The holidays are my absolute favorite time of year, and with Thanksgiving and Black Friday behind us I finally have time to start decorating for Christmas and starting all the fun holiday traditions… and of course starting new ones.
With my kids getting older some of the things we did while they were little are a little outdated so its been fun to start a new tradition or modify an existing one to better meet the needs of my growing family.
Here are some of my family’s favorite holiday traditions…
- Make care kits for the homeless and leave them in your car. We make a dozen care kits (all of the items can be found at dollar tree or maybe around your home) I put toiletries and a first aid kit together with band aids and some antibacterial cream, sore muscle rub, vitamins, and any other “medicine box” items you might find useful if you were homeless. Socks, gloves, a hat and scarf, re-usable cup with a lid for coffee or hot chocolate. Granola bars, a few candy bars and a water bottle. If I can find a good deal on a blanket, I’ll add that or if I have an old backpack or re-usable shopping bag I’ll use that to put everything in. I keep several in my car at a time though out the season and when ever we see homeless people begging or holding up signs we stop and give them a “care package”
This has been a great service project for my family and something my boys really enjoy doing.
- I love my advent calendar, instead of just putting treats and candy in each day I put a Christmas story for us to read together and then a treat or activity. This has brought us closer together as a family and can be adapted each year as the kids get older. Even now that my boys are teenagers they love our family time around the fire by the light of the Christmas tree reading our Christmas story and enjoying the little things. This year we are reading “Charles Dickens” Christmas Carol… We will read a little each night, so we finish the day before Christmas eve. Christmas eve we always read the nativity story. This is something you can do with your kids of any age.
- Put together a hot chocolate bar. I had great fun putting my chocolate bar together at the store. If you haven’t watched it, you can find the video on our face book page. My boys LOVE hot chocolate and having a special station where they can help themselves to all the different flavors and toppings has been great fun, and something they look forward to each year.
- Anyone who know me knows how much I love to cook and bake. Each year we find a new recipe to try… Sometimes it makes the cut and becomes a family favorite, other times it’s a one-time thing… My boys love throwing on an apron and rolling up their sleeves and together we make a dish or desert that’s completely new or from another country. This has become quite a fun tradition as sometimes it’s something we’ve never heard of, so its great fun wondering how its going to turn out! Google “Christmas recipes from around the world” and have great fun picking one out.
- When my kids were younger they loved doing acts of kindness for other people. We would think of little things they could do to show love and offer service to others throughout the month of December. We’ve kind of adapted this now as my boys are older to things like Christmas caroling to the elderly to baking holiday treats for friends and widows in our neighborhood. To simple things as giving out complements to strangers, holding open doors and if they see neighbors carrying in groceries they offer to help. This has been so much fun for them as they are always looking for things to do to show kindness.
I’ve learned to cherish the moments, not sweat the big stuff and just enjoy the journey.
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? I’d love to hear…. Who knows… maybe I’ll give it a try!
Furniture Buyer/Interior Designer