7 Holiday Traditions to Start This Year

Starting a new tradition is as easy as…well, repeating a chosen activity annually. Really, it's that simple! In the thirteen years my husband and I have been together, we've started a number of traditions centered around the holidays. Some traditions have stuck — while others only lasted a few years. One of the most important things about a tradition is that it be a joyful experience. If a tradition starts to become stressful, let it go or skip a year. With that said, here's a list of 7 activities that may inspire you to start a new tradition this year.

1. Host a tree trimming party. Whether you choose a real or artificial tree, you can create lasting memories by inviting a few people over to help trim the tree.
2. Volunteer some time at a local charity. It's easy to get caught up in the materialism of modern holidays and volunteering for a charity can be a great reminder that community is just as important as that new Xbox.
3. Gather the family for a movie. You can get everyone together to go to a new movie in the theater or you can all plop down in front of the television to watch a favorite movie at home.
4. Visit a cultural institution. It's easy to forget about the museums in our home towns. Over the holiday break, grab the kids or a group of friends and plan on a museum day.
5. It may seem old fashioned but go caroling. When I was younger my church group used to go caroling at nursing homes and hospitals. If you're not quite up to organizing something like that, get some friends together, put on a Christmas playlist and have a sing-a-long.
6. Bake cookies. Whether from scratch or the slice and bake variety, getting friends or family together to bake cookies can be a fun and delicious activity.
7. Read a favorite book or story. This is a tradition you can do all by yourself. A lot of us find ourselves with a bit of downtime around the holidays and that's the perfect excuse to read a favorite book. And it doesn't even have to be holiday related!

Of course these are just a few of the many activities that can become traditions. What are some of your favorite traditions of the past or present?

Images: State Library of New South Wales