There are many ways to celebrate the holidays, like looking at lights while sipping hot chocolate or playing around with The Elf on the Shelf. While these are wonderful activities to get the family in the holiday spirit, there are other traditions you may have overlooked.
To help you remember the spirit of the holidays, I compiled a list of our favorite unique traditions. They’re simple to begin, so you can start making more memories this holiday season.
1. Unplug Cabin Getaway
Celebrate the family by taking a weekend trip to the high country. Don’t just count the trip itself as a tradition, but use the time to carry-on other traditions like baking cookies, building ginger bread houses, getting crafty, or watching quintessential holiday movies. Take it up a notch and leave your phones and laptops behind (bring your phone, but keep it off the entire weekend). This allows you to unplug from technology and focus more on what’s happening right in front of you.
Fun fact, this is a new tradition Ryan and I will start this year. And after the getaway (no phones and laptops allowed after all) we will make sure to share our experience with you in our quarterly newsletter.
2. Write Thank You Notes
Instead of giving gifts or cookies to neighbors, co-workers, or your kid’s teachers, write them notes. Whether you’re thanking someone for taking care of your recycling bin on recycling day, giving your littles extra help during test week, or staying late to help you with a project at work, handwritten notes come from the heart and reign supreme.
3. Use Cash Only
Our grandparents used cash to pay for the holidays out of sheer necessity. They had a budget and stuck to it. Spending in cash makes it more real and helps tame the gifting expense so you don’t have to borrow from the future, aka use credit. When shopping online, use a pre-paid card and promise yourself not to go over the limit.
4. Spend Time Together
It’s not the gifts you receive that matter, it’s the memories you make. Make a conscious effort to stay in (instead of go out) with the family and play board games or watch movies in the backyard. Even more fun, bring the lights inside and create something from nothing, like a fort. The point is to be present and feel like a kid again.
5. Share Memories
Every Christmas Eve when I was a child, after a hearty meal of German food, we’d surround my grandma for story time. She’d share stories of her upbringing in Germany, her tale of crossing the Atlantic Ocean to start a new life in America, and the moment she knew her father passed away during WWI, even though he was thousands of miles away. It’s stories like these that bring families together and teach us the meaning of family. Sad or joyful, sharing memories are how family bonds stay strong.
There’s no right or wrong way to celebrate the holidays, but starting a new tradition like one of these can bring just a little more joy to the season.