5 Meaningful Holiday Traditions (you can start this year!)

Mike Paulus

You’ve probably heard that the key to cutting through the stress and overstimulation of the holiday season is to keep things simple. But that’s easier said than done, especially when most of the season is geared around impossible visions of perfection which will probably cost a fortune and leave you feeling empty. Well, some of the best advice I’ve heard is to focus on creating small traditions, year after year, giving your family something to look forward to and remember. There’s a good chance your own fond memories from this time of year – the stuff that really stands out – barely cost your family a thing, while adding real meaning at the very same time.

It really doesn’t take a lot of planning or money. My wife and I have come across countless ideas over the years, deciding what’s best for us. So to get you thinking, here’s a starter list of simple traditions. See if they spark your yuletide interest.

1. Thoughtful Additions

For every gift you give, especially for family and close friends, have your kids write down something they like or appreciate about the recipient. Add it to the tag. Your kids will experience a dose of gratitude while making any gift, no matter what it is, an even more special surprise.

2. Card Construction

Have your kids invite some friends over so they can make holiday cards for loved ones. Keep your own cards from the previous year so they can cut out the pictures and have patterns to use in their own creations.

3. Holiday Slumber Party

On a weekend in December, pick a night for the whole family to camp out in the family room or near your tree (if you have one). Fall asleep beneath the festive lights. Watch a movie, sing songs, read stories, or make a special treat before it’s time to sleep. If you have more than one child, let each kid have their own night snuggled up with you.

4. Seasonal Song Mix

Make an all-new holiday mix CD each year in early December, with everyone adding their own favorite tunes or versions of classic songs. Let it be your soundtrack that year. After a few seasons, you’ll have a great little collection to pull out with the decorations.

5. Get Out of the House

Wait until it’s dark outside, get bundled up and take a walk – even a short one will do – and make some instant hot chocolate when you get home. Maybe even wait until it’s snowing, but do this once each season. It might seem like a hassle to get all the hats and coats on, but the quiet cold air can be magical. And if your kids just don’t feel like being all quiet and magical, let them burn off some energy in the snow. Coming in from the frosty air for a hot mug of cocoa with you is a physical experience they’ll remember forever.

Press and hold the up/down arrows to scroll.