Many of us get excited about the onset of the Christmas season each year, but rarely do we stop to think about the role traditions play in our holiday happiness. In my family, the tradition was always a walk through a nearby park on Christmas Eve and a retelling of “A Visit from St. Nicholas” from a preposterously-oversized volume with a leather book cover at night. Not the most unique custom by any stretch of the imagination, but it was nevertheless something I looked forward to year in and out. If you find yourself without a holiday tradition to call your own, here are five simple ideas for creating a ritual that can last for years:
- Grab an old-fashioned desktop radio player and cuddle up by the fire to listen to Christmas music as a family. Many stations play continuous Christmas songs through the holidays with little to no commercial interruption.
- Head to the book store as a family and have each person pick out a book for another member of the family. This is a fun activity to see how your family views you and allows each person to read a book that they may not have otherwise chosen.
- Pull on your new cotton polo neck sweater and jacket and head to a local sledding hill. Even if your area doesn’t get snow, many ski resorts will set aside a smaller hill for sledding (way more fun than ice skating and without the queues) and create a generous dusting for winter activities. Just be sure to bring a few inner tubes and have some hot chocolate on hand for afterwards.
- Sign you and your family up for a 2 hour rotation ringing bells for the Salvation Army. Spending time each Christmas to think about those less fortunate and helping to collect money for charity will remind everyone of the true spirit of Christmas and that there’s work to be done year round.
- Draw the shades and enjoy the precious hours before your in-laws visit by watching a movie beside your tree. A Christmas Story and It’s a Wonderful Life are classics, but they feel a bit like a formality now. Consider choosing a less traditional film instead (think more Die Hard than Rudolph) and you’re well on your way to creating a Christmas ritual that’s all your own.
How do you celebrate the holidays with your family?
Did you know?
In It’s a Wonderful Life, Burt the policeman gives George and Mary a bottle of champagne for their honeymoon in 1929. Unfortunately, the gift was an oversight, as the repeal of prohibition didn’t occur until 1933.
Posted by Jeff O. @ 22 December 2010