Festive Family Traditions
- Learn about the different holiday customs, traditions, and celebrations your neighbors, classmates, or co-workers enjoy. Talk about them as a family and perhaps choose one idea to celebrate. You may wish to invite another family to teach your family about one of their favorite customs, share traditional foods, and find more common ground between people of many cultures, races, and religions.
- Extend the gift-giving segment of Christmas morning by writing clues on the box as to what is contained therein. Let everyone take a guess.
- Hide gifts and lead family members on a "treasure-hunt" by leaving clues throughout the house.
- Write names of family members on strips of paper. Fold up and place in a hat. Have each person draw out a name. Then as a family, shop for a tiny gift (set a price limit that even the little ones can afford). On Christmas Eve, swap the gifts.
- Enjoy a pie-baking day. Let every family member make his or her favorite pie. Invite friends or extended family members over to enjoy the 'fruits of your labor'.
- Rent a Christmas classic movie, eat popcorn cake and eggnog or wassail.
- Laugh together with an 'elephant' gift exchange. Draw names. Let everyone wrap up a silly gift for the name they drew. Exchange gifts with lots of good jokes and accompanied by silly holiday music.
- Decorate a tree for the birds. String popcorn and cranberry garland. Coat pine cones with peanut butter and roll in birdseed. Place the ornaments on a tree in your yard or make a 'field-trip' out of it by decorating a tree in the mountains, canyon, desert, or ocean around where you live. Take along chili, breadsticks, and hot cocoa.
- Take a picture of the family by the Christmas tree or other festive spot every year. Let everyone choose his or her spot in the picture. Each year, gather everyone in the same position before snapping the camera. Before you know it, you'll enjoy a fabulous "growing through the years" photo collection.
- Bake cookies together, stack them on plates, and then deliver them anonymously to your neighbors.
- Exchange ornaments. Everyone brings an ornament, either bought or homemade. Draw numbers to determine in which order guests get to choose an ornament to keep.
- Hold hands and walk around the tree singing carols and praying in gratitude for blessings received.
- Keep a journal of the blessings for which every family member is grateful. Write them down yearly and review past entries.
- Bake a birthday cake for Baby Jesus, complete with candles. On slips of paper have each person write their name and an act of service to be rendered to another family member (wash dishes, make your bed, fold your laundry, iron your shirt, etc.). Wrap each slip in waxed paper and insert in the baked cake before frosting. When the cake is served, each person will get a gift of service from someone else.
- Adopt a needy family and let children shop for Christmas gifts and food, wrap the presents, and deliver the gifts anonymously.
--Share your Family Fun-Time Ideas with us by sending them to Desi@DVO.com --