Without even realizing it, most of us already have family traditions. Many of our traditions have carried over from our own parents, such as the holiday meals we eat, Christmas Eve religious ceremonies, and opening one gift on Christmas Eve. However, it’s also important to be open to letting your kids take part in creating new traditions that are unique to your family. Here are a few ideas:
Trim the Tree Ceremony – If you celebrate Christmas by decorating a tree, why not have an official tree lighting ceremony? Pick an actual date, say December 15th and make it a festive ritual. Family members can give fun speeches, read poems, sing songs, play instruments and each year a different family member can be the master of ceremony.
New Ornaments – Each Christmas, take the kids shopping so they can personally handpick an ornament to adorn the tree. Through the years, not only will you have a uniquely decorated tree, but one full of special memories.
Christmas Cards within the Household – Have each family member in the household give each other Christmas cards with a special message. Don’t forget to date each card as these make great keepsakes for parents and siblings.
Theatrical Productions – Rather than just read a holiday book or sing holiday songs, why not act them out for family fun? The Twelve Days of Christmas is a great song to put into action. Teach the kids a movement for each of the twelve days. They will happily act out “seven swans a- swimming” and “eight maids a-milking”. However, they will find it hysterical to be “six geese a-laying”. (Videotaping each year is recommended!)
Christmas Guest Book – Do you get together with extended family every year? Don’t just take pictures, but also have all family members comment in and sign a guest book. This tradition makes a great memento. Reading through the guest book after your eight-year-old graduates college, or when loved ones are no longer with you is priceless.
Remembering Those Less Fortunate – Volunteering at shelters, collecting and delivering toys to needy children, and helping to serve holiday meals is a tradition that emphasizes the “reason for the season”. It will not only be a valuable service to the community but it will be a valuable lesson to your kids.