On Starting Your Own Family Holiday Traditions

Many of us grew up in homes filled with tradition. Some might don their Christmas Eve pajamas, read certain stories or remember gatherings filled with specific foods that the holidays just wouldn't be complete without. While it's good to keep the old, it's always nice to add something of your own to your children's memories — but how?

Although the idea of starting a tradition that your family will carry on for years seems a little daunting, it doesn't have to be super stressful. Think about small things that help ring the season in, here are a few ideas:

• Serve a special (or traditional) breakfast: Even if it's as simple as cinnamon rolls, knowing what tasty food you'll be having makes everyone's mouth water!

• Movies & Music: Sing certain songs, watch certain movies, pick a night to have a true family night and get everyone together. Do it at the beginning of the holiday season and it will kick things off right! Try watching the same movie every year while you decorate the house or listen to the same cd.

• Outings: You might not be chopping down a Christmas tree, but even an outing together to see holiday lights, window displays or holiday items around your city can be time well spent.

• Service: Although it's at the bottom of the list, there's a chance that this act might make the biggest impact on your kids. Try leaving gifts of food, toys or crafts with neighbors or those who might need a pick me up. Try working together in a soup kitchen or even helping neighbors untangle their Christmas lights with some homemade hot chocolate.

Traditions don't have to involve money, they don't even have to involve a great deal of thought and sometimes you might create a tradition without even knowing it. But those memories you create for your own home can mean more to your kids than any gift ever could.

What was the first tradition you implemented in your home when you first had children? Have you added more since? Let us know in the comments below!

(Image: Flickr member Carrie Stephens licensed for use by Creative Commons)

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Sarah Trover has lived all across the Midwest and currently calls the hot dog-laden city of Chicago home. She rides scooters and seeks out kitchens that make the best pie.

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