New (and Improved!) Holiday Traditions

Eight ways to celebrate the holidays this year that are a little bit different than the usual gift exchange. Which ones will you try?

 

Every family indulges in and celebrates the holidays in a different way—some families choose a different way to celebrate every year. With all the talk about Ashton and Mila not giving presents to their kids, parents everywhere are rethinking their holiday plans.

CREATE AN INDOOR FOREST

Setting up eight or nine tiny trees (each about three feet tall) around the family room or the whole house, is a beautiful way to decorate and indulge in the holidays. If you want, give each tree it’s own theme and name (think: coffee tree, childhood ornament tree and even sports themed tree) and let everyone decorate their fave.

MAKE AN ANNUAL ORNAMENT

Let kids make a new ornament every year, like DIY rustic chalkboard ornaments or delicious-smelling Cinnamon Gingerbread ornaments. The crafting keeps them busy for a while, and you’ll be able to look back on every holiday that your family has spent together while you decorate the tree each year.

HOST A BOOK EXCHANGE

Time off work, time with family, time at home, time snuggled up under the covers—it’s the perfect chance to do some reading as a family. Host a holiday book swap and share you own books or buy a new one specifically for each person.

DONATE TOYS, CLOTHES AND MORE

To make way for the presents the big guy *might* bring and help your kids to comprehend the importance of generosity and that giving, and not always receiving is amazing. Donate to an organization in your community that is collecting during the holiday season (hint: they all are).

holiday traditions socks

FIND JOY IN SOCKS

Give amazing and decorative socks to everyone before your holiday gathering, with instructions to wear them to your family gathering (whatever it might be; Christmas Bruch, holiday movie or Boxing Day Skate-a-thon). They can be holiday-themed or anything goes (like mermaids and narwhals and even tacos and dinosaurs). Funny, cute and decorative socks put a smile on everyone’s face and it will easily become a fantastic family tradition.

HOST A “MATCHY JAMMY” S’MORES NIGHT

On a cold December night, light a fire, grab some mugs of hot chocolate, and make a pile of S’mores while everyone sits around wearing matching pjs. It will be a night to remember—and don’t forget to snap a family photo!

WATCH TV (AND EAT JUNK FOOD)

There is always a television marathon going on—and of course there’s Netflix. Catch up on something that the whole family can watch—like Supergirl, Lemony Snicket or Once Upon a Time. Or, pick out one of the season’s many holiday TV shows or movies. Then, invite family and friends over, serve up some junk food and veg out in front of the television.

MAKE EVERYONE WORK FOR THEIR GIFT(S)

If you have really little ones in your family, tie a string to a small present and then wind it all over the house for them to follow to their gift. If the kids in your family gathering are a bit older and can read, why not hide hints all over the place, directing kids to clues that “Santa” has left.

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