Build Stronger Relationships with Family Holiday Traditions


Author: Berno, Bobette

Tags: Parenting, Holidays, Relationship-Building, Winter, Family

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When you think back to the holiday season when you were a child, I would venture a guess that the moments that stick out the most are the special holiday traditions your family had. Some were fun, some were special and others you tried to avoid. However you felt about them, they probably helped form some of your most vivid childhood memories.

Starting a family of your own gives you the chance to make memories and traditions of your own. Whether those traditions be completely new, based on your childhood traditions, or a combination of yours and your spouses, they will help make great memories for your child.

To get you thinking about possible traditions your family could adopt, here are some great ideas of holiday activities you can try with your kids this year.

Collect/Make Ornaments

Adding a new ornament to the tree each year can help to tell a story. Purchasing an ornament related to a sport or interest your child has, or having them make one out of Popsicle sticks will be fun to look at for years to come. Just make sure to write the year, age, and name of the child somewhere on the ornament. The trip shopping for ornaments or making them will be something your kids can look forward to every year.

Bake Cookies

Many families will make cookies and other holiday goodies together each year. Try making this a larger event by including special family and friends to join. Each person can bring or suggest their favorite recipe. This can be a full day of baking and making memories.

Visit Santa

Local malls will often give children the opportunity to visit Santa around the holidays. Make this a tradition by going on the same weekend each year. Make note of what your child asks for and write it on the back of the photo with the year and date. These can be great additions to a special scrapbook or photo album that they can have and share with their children someday. 

Attend a Local Community Event

Different towns have different traditions of their own. Maybe it’s a parade, a carnival, or a special event. Attend it each year with your family. Be sure to take photos to document the fun that is sure to happen.

Decorate the House

Decorating the home as a family can be fun. Give each member a specific task and let them get creative with it each year. It will be fun to see how different decorations change from year to year.

Help Those in Need

This is a very popular time to give back to the community. Volunteering at a local retirement home, soup kitchen, humane society or Veteran’s home with your family can be rewarding for both you and those you help.

Snack for Santa/Reindeer

Leaving out a plate of chocolate chip cookies is the traditional snack for Santa. Why not change it up? Maybe Santa would be interested in trying your child’s favorite dessert. And you can’t forget those reindeer! Some carrots will certainly help them make it through the night.

Look at the Lights

There is nothing more delightful than sipping a warm cup of hot chocolate and looking at the lighted homes. Gather the family in the car for a leisurely cruise around town. Chat about events of the year and any hopes for the year to come.

Countdown to Christmas

There are many advent calendars you can purchase, but making your own can be fun. Each day can bring something new, a song to sing, a book to read, a special snack or a fun craft.

Take a Photo

Each year take a photo as a family in the same location, on the same day, and if possible, in the same pose. This will be fun to look back on for years to come. Taking a photo in a public place will allow your children to carry on the tradition with their children later down the road.

Keep Letters to Santa

Each year have your children write a letter to Santa. Make a copy to keep before you drop it in the mail. Compile all of these letters in a keepsake book or binder for you and your child to look back on and read when they get older.

These holiday traditions can help strengthen the relationships in your family and create memories your children will never forget. Whatever traditions your family adopts, cherish them. 


Image courtesy of Flickr/jdg32373