A couple of decades from now, the kids of today will be grown and may have families of their own. What will they remember from holidays past — will there be any traditions from their childhood they will want to pass on to their own families? These are the memories that we cherish — the things we did, places we went, the food we ate and the songs to which we knew every word.
Whether you already have holiday traditions in place or not, it’s never too late to start some new ones. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Throw a Tree-Trimming Party
Has holiday decorating become a burden rather than a pleasure? Throw a party and get everyone to help! Whether the invitation is extended to family members only or a gaggle of girlfriends, choose a night to be known forevermore as YOUR night to kick off the holidays.
Assign areas of the house to teams — one for the mantle, another for the front door, and so on. Crank up the holiday music, put on the elf ears, and enjoy watching everyone dig through piles of decorations. And your job? Handing out cups of holiday cheer and singing loudly for all to hear!
Visit a Local Attraction
Whether it’s an annual tree-lighting ceremony, a hometown parade, a ballet performance of The Nutcracker or a nearby Christmas tree farm, choose a local attraction to visit every year. Combine the event with a special trip to a favorite restaurant or local bakery for a sweet treat.
Make Memories with Photos
Take a picture each year in front of the fireplace, the tree or on the staircase in the same position. As the years go by, this photo collection will become more and more special as children grow.
Create a memory book of a child’s letters to Santa by photographing them each year. When the child is older, print out the photos of the letter, creating a memory book as a special keepsake.
There are few things more thrilling to children than witnessing their parents go a little crazy once in a while. Do something a little daring or unexpected, and they’ll be sure to remember it for a long time to come.
Pull on a pair of pajamas, then suddenly order everyone into the car for a surprise ride to look at Christmas lights. Switch on the holiday tunes, swing through a drive-through for hot cocoa or coffee, and watch as the kids giggle in the back seat.
What makes the holidays magical are the traditions that we share with loved ones. New or old, silly or serious, these are the memories that can last a lifetime.