Rethinking Your Holiday Theme: A Modern Twist on Holiday Traditions

Rethinking Your Holiday Theme: A Modern Twist on Holiday Traditions

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Sarah Rae Smith
Dec 9, 2010
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Holiday traditions are a little different for everyone. Some don horribly ugly sweaters for family photos while others deck their halls with all the glitz they can muster. If things are feeling a little lack luster, try these new ideas to shake up old traditions and put a fresh modern spin on them!

Family Portraits & Holiday Sweaters
For many, holiday sweaters have become a point of mockery and a faux-tradition all on their own. If you're planning a yearly portrait of your family or friends together, try adding something a little more fun.

Make paper hats, jewelry, chalkboard word bubbles or add in over sized props for photos that will keep you laughing year round. Or, have a talented family member draw the annual portrait. Change your themes every year to keep things fresh and funky (in the Wild Cherry Way, not the old moldy cheese way).

Grandma's recipe might need a little livening up!

Traditional Foods
Although traditional foods have a place and a time, if new dishes weren't added to the menu here and there, you'd still be eating the same thing your Grandparents did when they were little. Check out these tips over at The Kitchn on adding a modern twist to old standbys. Don't be afraid to make mini versions, bake items in a new shape or even add new ingredients!

Music, Movies and Media
Although there will always be music and movies that make us think of the holidays gone by and days spent watching TV or signing with friends and family, that doesn't mean you can't shake things up a bit. Instead, try having a Christmas Movie-thon with a few more unusual flicks — how about an action movie or a sci-fi fest?


Enjoy time with your family at a local farm.

Group Activities
There will always be sledding and sleigh riding along with snow ball fights or even surfing depending on what part of the world you live in. Try changing things up a bit and implementing new traditions.

Service work is a great place to start. Try volunteering time at a local shelter serving food or helping tidy up. Likewise, animal shelters are always in need of extra folks to donate blankets, food and time to help give dogs walks, cats some love and make sure everyone stays happy.

Other ideas might include visiting local farms, picking seasonal fruit (assuming you live somewhere without snow), having a cross city scavenger hunt (make sure to take photos!) and even hosting an old-school skating party or board game night can be a great way to spend some time.

Include gifts for others under the tree this year

Gift Giving
With many of us focusing more on thinning out the items in our home and truly only keeping what we love, donations to organizations and charities are a great way to spend some cash. Knowing that your donation helped fund a school project or put clothes on someone's back is a far better feeling than a new shiny iPad (though we wouldn't say no to one).

If you're not into donations of just money, try sponsoring a family in your community for the holidays and help provide toys and a little holiday cheer. There's bound to be a program in your area and if not, there's always fun in playing ding dong ditch to leave presents behind on the doorstep of a neighbor whom you know goes without.

How have your family's traditions changed over the years? Are you making new ones or starting to shake things up? Add your own ideas to the comments below!

Images: Liezel Strauss | Apartment Therapy, Nealey Dozier | Apartment Therapy, Sarah Coffey | Apartment Therapy, Tanya Lacourse | Apartment Therapy

This post is brought to you by Dunkin' Donuts. Another reason to smile.


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