Holiday Traditions to Start With Your Family
The holidays are all about traditions. From opening that singular gift on Christmas Eve to breaking the wishbone on the Thanksgiving turkey. All families have things that are done every year.
Experts say that these family traditions are not only fun but also incredibly healthy and important for kids and young adults. These traditions give your children a sense of family identity. Studies have proven that kids with a strong sense of family identity do better in school and are less likely to succumb to peer pressure. Here’s a great blog on it.
Are you thinking that now would be a great time to come up with some new holiday family traditions? Here are a few of our favorites.
1. Gingerbread Houses
Did you know that doing something creative just for the sake of creativity gives our bodies a surge of feel-good hormones? Help your kids do that by decorating gingerbread houses together this year. If you’re kitchen savvy, feel free to bake your own. But if you don’t have that kind of time or patience, there are plenty of pre-made kits on the market. Free up an evening and allow the kids to sneak some the candy as a treat, too.
2. Give Back
Traditions don’t have to cost a dime. Find some time to volunteer if you can, but if it’s not in your busy holiday schedule, we love the idea of a blessing bag. Fill a one gallon sized Zip-Lock bag with essentials like toothpaste, a toothbrush, new, thick, warm wool socks, wet naps, and a few snacks. Toss in a bottle of water, a fresh razor, and maybe some deodorant. Then, when you come across a homeless person seeking help at a traffic light, hand the bag out of your car window to the person. You’ll be surprised at how good this simple act can make you feel.
3. Feed Santa’s Reindeer
Almost every family will leave out milk and cookies for the big guy in red, but Santa’s furry fliers need sustenance, too! Turns out they prefer celery and carrot sticks. Just make sure to leave them outside, since the reindeer don’t come inside with Santa. If you’re feeling really creative, we’re told they love this food recipe just as much as you will.
4. Benchmark Ornaments
Making the family tree decorating a family activity. Even if the kids are too short to evenly distribute ornaments, and even if they pick out the ugliest tree on the lot, let the kids lead the way. They don’t often get to have a lot of say in family decisions, so this will make their month. Cap it all off with a new ornament, chosen as a family, each year. Try to choose something that will remind you of a memorable moment from your year. It’s OK to purchase the new ornament on vacation or even months in advance. Just make sure you hang it on the tree as a family.
5. Get Outdoors
We get that it can be less than exciting to traipse around in the cold, wet snow that comes with the holiday season. But there are so many great reasons to do it! The clean air, the crisp night, the hot cocoa after – these are all compelling reasons! Take the family hunting for the best-decorated house in the neighborhood, or if you’re musically inclined, go caroling.
The important thing to remember is that the tradition doesn’t have to be grand. It just has to be consistent.
Do you have a family tradition? We’d love to see it in pictures! Share them with us on social media! Just don’t forget to tag us, @QALO.