Holiday Traditions: 8 Ideas for Creating Lasting Memories
by Carlisle Homes
Special family traditions make the holiday season all the more meaningful and enjoyable, and it’s never too late to start a new one.
Small moments can make beautiful memories, and they don’t have to be elaborate or expensive. Here are eight activities that will bring a special kind of magic to the festive season, which you and the family can enjoy together year after year.
- Carols by Candlelight
Most major cities, including Melbourne, host a Carols by Candlelight concert each year, and they’re a great way to kickstart the holidays. All proceeds go to charity, and you can usually expect to see a few celebrity performers. Pack a picnic, relax with your family on the grass, and enjoy some angelic heralding under the summer stars.
- Take a family holiday photo
Create lasting memories you can look back upon by taking a family photo each year. This can be as simple as a photo of the kids by the tree, or as elaborate as taking the same picture in the same poses over the years, be it at home or in a favourite spot, such as the beach or park. Make it fun by taking one goofy shot where everyone pulls a silly pose – you may find these end up being your favourites!
- Spend a day in matching pyjamas
Get into the holiday spirit by spending a lazy Sunday at home in matching pyjamas. Kmart and Target do fun holiday-themed sets to fit grown-ups and kids – some even including the family dog – and they don’t cost the earth.
- Bake together
Nothing beats those sweet, freshly baked aromas wafting through the house – particularly during the festive season. Start a delicious new tradition of baking holiday cookies with the children each year (added bonus: they can make a great gift for neighbours, teachers and family friends). Break out a favourite recipe, grab some cookie cutters, sprinkles and icing, and try not to worry about the mess!
- Start a gratitude jar
Give everyone in the family a simple glass jar, which they can fill with slips of paper throughout the year, writing something they are grateful for. On Christmas Eve, gather together and read out the slips of paper to each other. It’s a beautiful reminder that those small, everyday moments are the ones that count. First day of the new year, start a new jar!
- Give back
Few things feel quite as good as giving back during the holiday season, and it’s a great way to remind the children that kindness should be part of their lives. Visit a giving tree at your local shopping centre or church, let the children pick a name themselves, set a budget, and allow them to select the toy to donate. Take your purchases home and wrap them up, before returning the gifts to the tree.
- Watch the same holiday movie every year
Does your family have a favourite holiday movie, be it Elf, Miracle on 34th Street or Home Alone? Start a tradition where you watch it together every year. Break out the popcorn, plump up the pillows, and enjoy precious time snuggled together on the sofa. You could make it even more fun by serving goofy snacks inspired by the movie.
- Make an ornament
Are you the crafty type? Why not start an annual ritual where you create a special holiday decoration with the kids. Everyone can either pitch in to make the one ornament, or each child can make their own. When decorating the house or tree, the children can relive festive seasons past by hanging ornaments they’ve made in previous years.