Family Traditions for the Holidays

The holiday season is, for many families, a time of tradition and celebration.  It’s one of the few times during the year that everyone usually gathers to celebrate, so it’s one of the rare times your entire family may be together.  Does your family have any Christmas traditions?  If not, here are some you might think about adopting and doing year after year.

•    Have a Dirty Santa gift exchange
•    Drive around and look at Christmas lights
•    Attend a tree lighting ceremony
•    Go see a performance of “The Nutcracker”
•    Bake cookies with your kids and help them decorate their own treats
•    Make a snowman
•    Decorate your tree as a family, with each member hanging his or her own special ornaments
•    Read a traditional Christmas story out loud
•    Watch a holiday movie together
•    Sing Christmas carols after dinner on Christmas day
•    Attend a local Christmas concert or pageant
•    Go to Christmas church services

There are many other types of traditions you can start, too.  For example, each year you could buy your children a new ornament to hang on the tree.  This way, when they eventually move out, they will have a good collection of decorations for their own tree.  You can also use traditional decorations that have been handed down through your family to decorate your home.  Fixing traditional dishes for Christmas dinner or using antique platters and dishes is also a great way of honoring those who are no longer with us.

Family Activities for Late Autumn

Even though the weather is starting to get a little chilly, there are still plenty of activities you can do with your family.  Yes, you might need a jacket if you’re going outdoors, but it’s not that cold yet.

In some parts of the country, picnics are still an option.  In fact, the afternoon is often still warm enough that you might not even need a jacket.  Take a walk through a park or forest and check out the beautiful fall foliage, then settle in for lunch.

If there are apple orchards around that allow you to pick your own fruit, now’s a good time.  Your kids will love picking and then eating these tasty treats.

Rake up the falling leaves in your back yard and make a giant leaf pile, then jump right in!

Go camping and roast marshmallows over a campfire.

Visit a farmer’s market and let your kids select some of the produce.

Go on a hay ride.

Run through a corn maze.

Cook dinner or bake a dessert as a family.

Go bike riding.

These are just a few great things you can do during the late autumn season!