Create fun memories that you’ll cherish long after the holidays are over
By Nancy Mattia, CTW Features
The holiday season is busy for most people—shopping for gifts, decorating the tree, and getting the house ready for visitors. But no matter how long your to-do list is, make time for a few holiday-themed activities that you’ll want to make an annual tradition. Take a look at the list below for some ideas:
1. Wear matching holiday pajamas
This charming tradition, where you pick out a PJ pattern that comes in adult and children’s sizes, is meant to be debuted on Christmas morning as everyone sits around the tree opening presents.
2. Tour neighborhood holiday light displays
Whether it’s your town or one that’s nearby, take a drive around the neighborhoods known for their outsized holiday light displays. The thousands of colorful twinkling lights are a dazzling sight for young and old alike. Be grateful you won’t be footing the electric bills!
3. Decorate the tree on Christmas Eve
It may seem last-minute but if your family is arriving from out of town and want to help decorate, this tradition is worth the wait.
4. Volunteer in the community
Teach children that helping others in need and giving your time is the best gift to give another. Sign up to work at a soup kitchen, collect warm clothing, or participate in a toy drive—there are numerous ways to help during the holiday season and the rest of the year.
5. Watch your favorite holiday movie
“A Christmas Story,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and “Elf” are just a few films that are worth watching year after year together. Pass the caramel popcorn and Christmas cookies, please!
6. Open up one present on Christmas Eve
Make it a themed gift where everyone receives the same type of item, such as a book or make it a family group gift like a board game.
7. Read “’ Twas the Night Before Christmas”
Just as watching the same holiday movie together is fun so is reading the same classic holiday story each year. Other favorites: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “The Polar Express.”
8. Bake Christmas cookies for your neighbors
Give the treats to the neighbors you know well and those you don’t. Include your annual Christmas card with the platter as an added gesture.
9. Serve a food associated with your culture
Make your Christmas meal more personal with a nod to your family’s ethnicity; for example, those with South American origins, it wouldn’t be Christmas without tamales; in England, they honor their heritage with plum pudding.
10. Sing karaoke holiday songs
Rent a karaoke machine and go for upbeat holiday favorites like “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” and “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Pro tip: you might want to institute a no-video rule so everyone can feel safe to can go all out without fear their vocal efforts will end up online.
11. Decorate a gingerbread house
You don’t have to actually bake the gingerbread—there are plenty of kits available that come with pre-made gingerbread and everything you need to decorate them. Extra plus? If there is any lingering Halloween candy left it is the perfect time to get it out of the house without just throwing it in the trash!
12. Make tree ornaments
Get crafty and make paper tree ornaments with the kids. Glitter is practically mandatory!