My dad is one of (gulp) 18 kids. Unbelievable, right? And we had many family holiday traditions. One is that the family would rent a building (it took a building to house all of us), and the entire family, from parents to siblings, from cousins to extended family, would gather around rows of tables to enjoy a holiday meal.
After the meal, we would sit in a circle to listen to stories told by my grandparents. Eventually, everyone would add a comment here, a joke there, and soon, those conversations and jokes would be embedded into the story for someone to remember the next year.
The grandparents have passed on, as have several of the children and even grandchildren. But the tradition continues. To this day, the younger generations gather in the same building, now with their children and grandchildren, and share their own food and stories.
That tradition was the only long-celebrated ritual in my family of origin. When I married and had my own family, we continued the tradition and then added a few family holiday traditions of our own. These new memories were unique and special to those qualities that made us a family.
And the circle of life continues. Now our children are adults. They ask to travel the eight hours to spend time with my extended family, and they also have continued a few of our family traditions.
Traditions. They’re part of what defines us as a family. They’re like an old quilt that drapes around us, holding us securely in one place, keeping us safe and warm.
Your family can create their own customs around the holidays, too. All it takes is just a little imagination and a whole lot of love. Here are 10 magical suggestions so you can make your own family holiday traditions.
If people are coming over to your house, make sure it looks perfect with this ultimate list of DIY Christmas decor ideas.
Maybe it’s a meal from your heritage. Maybe it’s just a meal everyone enjoys. Maybe it’s a splurge on fresh seafood or prime rib. The point is, the meal represents a special holiday with very special loved ones.
Whether it’s the traditional story from the Bible, a children’s book such as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” or if it’s a new Christmas story each year, take that special 15-20 minutes to sit together and read.
No two night skies ever look the same. On Christmas night, that sky is even more vast, beautiful, and amazing. The twinkling stars reflect the magic of the season. The sky’s beauty, if even for the night, remind us we are the sharers of peace and joy for the season.10 Magical Family Holiday Traditions Everyone Will Love Click To Tweet
Listen to the stillness. Let the quiet of the evening remind you of the reason we gather in the first place: to join hearts and share love.
Some families buy an ornament for each child, but purchase one ornament that represents a specific FAMILY memory, such as that day at the lake or vacation to the Grand Canyon.
Today’s smartphones, apps, and computers make putting a video together easy. Just gather all those snippets from throughout the year and put them into a single movie file. If a video sounds like too much, then make a slideshow from still-life images.
Everyone pitches in, so remember: relax, and have fun.
One day before Christmas, everyone piles into the car for a trip out to the frozen-over lake or the town’s ice-skating rink. Don’t forget that carafe of hot chocolate!
Think about a theme, such as books or music or pajamas or even a game. Then, draw names. Enjoy the new gifts together.
Whether or not the meal goes to someone needy or another family you’re close to, the fun is in the surprise.