Think about your childhood what was the best thing you remember about the Holidays. These Great Holiday Memories often are the Traditions we pass down through the generations. I often wonder if the little things my parents did were built from proven longstanding traditions or improvised activities.
Traditions are abundant in the Holiday Season. There are 101 things to do lists. Just the pressure to have a family photo that is square for instagram, ready to print in landscape for cards and makes a great facebook cover can be overwhelming. (Don’t worry you do not really need a new facebook cover shot!) I want you to take the time to create family memories this season. But most importantly I want it to be something unplanned and fun. It is these times that your kids will talk about and want to recreate with their families and friends.
I am sure you have a pinterest board full of ideas or you can click the link and see mine. These are all the the traditional tried and true that are great and good to mix in but let me share a few that might not be on your list and that take almost no time and little money to do.
Pancakes, Pajamas and a favorite movie.- Breakfast for Dinner is a great treat and getting in your PJ’s before dinner is crazy right. But that is exactly why it is memorable.
Caroling even if you are totally tone deaf singing Christmas Carols make a chore day go by much faster, if the kiddos are really in to it drive over to the over 55 neighborhood and go caroling one afternoon.
Christmas lights- I remember one year on Christmas Eve my parents decided to take us out to look at the lights. I think I was in second grade. We drove all over town finding the best lights. Dad pointed out a shooting star that he was sure was Santa so we should get home soon. When we got home Santa had already come so we got to play with them and then opened all our presents that night. Looking back I know that this was likely because dad had to work the next day or some other reason. But that became our family tradition for a few years. Well the lights part only lasted a few years. We moved to a nice dinner just the 4 of us then as we got older the dinner become a pizza on paper towels and you better eat fast. But it is the magical night that Santa came early that I always remember. Not the part the next 3 to 4 years where mom forgot to unplug the iron and ran back in the house to “unplug it” or Dad forgot the keys and had to run in to “find them.”
Community events – most towns have several special events during the season, look online and pick a couple to try out. We had a light parade and the stores stay open late downtown it is a great time to get out and shop those small main street stores that you can forget about. The are different library and parks and recreation activities too. Cookie Decorating or ice skating ae great ones since they are low risk and you do not have to stay long or you can keep going all afternoon.
Neighbor Gifts- These are a fun thing to get your kids to help out with and an instance where it really is the thought that counts. I have received great drawings and elaborate gift baskets and loved them both. This is not the time to try to pull out all the stops but to give something that works for you. Every year my mom would say I wish we had made strawberry jam last spring because a pint of jam and loaf of homemade bread in a tea towel would be such a great gift. I do not think we ever actually made the jam but I know we made the bread at least a couple of times. Mom always baked bread so we had a lot of loaf pans so making 10 loaves of bread one afternoon was totally normal.
Shopping with one parent for the other of for a sibling- Just a quick trip to the store for some thing is enough to create that memory.