10 Ideas for Unique Family Traditions

10 Ideas for Unique Family Traditions

Old meets new in these twists on favorite holiday family traditions.


By: Christa Melynk Hines

Favourite childhood memories during the holidays most likely have something to do with family traditions. That’s no coincidence: Traditions give your family something to look forward to and help bring everyone together.

Although it’s a nod to your parents to carry on your family’s traditions, these 11 tips can help spark some inspiration to create your own, too.

1. Notable Calendars
Fill your child’s calendar with treats and special notes in each pocket or drawer that set the mood for the season.

For example, leave a note that reminds your child of charity by writing, “Do something kind for someone today, but don’t let him know it was you!” Or surprise your child periodically with notes like, “Holiday movie night tonight!”

2. Spread the Cheer to Everyone
Deliver goodies to people who least expect it, like local fire fighters, police or snowplow drivers. Check with your local town hall to find out the rules for treating a public employee.

3. Enjoy Festive Entertainment
Instead of just watching holiday shows on TV, attend a live production like a ballet, musical, symphony or play.

4. Read Holiday Books
Gather up the holiday books around the house or even purchase a few new ones. Wrap them up and let your children unwrap a different book to read each night.

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5. Get Crafty
Invite a few of your children’s friends over for a craft party. You can even make ornaments!

6. Extend the Spirit of Giving
Work with your kids to choose an organization, toy drive or giving tree and then purchase and donate a gift. You can also try giving the gift of service by volunteering at a soup kitchen or shelter.

7. Plan a Date Night
Shopping with a partner can ease some of the decision-making stress. Afterward, reward yourselves with a relaxing dinner out, just the two of you.

8. Give Thanks
Create a “gratitude jar” for your family to acknowledge people or events for which they are thankful. Once a week around a family dinner or wreath, read through the week’s notes.

9. Tap Your Heritage
Add a new dish to your holiday feast. Make a traditional meal, dessert or bread that pays tribute to your grandparents or other ancestors.

10. Make Resolutions
Gather around your fireplace or an outdoor fire pit. Together with your family, write down your private intentions or wishes for the coming new year on scraps of paper. File your resolutions away or toss them into the fireplace.

Do you have any unique family traditions? We want to know! or sign up for P&G everyday and leave a comment below!



Christa is a freelance writer whose articles appear in national and regional publications. She is also a contributing writer to ParentingSquad and the author of “Confidently Connected: A Mom’s Guide to a Satisfying Social Life.” Find more of her writing here.

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