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Establishing Holiday Traditions

Establishing family holiday traditions will last not only your lifetime, but will continue to be a tradition for generations. For example, my husband’s family holiday tradition was opening a Christmas gift on Christmas Eve. One of my holiday tradition was my mom reading Christmas stories before bed with hot chocolate.

While some things we have elected to do different in our family for Advent, Christmas, and the holiday season– some we do continue. Along with the new ones and I’m sure our kids will continue some of them in their families when they marry and have children of their own. We also make holiday cookies to deliver to loved ones and when we had kids, we began making a “Happy Birthday Jesus” cake. When we first started our family, I loved the idea of creating family traditions for the holidays to carry on each year. 

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My husband and I talked about the traditions he did as a child and then I shared my family traditions and we decided to create some new traditions with our children. Our boys will remember these special moments our family celebrates each year. Some of these moments include our St Nicholas Day celebrations we picked up during our military travels. Those memories are magical to our kids and it gives them something to look forward to for the next year. 

The Legend of St. Nicholas: A Story of Christmas GivingThe Legend of St. Nicholas: A Story of Christmas GivingSt. Nicholas: A Closer Look at ChristmasSt. Nicholas: A Closer Look at Christmas

 

I wanted to share some wonderful holiday traditions you might want to incorporate into your holidays. Whether you are just starting a new family or searching to find new traditions to begin, these are all wonderful ideas that will make your home extra cozy and filled with the holiday spirit this season!

Creating Lasting Memories with Traditions This Holiday Season 

Making Cookies 

Make some holiday cookies on Christmas Eve to enjoy with the family. Whether you love a classic sugar cookie or maybe the snowball cookies, just have fun and let the kids roll up their sleeves and bake with you. I have such fond memories of making cookies on Christmas Eve as a child with my mom. 

Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookies: 75 Irresistible Holiday TreatsGood Housekeeping Christmas Cookies: 75 Irresistible Holiday TreatsGood Housekeeping The Great Christmas Cookie Swap Cookbook: 60 Large-Batch Recipes to Bake and ShareGood Housekeeping The Great Christmas Cookie Swap Cookbook: 60 Large-Batch Recipes to Bake and Share

 

Gingerbread Houses 

Pick a day and create gingerbread houses with your children. Whether you buy a box kit or make it from scratch using graham crackers, gumdrops, and other candies you have on hand. We really have enjoyed the recipe for making gingerbread Nativities too! 

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Hot Chocolate Station 

Create a hot chocolate station where you set all the items like marshmallows, sprinkles, candy canes and other toppings and let the kids make their own hot chocolate. Then step out and play in the snow (if you have any) and then come back inside in the warmth and read a Christmas book and enjoy the family time. 

Movie Night

Turn on the classics like Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas or any other favorite holiday movie and watch with the family. This is a wonderful tradition watching the same movie each year. Side Note: parents, it is a wonderful tradition to watch the Hallmark Christmas Movies too! 

Hallmark Holiday Collection (A Very Merry Mix-Up, The Christmas Ornament, Hitched For the Holidays, Come Dance With Me)Hallmark Holiday Collection (A Very Merry Mix-Up, The Christmas Ornament, Hitched For the Holidays, Come Dance With Me)Hallmark Holiday Collection #3 (Town that Christmas Forgot/Naughty or Nice/It's Christmas, Carol!/The Wishing Tree)Hallmark Holiday Collection #3 (Town that Christmas Forgot/Naughty or Nice/It’s Christmas, Carol!/The Wishing Tree)

 

Christmas Caroling 

This is an old-time classic that shouldn’t disappear. Round up the family and friends and go door to door caroling. If you really want to make an impact with your gift of harmony, head to your local nursing home to brighten their day and ultimately their spirits. 

Keepsake Ornaments 

Create homemade Christmas ornaments each year. Pinterest is full of wonderful ideas. You can find ideas and recipes to make ornaments using salt dough, decorative designs and much more! 

Hallmark Keepsake 2017 Snowflake Dated Porcelain Christmas OrnamentHallmark Keepsake 2017 Snowflake Dated Porcelain Christmas OrnamentHallmark Keepsake 2017 Madame Alexander Victorian Yuletide Christmas OrnamentHallmark Keepsake 2017 Madame Alexander Victorian Yuletide Christmas Ornament

 

Angel Tree

You can find these trees in many of your local stores. Pick out a name of a child in need and shop for them for the holidays. This is a great way to make sure your child knows the importance of helping others and can help pick out gifts for a child who may not have anything this year. 

Volunteer 

You can volunteer at a soup kitchen, church event, or even be a bell-ringer for the Salvation Army. Find ways to teach your child the importance of volunteerism by donating time to help others. We take meals to Service Members on duty. I love doing this each year because it creates heartwarming memories of serving others. 

Christmas Lights 

If your family enjoys decorating for Christmas, you could help hang lights and decorations in your neighborhood or throughout your town. You could also take a drive at night and look at the lights in your neighborhood. We did this growing up as a kid every year, it was really magical to see all the lights at night. 

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Attending Christmas Eve Service 

One of my favorite things to do as a family is to attend Christmas Eve Services! We are called to train up a child in the way he should go and to teach them diligently. Making Christ, which is the reason for the season, a huge priority will pass down to my kids exactly what the HOLYday is about. 

What family traditions do you do each holiday season?  Now- I am teaming up with Life of A Homeschool Mom and some other blogger friends to kick off the Homeschooling Through the Holiday’s 2017 series!

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In Awe,

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