A Recipe for Creating Family Holiday Traditions – Make it a Party!

Fourth Pres Holiday concert
Here is our last list of “ingredients” to help you brainstorm, plan and enjoy family Holiday traditions. To make your holiday traditions more fun and memorable, don’t forget to add these: “Make it a Party,” “Rediscover Your Family Room” and “Ask the Experts.”

Make it a Party. No one said that you have to limit family traditions to just family. (Some families need to bring in some ringers to add more fun to the proceedings. Hey, I’m just saying. Not every family is a barrel of monkeys.) Some of our favorite traditions involve our best friends or neighbors. Every Christmas, we have a gift exchange with some of our closest friends. We always try to invite friends to our Holiday meals who might be home alone that year. We also meet our best friends every year for the Fourth Presbyterian Church Holiday Concert in downtown Chicago. We have gone for several years now and the kids love it. We head down to the Church for the concert, performed by the Tower Brass, and then walk around Michigan Ave. looking at the lights before grabbing dinner. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the season and experience the beauty of the city during the Holidays. (FYI-This year the concert is Dec. 19th at 5 p.m.)

Our neighborhood has a tradition of having a house decorating contest with a snowman theme. Each house on our block tries to decorate with as many snowmen as possible. We then all meet for a party at a neighbor’s house. During the party the whole group puts on their coats and marches around the block in the dark and the cold, voting on which house has the best snowman “spirit.” Try it with your neighbors this year and let the competition and laughter begin. (If anyone knows how to create a giant snowman to put up on our roof, let me know. We really want to win this year.)

Rediscover Your Family Room. There are so many activities around the Holidays like plays, concerts, and parties to keep your family in the fun. But don’t forget to stay home. It can be so nice to just relax, maybe light a fire, admire your decorations, and have fun in your home. Stay in and watch Holiday movies. Bake Christmas cookies one night and listen to your favorite Holiday music. Invite some friends over to see your tree, try a new recipe, or see your handmade Menorah. Best year, wear your Holiday PJ’s while you are doing it all. It’s your house after all.

Ask the Experts. The final ingredient to planning on having more fun this Holiday season is to ask the experts – other families – what traditions they enjoy during the Holidays. I recently started speaking at various Moms groups on “How to Create Family Holiday Traditions” and I love listening to the ideas that they share with me on what their family does to create memories. (I have to admit, I love the silly and funny traditions the best.) So, ask your extended family, neighbors, and friends what they do each year and see if you can find some inspiration. Don’t forget to check out the local websites that list what Holiday activities are going on in your area for events you might want to check out. Your local newspaper or local parenting sites like www.kidwinks.com here in Chicago are perfect for ideas. Or check back tomorrow when we’ll start our series “Stimulus Package for Fun Family Traditions – 10 Ideas to Banish the Bah Humbugs!”

Do you have any Holiday Traditions that involve more than just your family? We’d love to hear about them.

Read all of our posts on the ingredients of our Recipe for Creating Family Holiday Traditions.
Part One – Book It!
Part Two – Prepare Now!
Part Three – Spice It Up!
Part Four – Make it a Party!
10 Ideas for Family Holiday Traditions

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Tags: Family Celebrations · Holiday Fun · Holiday Traditions

3 Comments - Leave a comment

  1. I have for the past 3 years starting in November asking each child, we have three, what they remember most about Christmas. I ask them what are the three things that they would miss the most if not done and them I plan our Christmas around the answers.


  2. That’s a great idea. Thanks for sharing that with us. It’s a nice way to figure out which memories or activities really stuck with them.


  3. […] Traditions. Part One – Book It! Part Two – Prepare Now! Part Three – Spice It Up! Part Four – Make it a Party! 10 Ideas for Family Holiday […]

    10 Ideas for Family Holiday Traditions | Chocolate Cake Moments

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