With the holiday season in full force we are all preparing for the festivities and celebrations to come. Those like myself with young children may be considering what new holiday traditions to create and establish for years to come and evaluating old holiday traditions they enjoyed celebrating in the past to pass on to future generations. I’ve done some research during this process and thought I would share some holiday traditions that I found special and meaningful that we are considering implementing in our family.
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Thanksgiving/Fall Holiday Traditions
Some of these holiday traditions may work for your family to do on the day of thanksgiving, while others provide opportunities to be practice appreciation and sharing provision with others around you during the Fall season.
- Go on a family nature walk in the morning
- Put butcher paper on the dining table. Have everyone write and share what they’re thankful for during the meal time.
- Look at the newspaper ads in the mail to find Black Friday deals and sales.
- Spend the morning together cooking a feast and baking pies for dinner. Have lots of appetizers to snack on throughout the day.
- Host a fun olympics game at your house like the one described in this Reader’s Digest article.
- Decide on a way to give back to those around you in your community.
- Mail a care package for family, friends, or military who may be alone.
- Ding dong ditch a treat for a neighbor.
- Go camping in your backyard.
- Have everyone write a few things they are thankful for on slips of paper and place in a bowl. Each person then takes turns pulling one out, reading it, and guessing who wrote it.
- The weekend after Thanksgiving, go to a Christmas tree farm to pick out and cut down a tree to take home and decorate while listening to Christmas music.
Pick and choose which of these holiday traditions fit with your family on this special day.
- Play a new board game as a family.
- Each person gets to open a Christmas Eve gift.
- Try to be the first person to tell everyone “Christmas Eve gift.”
- Wear a new pair of matching Christmas pajamas.
- Unwrap new books for each person and spend the evening reading by the tree/fire and sipping homemade hot cocoa.
- Attend a candlelight church service.
- Camp out by the tree.
- Have a secret decoration attack. Learn more about this idea and many more on an awesome site I love by The Dating Divas.
Christmas/Winter Season Holiday Traditions
Similar to the Fall season, there are many gatherings and festivities during the Winter season. This allows many circumstances to implement new and old holiday traditions.
- Celebrate the season of advent by reading through the scriptures of the story of Christmas each day in December followed by prayer. Check out this cute, free printable I found for children that is an easy reference.
- Have a reverse advent calendar where you place an item in a box to give to someone in need each day of December. You can encourage others to contribute as well.
- Plan special, fun activities for each day in December (some of which you can use ideas from this list).
- Drive around to see Christmas lights.
- Again, you have to check out The Dating Divas Christmas traditions. They have seriously the best ideas. A few of my favorites are: minute to win it style games, scavenger hunt, bingo, and charades games. Another really cool idea is to do an act of service for your neighbors or leave something outside their door with a sign saying “You’ve Been Jingled.”
- The kids can dress up and act out the Christmas story.
- Make special treats together.
- Visit a nursing home.
- Add your children’s handprints to the tree skirt each year.
- Create 25 ornaments each with a biblical reference for the names of Jesus, putting one on the tree each day for the 25 days of Christmas. On the final day read Luke 2 as a family. Here is where I got this great idea from.
- Create a countdown to Christmas service chain like this where you can think of a different act of service to do each day before removing one of the links.
- Give your children a set amount of money to use to help others as they choose.
- The Giving Manger helps put the focus on giving to others with each piece of hay laid in Jesus’ manger representing an act of service contributed by a member of the family.
- With Star From Afar your family gets an interactive, exciting advent experience daily.
- A fun alternative to the popular Elf on the Shelf that is focused on the season of advent is The Shepherd’s Treasure.
- Purchase a new ornament every year.
- Truth in the Tinsel is a cute advent activity that provides different ornament crafts for you to create every day.
The start of a New Year brings many aspirations and joy for all. Find a way to commemorate this with those you love by incorporating some of the following holiday traditions.
- Reminisce on the past year, answers to prayers, and discuss hopes for the upcoming year.
- Eat black eyed peas for luck.
- A variation of this idea where you have a different activity for each hour of the day that you are awake on New Years Eve to countdown.
This holiday is celebrated not just by those of Christian faith. Here are some ideas that focus on the biblical aspect as well as a few holiday traditions that show hospitality to those around you.
- Instead of hunting eggs, hunt nine pieces of fruit. Then, discuss the fruits of the spirit.
- Have a time of remembrance (30 minutes) where you cover all the windows in the house and turn out the lights. Take this time to read the bible, pray, reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, and spend time together. When the time is up open the windows and share communion as a family.
- Discuss the resurrection eggs.
- Fill an Easter basket for someone.
- Observe lent for 40 days before Easter by choosing to give something up and pray.
- Crack cascarones on each others’ heads.
- “Egg” your neighbors with a special treat to show you’re thinking of them.
Each person has their own special way that they came into this world to greet their family and friends. Shared below are a few ways to commemorate this special day each year.
- Tell your child the story of their birth (or how you came to adopt them).
- Have each person celebrating tell the person why they are thankful for them, what they love about them, and share a blessing for them in their next year of life, and pray over them.
- Fill the birthday persons room full of the number of balloons for each year of life.
- Have the birthday person choose an act of service for each year they have been alive (can be completed over the course of the birthday week or month).
I had so much fun getting to look into all of these cool holiday traditions and can’t wait to implement some of them in my family in the upcoming years! Let me know if you have any other unique, especially meaningful traditions you love and plan on sharing with your family. If you enjoyed this blog please share it with others who may too and subscribe below so you won’t miss my next one.