in the year. For example, my youngest used to be terrified of sloths, so his brother bought him a stuffed sloth as the joke gift.
Since then it has evolved into getting the weirdest, most ridiculous or most confusing present possible. That results in each of us getting a handful of incomprehensible gadgets, unexplained Japanese stuffed creatures, disgusting candy and other oddities that are always hilarious to open.
Sometimes the secret of gift giving is to make it fun. Your gift ideas don’t have to be crazy because even simple or unique gifts can make all the difference.
Have a Horror-ible Holiday
There are quite a few horror related Christmas movies out there, these days. Black Christmas, Krampus, Gremlins, Silent Night, Deadly Night I & II, Jack Frost…the list goes on and on. Now that my kids are older we have started kicking off the holiday season with horror movies that have a festive theme.
Not only is this a lot of fun, but it is a tradition that can be spread out over the weeks leading up to the big day. We usually pick one night a week where homework, after school activities and jobs don’t get in the way, make some hot chocolate or pour some eggnog, pop popcorn and settle in for some holiday hijinks and mayhem.
Get Creative With Your Holiday Fun!
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice or nothing at all, the holidays are a great time to make some memories with your kids. So make some creative ones they will never forget! What are your favorite family holiday traditions?