November 30, 2021
We all have a special time of year that we look forward to. The joys of the season are something we cherish every year. Every family has its own set of holiday traditions and activities that they partake in. For some, this includes time to get together with extended family, while others enjoy quiet time with just the family.
It can be challenging to find new traditions to incorporate into the holidays, so we’ve created a list for you! Check out these 18 ideas for adding spice and fun to your holiday celebrations. You’ll never run out of ideas again!
18 Holiday Traditions Ideas to Try this Year
1. Bake & Decorate your Own Christmas Cookies
Use a sprinkling of glitter, candies, or some other little trinket to add a pop of holiday sparkle to your Christmas cookies. Nothing says Christmas like decorating cookies with your little ones!
2. Make Homemade Hot Chocolate
If you are looking for a sweet holiday treat, check out this homemade hot chocolate recipe. It uses Hershey’s melted chocolate and heavy cream for a super velvety and savory treat. Add some mini marshmallows or whipped cream with a sprinkle of cinnamon to top it off!
3. Make your own holiday cards
Put together your own holiday cards to send to your friends and family. This is a good way to pass down traditions to the kids. You’ll definitely make everyone smile with your quirky, funny, creative (and hilarious) cards.
4. Start your own advent calendar
A tradition many of us grew up with is the advent calendar. Instead of purchasing one, you can start one for your own family and teach your children about the passage of time. You can add fun activities to the days leading up to Christmas day. For example, each day you could put together a new craft or create a new treat for your children. You can also work in fun little seasonal activities as they become more available. You can use a scrapbooking or sticker album to put together an album for your children.
Check out our list of 15 Advent Calendars for DIY homemade crafts and the best store-bought options for 2021!
5. Create a New Tradition of “Paying it Forward”
This time of year is all about spending quality time with our family and friends. It’s also about giving back to the community like volunteering at the soup kitchen or wrapping gifts for people in need.
Alternatively, instead of buying each other gifts, you can give to a cause close to your heart. You can donate gifts you receive to local shelters or places of need or you can take your time to find a unique handmade gift for someone special.
There are a number of sites where you can donate your handmade products and/or time to others during the holiday season.
One such site is St. Vincent de Paul, which is one of the largest organizations in the U.S. that fights poverty by helping people get and keep employment. Another such site is Purple Heart Heroes, a program that collects jewelry, housewares, blankets, ornaments, and more for military veterans. Don’t forget to check out the Salvation Army and other charities.
Time to get crafty and get in the holiday spirit!
6. Add more elements of winter with home decor
A friend of mine used a big old Christmas candle to make the center of her Holiday dinner table a cozy winter wonderland of color. She used red, gold, and green candle holders. Her table looked inviting and festive.
7. Have a Gingerbread House Making Party
Make some gingerbread houses! A couple of years ago, we hosted a gingerbread house-making event for all of our friends in our neighborhood. I purchased a giant gingerbread house kit and made a tabletop gingerbread house with it. We put ours on display and fill in the background with candies, a Santa-shaped cookie jar, and other holiday treats.
Bring some friends over to make some gingerbread houses and pass the enjoyment along. There are so many different shapes and colors, it’s perfect to have a make your own kits that have it all in one place. All participants need to bring is their own gingerbread house kit for this festive and unique holiday tradition!
8. Visit Santa Clause
This holiday tradition is a classic for a reason! Kids (and kids at heart) love taking a trip to the mall to see Santa. Make sure to take a minute to take photos for that special Christmas card! Maybe Santa will arrive on his favorite flying reindeer!
9. Family Holiday Movie Night
Growing up, my family used to watch Elf every year and it just keeps getting better each year. Set your home up like Will Ferrell’s at the North Pole with some easy-to-make DIY paper chain crafts and share this holiday classic with your kids.
10. Spend time with extended family
Take a trip to meet the cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents you don’t often see. Get the kids together for a night in, and enjoy a variety of holiday food and drinks. And for a moment, go back in time, to a time when you had a very little worry in life. A day of remembering the joy of Christmas you felt as a kid is always a nice thing to do.
11. Go to an event that celebrates the Christmas season
It’s not hard to find events designed for you to enjoy the festive season. Maybe you want to head to the indoor ice-skating rink or make a trip to see a Christmas light festival. Whatever it may be, there’s an event for you to try. Take some time to get dressed up and enjoy the beautiful winter weather. Not only will you be spending time with your loved ones, but you can also make memories you’ll always remember!
12. Make ornaments together
There is no doubt that crafting helps children express their creativity. From making holiday decorations for the home to making original gifts for loved ones, it can be a wonderful bonding experience. Making holiday crafts can also be a great way to pass down your family’s tradition, helping your child to become an important member of your holiday traditions.
Is your family creative? Why not try to make one of these fun ornaments together? Check out our list of the top Holiday Crafts for 2021.
13. Try a new recipe for Christmas dinner
This is a great idea for getting everyone involved in holiday cooking. It’s great for kids, as well as adults who like a little extra help. The more the merrier when it comes to finding creative recipes to whip up for Christmas! You can find some great recipes from recipetineats.com.
14. Play some old-fashioned games like Monopoly or Scrabble
You know what they say, “Old is the new new.” So I have a feeling that you’re going to be seeing a lot of old-fashioned games this holiday season. I’m all about holiday traditions, and one of my favorite things to do each year during the holidays is playing some old-fashioned games like Monopoly or Scrabble.
The best part about playing these types of games is that it makes for some pretty fun family game night memories. There are also lots of other great options out there if these aren’t your cup of tea (or coffee).
15. Take family photos in their pajamas on Christmas morning
Grab your family and take some photos in the matching Christmas pajamas this year. You’ll be surprised how fun it is to match, and you’ll always have a great story for when the kids grow up. Plus they’re so adorable!
It can be a great way to document the holiday season and create some memories that will last long after December 25th has come and gone. There are tons of cute onesies out there with different sayings on them – just make sure you order early enough so that they arrive before your photo session!
16. Write down 10 things you’re grateful for each day before bedtime
Gratitude is a powerful tool. It can make you happier, healthier and even more successful. But did you know that practicing gratitude is also one of the easiest ways to feel like your life matters?
Here’s how: Write down 10 things you’re grateful for each day before bedtime. That’s it! There’s a reason why we all have heard the saying, “count your blessings.”
If you’re having trouble coming up with things to be grateful for, here are a few ideas to get you started:
1) Your family
2) A roof over your head
Making this simple shift in your daily routine will help remind yourself just how lucky we truly are and why our lives matter.
17. Add some traditions from other countries
Wondering what some new and interesting traditions from other countries might be? I have always wondered what other countries’ holiday traditions are like. I’m sure that my country’s celebrations aren’t the only ones worth celebrating! Try out some new traditions this year and learn about where they originate from. Here is a list of some great traditions that you could try from Country Living.
18. Create a fun listicle of New Years Resolutions
Of course, it’s a lot easier to stick to a resolution when you’ve prepared and outlined a course of action. We created an easy and fun listicle that offers plenty of ways for you to incorporate some of the ideas we’ve listed below into your family’s New Years’ Eve.
Check out this listicle and let us know what your top family New Years’ Eve traditions are.
The Best Holiday Traditions for Extra Holiday Cheer!
Everything in the holiday season comes with a bit of stress and anxiety. It is important to know that there is always someone to make it fun. There is no doubt that recreating old family holiday traditions (or starting new ones) can provide stress relief and help build families and friendships.
This list of family holiday traditions can be done with little cost and effort. Make sure to give some thought to what traditions you want to recreate or start this year. Let’s show our children how much we love them by making sure they have happy memories this Holiday Season.
Do you have a favorite holiday tradition that you would like to share? Please leave a comment and let us know!