Come December, families around the country begin preparing for the holiday traditions they participate in yearly. Some traditions have been passed down for generations, and others are new for the social media “post popularity” society we live in today.
These traditions include wearing matching pajamas for yearly photographs, playing Elvis Christmas music while decorating the tree, or baking cookies together. These become cherished events that are looked forward to every year when the family gathers for the holidays.
But as your family changes over the years, it may be time to try new traditions this holiday season. If your family gathering needs something new this holiday, here are some suggestions to revamp your holiday traditions and create a new looked-forward event.
Watch Old Home Movies Together
Most everyone has a box of old VHS tapes or even 8mm reels that have not seen the light of day in years, and viewing these movies can be a great new tradition.
For example, there is a blog post online about how a family needed to revamp their holiday celebrations to ease the grief of losing an adult son. Sticking to the old habits was too painful, so they brought out old 8 mm reels the dad had filmed while he was in the service during the Vietnam War.
His kids learned so much about their father on that holiday! They saw him breaking concrete blocks and wood boards with his hands and feet because he was a black belt in karate – something they didn’t know about him. The reels also included footage of when they were first married way before the children. Watching old home movies is a great way to learn about your loved ones and start a new holiday tradition.
Hold a Fun Cooking Competition
Adding a little friendly competition can be a fun event to your holiday celebrations. For example, pick a day during the holidays to hold a competition comparing cookie, soup, or cocktail recipes and have the guests vote on the best one. Everyone brings their dish for the competition and the recipe to the gathering. This idea is a wonderful way to expand your palate, gain new recipes for your collection and start a tradition with your friends and family.
But not all holiday traditions involve doing things with your friends and family; it can be giving back to your local community or acknowledging people that assist you throughout the year with meaningful services.
Donate to a Local Nursing Home
The holidays are a time to be thankful for all you have and give back to those in need. Children always come to mind this time of year, but another group of individuals also require some holiday cheer – residents in nursing homes.
Your office or business can contribute directly to your local nursing home. Find one in your area, and call them to see if they need gifts for their residents. Facilities can provide a list of residents and gift ideas for each.
A few years back, a Rotary group adopted a nursing home for the holidays. They received a list of residents that wanted to participate with one needed item and one “wish” item on their list. Each Rotarian chose a resident and hand-delivered the gifts. It was a wonderful experience for all, and this became a holiday tradition for this club.
Deliver a Holiday Meal to your Local First Responders
First responders are always on duty to protect the community, which means they are away from their loved ones during the holidays. Firemen, police, and healthcare workers are a few first responders that would appreciate being acknowledged.
Collecting money to have lunch or dinner provided to the staff on duty during the holidays is sure to be appreciated by these hard-working men and women.
Acknowledge Dog Boarders
This one might seem strange, but the people you trust your fur baby when needed provide excellent service. Having a trusted pet sitter is critical to enjoying a vacation or a work trip without worrying about your pet’s care.
Many boarders are very busy this time of year with caring for your furry friends while you are traveling or having a houseful of guests. Sending them a meal during the holidays or dropping off yummy snacks they can enjoy while working is a great way to thank you for loving your pet while you are away.
No matter what your holiday traditions include, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season surrounded by everyone you love. Happy Holidays.