Every family has their holiday traditions. Whether it be something as simple as decoration the Christmas tree, or something crazy like hiking a mountain on New year’s day, there’s just something about these annual activities that make anyone feel great. So if you feel like your family might need some new traditions to try out this holiday season, have no fear, because here are some things that my family has done in the past to celebrate the magic of the holidays!
This is such a classic winter activity that everyone should strive to do during the holiday season. Go to your closest outdoor rink during December or even January and enjoy the chilly, snowy weather as you glide around a decorated ice rink. The best place to go near where I grew up always had a giant tree right next to the rink, so everyone would stop there to take pictures to post on Instagram. If you went skating at Clinton Square and didn’t take a picture in front of the tree, did you really even go?
Attend or compete in a gingerbread competition
These are a little harder to find, but you should consider either entering or judging a gingerbread house contest. In my family, we make it a tradition to head to a museum in our city which hosts an annual contest. All of the gingerbread houses are on display and you can vote for your favorite! It’s a fun way to look at everyone’s creativity and even have a say in who wins the ultimate prize.
Have a Christmas movie marathon
Christmas isn’t complete without a movie marathon! Hunker down in your PJ’s with friends or family and binge watch all of your favorite Christmas movies! Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas is a great way to watch tons of these movies all day long!
Play outside in the snow
If you live in a place that gets a lot of snow, definitely take advantage of it and go outside to play in it! No matter how old you are, sledding down a really big hill with your friends or siblings will always be fun. Have an intense snowball fight or make an igloo if you want to be a little more “adult” about it.
Sing some Christmas carols
It would be so fun to have a Christmas karaoke night! If you have the equipment, you could set up some speakers, lights, and a microphone right in your house and invite over friends or family for a great night filled with caroling. My family also likes to prepare songs to perform at our many unique church services during the holiday season.
Decorate your house or room
The holiday season is automatically ten times better when your surroundings are decorated. Put aside at least one day to decorate everything around you for the holidays! This in itself can be such a fun activity and the outcome can give you a month's worth of joy.
Decorate Christmas cookies
Christmas cookies are just so much better than regular cookies. Decorating them can be such a fun thing to do with younger kids, as well as anyone older! My sister is the master at decorating cookies perfectly.
Visit a lights show
If you live near a place that does special light shows or walk-throughs, definitely consider going. The event that I live closest to called Lights on the Lake is so much fun because they offer a night for people to walk along this path which has been decorated with giant light displays, and then for the next month or so you drive through it. To make things even cooler, if you tune into a certain radio channel, you will get the official station for the event which plays Christmas music! Going to an event like this when it’s snowing makes it even more magical.
Go to a tree lighting
Many towns have these, and they are very nice events. With the lighting of a Christmas tree, there are usually other attractions such as Santa Claus, hot chocolate, musical performances, and shopping options. Even if you don’t plan on spending any money, just showing up for the lighting of the tree is a great way to take part in your community and kick off the season.
Go to a candlelight service
This option may not be for everyone, but if you are a church goer, try attending a special candle-lit Christmas eve service. The way my church does it, they hold a regular church like service dedicated to Christmas eve ad the last day of advent. Then, all of the lights are turned off and everyone lights their own little candle. We then stand together in the dim light and sing Silent Night. Although this may seem extremely simple, there’s just something about it that is calming and enlightening. I would suggest that everyone try this at some point in their life.
Do something fun with visiting family
With the holidays comes family. If you have family that always visits from far away, or you visit them, try to do something very different and fun each year. Don’t pick something that you do regularly in your own life, but choose to do something interesting. You can then make a tradition out of this. Both sides of my family have done this over the years, and some of the things we’ve done include laser tag, bowling, trampoline parks, and even an indoor water park!
Throw or attend a big holiday party
I think that everyone should host their own holiday party at least once in their life. Seeing as I am in college at the moment, I cannot wait until I’m an adult with my life figured out and my own house so I can throw a nice holiday party for all of my friends and family. Attending these parties are also so much fun, especially when you get to dress up in an ugly sweater or in something nice.
Buy an ugly Christmas sweater
This has been such a big trend lately, so why not add fuel to the flame! Every year try to add a Christmas sweater to your collection.
Go to a bazaar
Many churches and schools hold Christmas bazaars, which is basically a craft show. It’s a great place for kids with little money to go to buy cheap, often homemade Christmas presents for their family. They often sell snacks too, and the one I’ve been to many times even had appearances by Santa!
Take a midnight stroll in the falling snow
If you’re lucky enough to be cuffed during this holiday season, take advantage of that and take a stroll in the falling snow with your significant other. Make sure you’re all bundled up and warm, so the experience can be nothing but enjoyable. You can walk around a neighborhood and admire the lights and decorations, or walk along a path in the quiet woods, just talking and enjoying each other’s company.
Eat a ton of food!
Need I say more? The holidays bring tons of different goodies and meals, so treat yourself and eat as much as you want to! You can start your workout routine when life returns back to normal.