12 days of holiday traditions
There are a lot of reasons that traditions matter -
They help children feel loved.
They give kids a sense of security.
They add stability to families.
Traditions can happen any time - a story before bed, a secret handshake or a special way your family says I love you.
And the holiday season brings with it lots of traditions - both new and old.
If you are looking for some fun new traditions to introduce to your family family, here are 12 ideas.
1. Perform random acts of holiday kindness.
Pay for the meal of the person behind you in the drive-through, leave change by a vending machine at the hospital, bake cookies for local police officers. These acts of kindess will not only remind your children of all you have to be thankful for - it will also remind you.
2. Consider a kids tree.
Give your kids their own trees to decorate. Each year, your kids can choose their own trees, with the caveat that the trees can only be as tall as each child is that year. Encourage your children to decorate the trees however they wish. This can be a fun way to nurture a kid's creativity.
3. Host a cookie exchange.
Invite a few other families over and swap cookies. This is a fun holiday tradition that will fill your hearts with fellowship and your tummies with sweets.
4. Encourage your kids to give to those who need it.
The holidays are a wonderful time to encourage giving in your children. Try one of these ideas:
Give your child a set amount of money to donate to a cause of his or her choice.
Shop for gifts to donate to children and families through a local organization (Toys for Tots, Salvation Army Angel Tree, Family Resources, Bethany for Children and Families, etc.). Choose to give gifts to children the same age as your kids, and encourage them to shop for the gifts themselves.
When donating to organizations, ask your children to send a note or drawing with the check. Explain why you give.
5. Make an annual ornament.
There are so many great ornaments you could make as a family, but try this unique twist: Ask your family to work together to create an ornament that best describes the year in review. This will be a fun way to remember the best memories of the year and have something to recall it every year.
6. Embrace your heritage.
Do some research with your children and embrace traditions from your heritage. Visit local cultural holiday attractions, prepare traditional dishes, and try crafts or activities that your ancestors may have enjoyed.
7. Give handmade.
Instead of dealing with the hassle of crowds and tight budgets, create handmade gifts for family members this year. You'll be amazed at the creative ideas everyone can come up with.
8. Create an annual family photo.
There are tons of great photo opportunities around the holidays. Try to recreate the same photo each year - with Santa, in front of the tree or at a holiday festival.
9. Get outside.
Just because it's cold doesn't mean you have to stay inside. Go sledding, make a snowman or cut down a tree as a family.
10. Enjoy a movie night.
On the other hand, a cozy night with family is also a great tradition. Pick your favorite holiday movie as a family and enjoy it together. Bonus points for popcorn and hot cocoa.
11. Think beyond traditional gifts.
Sometimes, the best gifts aren't wrapped with bows. Instead, gift acts of service to family and friends each year. Create a book of coupons to give - give a movie night, a favorite dinner, a clean house or an evening of babysitting. These acts of service can be more exciting for the recipient than many packages under the tree.
12. Get creative.
Come up with your own fun traditions that are all your own. Your family is unique, so get everyone involved to come up with some memorable holiday traditions.
As a caregiver, traditions are a great way to show kids that you love them. It's not too late to continue or start some fun holiday traditions for your family.