Having family vacation traditions adds a wonderful dimension to this special time of year. There is so much emphasis on the entire gift selection, the gift shopping aspect of Christmas, that it sometimes becomes the main focus of the holidays. It should not be like that. By starting some family traditions, you will add balance to your holiday celebration, as well as fun and laughter. Family traditions also provide roots for your children that will bring back great memories for years to come. They also provide a way to instill a sense of family in your children. Ours always make time each year to make sure they don’t miss a single meeting and we always work schedules so everyone can be here. This is because children have enjoyed years of these fun family traditions that are as much a part of their holiday celebration as any gift.
At our home, one of our favorites is our annual Holiday Open House … we’ve been hosting it for over 20 years and we include everyone. Children always invite friends, teachers, coaches, as well as our family and friends. Once they were in college, it provided a great gathering place for them to reconnect with friends from high school and hometown each Christmas season. It is an easy party to plan since we have a pot luck and everyone brings something. Everything goes on the table and we always have plenty. In the end, it’s never about the food, but about reconnecting with old friends and reuniting with family. Of course, our Santa town is always invited, which adds to the festivities.
A friend of mine with young children shared a special tradition that her family has started. It’s called Elf On The Shelf and it’s the cutest of all. Nothing difficult or expensive, but I’m sure your grandchildren will one day visit the ELF himself!
We also play family games every Thanksgiving and Christmas. While it may sound unconvincing, trust me, it’s a night of so much laughter and the kids even invite friends to join us. One year we hold a Holiday Hold’Em tournament, another year we host a Santa Bingo night … they are always fun. Emails start to fly after Halloween with friends and family guessing what the Christmas game will be this year! We have prizes, of course, but nothing extravagant … the most requested are the homemade t-shirts that I design for the winners.
You can read about all of our various family traditions, including The Elf On The Shelf, and even email for a free set of Holiday Hold’em cards that you can print yourself at Celebration Ideas Online.