Year to year your kids may forget what gifts they have given and received, but they will always remember the traditions you do together as a family.Try adding one of these activities to your annual holiday traditions.
Family traditions are beliefs and customs that are passed down to our children to be carried on by future generations. Traditions foster closeness between family members, provide family stability and create feelings of belonging. Our values and beliefs are often reinforced through family traditions. Family traditions do not have to be elaborate or expensive. The significance of a tradition is for families to have time to relate and communicate with one another. Spending quality time together helps affirm values, faith and life experiences while celebrating the season.
- Watch Christmas shows together with hot chocolate and popcorn.
- Make your own Christmas cards to send to family and friends.
- Donate clothes or toys to a local shelter.
- Make decorating the Christmas tree a family event.
- Bake and decorate cookies to take to a neighbor.
- Go caroling.
- Take a special drive at night to enjoy Christmas lights.
- Collect pine cones and use them to make ornaments.
- Read one Christmas story each night before bed, or have your children write and act out a Christmas play.
- Go sledding, and then enjoy hot cider or hot chocolate at home.
- Have a campout night using sleeping bags under your lighted Christmas tree.
- Make paper snowflakes to decorate your windows.
- Light up your walkway or driveway with handmade luminaries.
- Learn how different cultures celebrate Christmas.
- Create a calendar so your children can count down the days until Christmas.
- Have a Christmas past, present and future evening. Look through old photo albums/scrapbooks to celebrate Christmas past. Discuss what makes Christmas special for each family member to celebrate Christmas present and talk about hopes and dreams for the coming years to celebrate Christmas future.
- Make gingerbread people out of brown grocery sacks. These make great gift tags for presents. Glue on googly eyes and candy canes to add dimension to your gingerbread people.
- Make snow globes with old food jars.
- Have your children help you prepare a special family recipe that has been passed down through generations.
- Have a gift wrapping party.
Family traditions will create lasting memories, so whatever your traditions may be, remember to have fun and enjoy the time you are spending with family.
This article was written by Shannon Cromwell, M.A., Extension Assistant Professor, Family & Consumer Sciences, Utah State University Extension, Sanpete County, 435-283-3472, firstname.lastname@example.org