Lots of families celebrate Christmas in December, but what makes the holiday particularly special is the personal family traditions that give it a unique, magical quality– reviving feelings of very first Christmas experiences. Think about your own holiday family traditions from childhood. There’s a good chance you continue to carry on these traditions today. Start your season off with a little nostalgia with these popular Christmas traditions.
1. Watching Christmas Classics
Gathering the whole family together in front of the TV with popcorn, hot chocolate and favorite classic Christmas films is a popular tradition with many different families. What would Christmas be like without Ralphie and his Red Ryder BB gun? The Grinch’s touching change of heart in Whoville? The whole Peanuts crew singing carols around Charlie Brown’s humble Christmas tree? Or George Bailey’s wonderful life? These stories are memories in and of themselves that touch our lives and remind us what Christmas is all about.
2. Baking Christmas Cookies
The one time of year where you’re allowed to splurge on sweets should never be taken for granted, and baking Christmas cookies is often just as fun as eating them. Kids of all ages can work with parents in the kitchen to combine ingredients and play with frosting, sprinkles, cookie cutters and more to create fun, festive cookies that taste as good as they look. Bake some for the whole family and make a few extra batches to give to friends and neighbors for a sweet little gift that everyone will appreciate.
3. Secret Santa
Secret Santa offers a touch of mystery to the holiday festivities. This gift-giving game of surprising a friend or family member with an anonymous gift is a fun way to make someone’s holiday holiday extra special, while adding a touch of exciting anticipation.
4. Trimming the Tree
There’s nothing better than playing Christmas carols, unpacking all of the decorations and trimming the tree with the whole family. The task of decorating can be daunting and tedious when you’re left to do it alone, so why not make it special and less of a chore by bringing the whole family together for a fun bonding event? You can get creative with this tradition and make it your own by having everyone contribute their own DIY ornament or rotate who gets to pick the tree decor theme.
Holiday traditions are what separate Christmas from being just another national holiday, to a personal, cherished experience that means much more than presents and breaks from school and work. Keeping up with these traditions is one of the ways we can all make each year special and focused on family togetherness as well as other more meaningful aspects of the holiday. As our own families continue to grow and move away, these traditions are one way to bring everyone together.