15 Magical Christmas Traditions to Make Your Own this Year
Monday Dec 12th, 2022
Here are 15 magical Christmas traditions to make your own this year.
1. Start a collection
Calling all antiquing buffs! Vintage Christmas décor is such a fun thing to hunt for all year long. Pick a theme, such as vintage tinsel boxes, keep your eyes peeled for finds, then display your favourites come December.
2. Check the halls
COURTESY NORA MURPHY
Incorporate bold patterns of plaid and tartan into your home decor each Christmas season. Meals will feel infinitely more festive when enjoyed atop a tartan tablecloth!
3. Take a hike
Nature is beautiful any time of year, and it's good to get some fresh air and clear your head whether you live in the snowy north or the sunny south. Make it a tradition that the whole family takes a hike on a certain day in December each year.
4. Dress up your pet
Your cat or dog probably won't like us much for suggesting this one, but it's guaranteed to make everyone laugh! Another idea? Feature your pet on your annual Christmas card. (Face it: It's way easier than trying to get the rest of the family organized.) Just make sure to never, ever leave your pet unattended while still dressed in his or her costume.
5. Make homemade hot chocolate
There's nothing like a mug of homemade hot chocolate on a chilly winter day. Forget the watery prepackaged types and make your ow. They would even make a great gift, packaged with a mug and some marshmallows!
6. Go ice-skating
Gather your friends for some winter revelry. Embrace the cold weather and serve up some hot drinks and your favourite Christmas cookies for an ice-skating party. No snow? No problem. Throw on a scarf and make it a porch party.
7. Go caroling
Grab a few friends or the kids and head out to your neighbourhood to sing a few favourites. And don't worry if you can't carry a tune; enthusiasm makes up for singing off-key!
8. Build a snow person
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Go ahead and feel like a kid again! Don't just send the kids out to play; you need to go out and play with them in the snow, too. Dress your snow man, snow woman, snow dog, snow cat, or snow whatever in real mittens and hats.
9. Host an open house
If you don't have time for a full-scale party, host an open house so friends and neighbours can just drop in to say hello! Keep it simple and offer easy appetizers or something like a hot cocoa bar.
10. Participate in an annual toy drive
Check with your local library, community organizations, or see if your kid's school is hosting a toy drive to find out how you can get involved. Or start one in your neighbourhood, making your house the collection point.
11. Spend time together
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That's what we'll remember years from now, not what you gave or received as gifts. Bake cookies with your kids. Plan night of family games. Attend services at a house of worship. Go caroling. Drive around to look at Christmas lights. Make ornaments. The point is to interact and be present in the moment with your family and friends, not with your smartphone or laptop. And if it's part of your tradition, attend religious services together on Christmas Eve or throughout the season.
12. Make gifts
JAMIE GRILL PHOTOGRAPHYGETTY IMAGES
Our grandparents used their talents to create gifts. Homemade goodies such as cookies and breads are always welcome, but you can make plenty of other easy gifts. Layer your favourite cookie recipe ingredients in a Mason jar and attach baking instructions. Package homemade seasoning chili or taco mixes, Download a Christmas printable inspirational quote and frame it. Put together a themed Christmas gift basket such as movie night.
13. Write thank you notes
Your grandma would tell you that nice manners still matter. Sit down and write a real thank-you note (no texts or emails!) this holiday season, whether you're thanking someone for a lovely party or a thoughtful gift. They're always appropriate and in style and handwritten reigns supreme.
14. Share memories
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Part of the joy of the season is reminiscing about what makes your family unique. Ask your parents and grandparents about their holiday customs growing up or what they received as gifts when they were kids. Celebrate what makes you family, especially the silly or quirky traditions. Sharing stories, traditions, and values defines your family and is a great gift to each other that doesn't cost a cent.
15. Give back
Our grandparents shared what they had with neighbours when times were tough—and the last two years should remind us how important it is to think about what matters to you and your family and share what you can to reflect your beliefs. Your gifts don't necessarily have to be monetary. Help an elderly neighbour put up her tree or just spend an afternoon sipping tea with her. Send care packages to military members who are deployed away from home. Donate old towels and blankets to a pet shelter or local rescue organization. Just do something. It will mean so much to those who aren't as fortunate. And that, after all, is the spirit of Christmas.