The holidays are all about family and traditions… some of us have decades long traditions we stick to and pass down, others are looking for the perfect activity to add to the family. Here are some of my favorites plus a few I’d like to add myself.
- Make your own family ornament: My parent’s Christmas tree is a hot mess. In the best way possible. There are laminated projects I made in the 2nd grade, a craft my sisters created in middle school and pictures of us all through the years. There are even some mysterious objects hanging by string that we aren’t really sure where they came from. But my mom LOVES them all and refuses to throw them out. It might not be the Instagram-worthy tree but it’s sentimental and sweet.
I love the idea of creating one new ornament a year together as family and adding the date to it. Not crafty? No problem. We have a good laugh every year looking back at things we were so proud of.
Here are a few of my favorite ideas:
–Metallic pine cones: I have these all over my tree! They are on-trend and easy to make. Here’s Martha’s tutorial.
–Use those wine corks! If you are anything like me, you have a jar full of wine corks sitting in the house. I always say “I’m going to make something with these!” I did for our wedding, and that turned out fab… but the supply has been replenished since then and now I’m sitting on dozens of corks. Here’s an easy way to turn them into ornaments.
–Mason jar lids: I love the gingham and plaid prints of the holiday season, and this is a great way to incorporate that style into your tree! Thanks to Clean & Scentsiuble for this idea.
2. A floral heist: My friend Glo and her family love Magnolia blooms and leaves, but they didn’t have Magnolia trees growing up. So they all piled into the car late at night to a Magnolia tree in the park and clipped a few blooms. The kids remember this as their holiday adventure…Just don’t tell anyone I told you to do it 😉 Bonus: Make your own magnolia wreath!
3. Get to baking! Do you have a family recipe for Christmas cookies? Pumpkin bread? Apple pie? Ask your relatives for something that they’ve always just done and make it your own. My mom makes the BEST banana bread and I look forward to it every year.
4. Write a letter “from” Santa. OK this one is a true Burdine original and it’s probably my favorite. I’m one of 3 girls, and my dad always played the role of Santa, obviously. Of course eating the cookies we put out for Santa and the carrots for his reindeer, but he took it a step further and left a note to us girls every year. The letters are a way for Santa aka Dad to brag about us and tell us how proud he is of our accomplishments and good deeds, as well as a ‘look back’ on the year. Each page was dedicated to a sister, and we listened intently on what Santa had to say. When we were kids, it also included a little lesson for us. Like how to be nice to your sisters or why you should share. “Santa” always ended it with something like this, “Santa is so proud of you girls, you’re beautiful on the outside but you also have great hearts.” Even now, Dad writes these letters and one of us reads them out loud.
5. Do one selfless thing. Another favorite tradition with my family: We deliver Meals on Wheels in my hometown and drop off dog and cat food to the local animal shelter. The trick is to do it as a family, together. I promise you’ll have all the good feels after.
BONUS IDEA: Dress up like cats. Or just in onesies. That’s always a win.
What traditions do you and your family have?