7 Holiday Traditions to Start with Your Family

Some families have holiday traditions that go back generations.  Other families don’t really have any traditions at all.  Regardless of which camp you fall into, why not create a few new holiday traditions this Christmas season?  Traditions give everyone something special to look forward to year after year.  If you are at a loss as to what kind of things you can do to start a tradition, check out this list.

  1. Look at the lights.  Magical twinkling lights are all around in the weeks leading up to Christmas.  Pick a night to take the whole family on a drive around the neighborhood or a drive through one of those huge displays that you pay by the car load.  You might want to bring along some popcorn and hot chocolate to enjoy during your drive.
  2. Serve dinner at a soup kitchen.  Check with your local shelters to find out when they serve dinners and look into if you and your family can take part in helping those less fortunate.  Check early, because sometimes shelters take the first 50 people to help and then turn other volunteers away.  Christmastime is a popular time to help serve at the soup kitchen, and a lot of places will take reservations for volunteers.
  3. Go Christmas caroling.  It doesn’t matter if you can carry a tune or not.  Dress warmly and print out the lyrics of some popular Christmas songs, then take a stroll around the neighborhood singing to folks.  This doesn’t happen as regularly as it once did, and people will surely be thrilled to hear a holiday song.  Ask some of your friends to come along if you are shy about your abilities.  There is strength in numbers.
  4. Watch a tree lighting.  Most cities have a central square or other location where they have a big Christmas tree lighting ceremony.  Sometimes it’s tied to other winter activities that you might join in on as well.  Check with your city or online to see where the different tree lightings are in your area.
  5. Go on a sleigh ride.  If you live in an area where there is no snow then you can look for a carriage ride and go on one of those with your family.  Check the yellow pages in your area and see where you can find a sleigh ride or carriage ride this holiday season.  It’s magical listening to the sleigh bells ring.
  6. Invite friends over for Christmas Eve.  Get together with some friends on Christmas Eve and play games or watch a Christmas movie with some popcorn and candy.  Make it a potluck or order Chinese food for something completely different than what everyone will be eating on Christmas day.
  7. Bake cookies for the neighbors.  If you love to bake why don’t you and the kids make up a bunch of cookies, candies and bars to take to the neighbors?  People usually like homemade food and will be excited to see someone from the neighborhood bringing them goodies.  You never know, the way to a cranky neighbor’s heart might be through their stomach!

Anything can become a tradition if you make it a point to do it every year.  Bake cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning or mix up a batch of homemade fudge.  You will be amazed how much fun it will be to anticipate these traditions year after year.