As the hustle and bustle of the holiday season slowly comes to a halt, you may find yourself wondering “Where did the time go?” The shopping, decorating, parties, cooking, and gift swapping–it all seems to rush by in a whirl, but my favorite moments are so often the ones spent with family starting new traditions or repeating our favorites. Maybe you like to lounge together on the couch and enjoy classic holiday movies, read together before bedtime, or bake your favorite recipes that have been passed on for generations.
If you’re looking for new holiday family traditions, here are a few of my favorites:
The Memory Wreath
When my parents were married 38 years ago, they started hanging some of their most-loved trinkets on a whitewashed grapevine wreath. My mother wrapped it in festive beads and hung mementos from their lives, calling it their memory wreath. Once she had children, she began adding our favorite things as well—action figures, tiny toy Barbies, hair bows, art that we made at school, and eventually high school graduation tassels, college parking badges, the hairpin from my wedding day. Every year on Christmas, I look forward to going through them all, laughing as memories come flooding back. On Christmas Eve, my daughter and I add special knick-knacks to our own memory wreath that I hope she will enjoy just as much as I have enjoyed my parents’ wreath.
Looking for a special way to fill your tree through the years? Have each member of your family pick out or make an ornament that symbolizes something special, funny, or meaningful. Wrap them and swap on Christmas Eve, then add them to the tree. Precious memories to last a lifetime!
If you have little ones who can’t wait for Santa to arrive, making Reindeer Food is a must on Christmas Eve night! It’s quick and easy and is sure to bring lots of giggles and excitement. Find the recipe here.
Get personal by writing letters to each other, sharing your favorite moments of the year. Ideas: Most Meaningful Moment, Funniest Memory, Proud Parent Moment, Most Admirable, etc. Be sure to tuck these away in a scrapbook so that you can look back at them later!
You can also expand on this family tradition with your children and write letters to them all year round. Check out this fabulous idea from the Blonde Designs blog! This over-sized felt envelope hangs from the back of a chair, perfect for slipping in love notes.
If there is one thing I have learned about the holidays through the years, it’s that the days fly by and the precious moments pass too quickly. Be sure to set aside some time to appreciate the season and enjoy the things that are most important…that aren’t “things” at all.
What are your favorite family traditions during the holidays? Tell us in the comments below!