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The 14 Best Holiday Family Traditions

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The holiday season is all about tradition and it’s never too late to begin a tradition that will forever be cemented in your child’s memory. I don’t know about you, but the little traditions that my family did every Christmas (and still do) were what always made the holidays extra special. There are several traditions that you could incorporate into your family’s celebration this winter, but here are my fourteen favorites:

1. Bake and decorate Christmas cookies as a family. Make an event out of it—have a decorating station and have special aprons for your entire family to wear.

2. When your kids go to sleep (double check that they are actually asleep), use a footprint template and flour to create Santa’s footprints, as if St. Nick traipsed through your home in the middle of the night.



3. On Christmas Eve, have your child open one present—a Christmas Eve box that includes new pajamas to wear that night, a book, and hot chocolate.

4. Buy your kids a new ornament each year and have them hang it on the tree. When they eventually move out on their own, they will have their own ornament collection and the memories to go with it.

5. Find a “giving tree”—you can normally find these at your church, stores, or restaurants (Olive Garden has one!). These trees have ornaments that have a tag or label attached to it with a person’s age and gift ideas. You can pick one (or two…or several) and shop for these families in need.




6. Get a real Christmas tree and decorate it as a family.

7. Get the Elf on the Shelf and spend all of December coming up with creative ideas as to how your elf will be found by your kid. Pinterest has hundreds of great ideas for that pesky elf!



8. Write a letter to Santa. Please take note of my advice here.

9. Make “reindeer food.” You can find the recipe and poem here. (There are several different versions!)



10. Go see Christmas lights, either at your local zoo or neighborhood.

11. Make a gingerbread house.

12. Read a different holiday book each night before bed. You could even wrap these books and have your kid open them to discover the story inside. Need book ideas? Look here.

13. Watch a Christmas movie together. This list has some great films to choose from.

14. Start doing “Random Acts of Kindness” as a family. You can find several acts of kindness ideas here.

Riley McDaniel is an aspiring writer with a love for children, writing, music, and movies. She has her BFA degree in Creative Writing for Entertainment from Full Sail University and hopes to use her work to instill a love of reading and writing in others. Though she has a passion for writing, her passion for chocolate is almost just as strong.