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Published on December 23, 2016

Family Gathering around Holiday Table

Traditions and the Holidays: Considering New Ones (Part 2)

Earlier this year, we considered some of the traditions of the holiday season. We had a good list, but here are a few more ideas for traditions you might want to “get started” in your family:

Sleep by the Tree: Choose one night during the holiday season, when the whole family gets out their sleeping bags and camps under the Christmas tree. Turn out all the lights except the tree lights and read the Christmas books you’ve collected over the years. You can even do this after Christmas, but naturally, before the tree comes down.

Photo Tradition: Take a photo of the kids or family every year at the same place (like the beach) or with the same background (a place in the yard, in front of the fire place, etc), or on the first day of school. This is like the now popular baby pictures taken every month in the same spot with the cut out number for the baby’s age in months.

Fondue Meal: I hadn’t thought of this, but a fondue meal takes a long time to eat because you have to cook/dip each piece. It keeps the family at the table longer, and hopefully talking longer. So maybe one night during the busy holiday season, have a fondue meal and spend a little more time with family.

Share What You Have Jar: Keep a change jar where family members deposit their spare change each day. Then monthly or quarterly, you count the change and vote on how to donate it: buy peanut butter and bird seed and make pine cones to hang outside for the birds; purchase specific items for a charity and deliver, like school supplies for Project SOS, or a coat for Coats for Kids or pet supplies for the Humane Society. Remember, for younger kids, actually buying the items and delivering them will be more meaningful than just sending money.

What Would We Do Without It? Game: Think of items you take for granted and brainstorm what it would be like without them—pajamas, electricity, dishwasher, taking a bath, spoons.

Giving Thanks Jar: Write down things you are thankful for on slips of paper and put them in the jar. Read them as a family, once a week.

Paper Chain of Good Deeds: Every time you do a good deed during December (or anytime during the year), write it down on a strip of paper and add it to the paper chain.

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