10 Simple Holiday Traditions to Enjoy With Your Family

December 8, 2020 Updated: December 8, 2020

Making holiday memories doesn’t have to be an elaborate or expensive undertaking. Sometimes, the very best traditions are the simplest ones.

Here are 10 ideas you may want to add to your repertoire this holiday season.

House Decorating

Make a day out of holiday decorating. Perhaps you start out at a Christmas tree farm and later find yourself digging through boxes in the attic. Put on your favorite holiday playlist, set out holiday treats to keep everyone going, and make what could be a chore a delightful family day together.

Lights Peeping

Put on your Christmas jammies, fill travel mugs with warm hot cocoa, and pile into the car for a tour of the local Christmas lights. Wherever your journey takes you, pipe in holiday tunes, and revel in how joyful this free outing with your family is. You’ll definitely want to do this year after year.

Photo Shooting

Dress everyone up and head out into nature for a family photoshoot. Whether you’ve got a photographer in tow or are taking your own pictures, make a day of it and enjoy your beautiful surroundings and time together.

Cookie Baking

I’m not one to need an excuse to bake cookies, but holiday time is the best one of the year. Involve the whole family in mixing, baking, decorating, and gifting your favorite varieties of holiday treats.

Story Reading

Plan ahead by requesting holiday titles from your local library and gathering the ones you already own. Each night, choose a different story (or more) to read aloud. For the perfect touch, read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” on Christmas Eve (see B10 for more suggestions).

Shopping for a Sibling

If you’ve got more than one kiddo, partner up with your spouse to take your children on separate Christmas shopping trips. Allow each child to put their heart into finding the perfect gift for their brother or sister. Perhaps you may encourage them to even pay for it themselves. At the end of the day, meet up with the whole family for a casual dinner or pizza night at home.

Ornament Gifting

Each year, give your children a special Christmas ornament all their own. When they’re grown, they’ll have a meaningful collection to start their adult life with.

Christmas Eating

Designate a simple food item or two that you always eat on Christmas. (My family, for example, always has cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. The house smells of cinnamon, ingraining a wonderful memory in our minds forever.)

Early Opening

Waiting for Santa is hard. Set aside one small gift to be opened on Christmas Eve. Some new pajamas, a snuggly stuffed animal, or a holiday book may be just the thing to send little ones off to dream of dancing sugar plums.

Movie Watching

Don’t let the season pass you by without enjoying the same holiday movies you enjoyed as a kid. Pop the popcorn, make more hot chocolate (you’re going to need a lot of that), and snuggle in for all the holiday feels.

Follow Barbara on Twitter: @barbaradanza