One of the best things about the holidays is the time we get to spend at home and with loved ones. There are so many fun and memorable traditions that make that time special. Most people already have at least a few traditions—passed on from previous generations or started on their own, whether intentional or not. But once in a while it’s fun to get new ideas and refresh our traditions at home.
Traditions are important because they bring families closer together and often teach important values. It’s good to step back once in a while to evaluate the traditions you currently keep up. What is the purpose of each one? Is it something worth keeping? Sometimes a tradition can be outgrown, depending on the ages of your family. And if you realize you are perpetuating it just for tradition’s sake, it might be time to find a new one.
Because Thanksgiving is around the corner, I’ll first share an idea for a tradition that I heard of recently. Every year at the beginning of November the family puts up a big poster where everyone can see their “Thankful Tree”, which gets decorated with colorful leaves listing all the things they’re grateful for. They continue adding to it all month and by the end there are many leaves and the family has had lots of time to think about all they have. It’s a great exercise for the whole family.
For a Christmas tradition idea, as far back as I can remember, my parents would “jingle” us kids to bed on Christmas Eve and then jingle us out of bed on Christmas morning. I have continued that tradition with my own family because it was such a magical thing for us, and is also useful for parents. We’d line up from youngest to oldest; each with our own set of bells to shake as we sang “Jingle Bells” and marched around the house. After a few minutes of that we’d head to the youngest sibling’s room where they’d get into bed. Then we’d go to the next, and so on until the parents leave the oldest child in their room. The rule is that none of the kids can leave their room until they hear the bells again in the morning (unless of course there’s an emergency). This way, the parents are able to finish getting everything ready for Christmas morning without children snooping about. It also allows them to sleep in a little without getting woken up after a commonly late Christmas Eve. They’d get everyone’s bells and start with the youngest child (most eager to get going), jingling them out of bed and off to get the rest of the kids. What an exciting thing it is for kids to anxiously await those bells in the morning!
An Ivory Homes holiday tradition is the annual Gingerbread House Contest, which you should check out! Feel free to share any of your holiday traditions at home in the comment section here!