Christmas is the season for connecting with family and making memories that will last a lifetime. Of course, the best Christmas memories stem from treasured traditions, whether it’s decorating the tree or baking cookies. This year, introduce your family to a few of these meaningful holiday customs and, before you know it, you’ll have years of irreplaceable Christmas memories.
Set the scene
Holiday decorating doesn’t have to be stressful; it can be an opportunity for your family to bond. Involve everyone in essential tasks like stringing garland, untangling lights, securing yard decorations, hanging mistletoe, unpacking ornaments and setting up the artificial tree. Choose decorations that you can reuse year after year; your family will enjoy seeing the same tree and garland they remember from years before. Make decorating fun: drink cocoa, turn on some holiday music and spend time talking with one another. Soon, preparing for the holidays will change from an unwanted chore to a meaningful tradition.
Start the music
Replace your store-bought Christmas CDs with personalized playlists that your family makes together. To start the tradition, ask each family member to add his or her favorite holiday song to the playlist. The following year, have everyone select one more track. Keep this tradition going as the years pass. The resulting CD will be a record of your holiday memories and a great gift for friends and family.
Trim the tree
Magazines and the media tell you that your tree needs to be a masterpiece, trimmed in coordinating colors and topped with a cascading bow. A flawless tree is beautiful, of course, but it isn’t unique. Your tree should be more than a showpiece; it should be a display of your family’s history. To personalize your tree, make a habit of buying an ornament at every family vacation destination. If you have children, ask them to make part of your Christmas present a handmade ornament. As you add these unique pieces, your tree will become a family heirloom and decorating it will become a treasured tradition.
Watch a movie
Choose a Christmas movie or two and ensure that your family watches it together every year. Some classic holiday flicks include A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Home Alone. If you have younger children, try short Christmas specials like The Grinch who Stole Christmas or A Garfield Christmas. The movie or TV special is the visible activity, but the important part of this tradition is the time your family spends together. As your children grow older, they’ll enjoy not only watching the film but also remembering the wonder and excitement of past Christmas movie nights.
Turn on the oven
Baking together is a fantastic way to enjoy your family’s company, and there’s no food more tied to Christmas memories than cookies. Have each family member pick out a signature cookie cutter and recipe and start baking! Your family’s cookies will become a neighborhood legend, and you’ll each be left with lasting memories of connecting over cool cookie dough and a warm oven.
Tie it all up
This Christmas, involve your family in decorations, making a playlist, trimming the tree, watching Christmas movies or baking holiday cookies. You’ll enjoy bonding over these new, shared traditions. More importantly, you’ll create meaningful memories in the process. Start some new traditions this holiday season and you’ll enjoy the benefits for years to come.
Image courtesy of lythamcoffee.com.
About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a writer working on her Master’s degree. She enjoys traditions with her family during the holidays.