No doubt your family has many cherished traditions that you celebrate each year at holiday time. Whether it’s chopping down a fresh tree, baking your great grandmother’s shortbread or wearing the same patterned pajamas on Christmas morning, there are certain rituals that are expected and looked forward to with great anticipation when December rolls around.
While traditions are, well, traditional, adding new ones can be fun, too. Whether they are celebrated only one time or repeated year after year, making new traditions as your family grows or gets older can make each holiday season seem exciting and fresh.
Here are some ideas for changing up your holiday rituals. Adopt some of these or make up your own!
Find new ways to be eco-friendly
Reducing packaging, using recyclable wrapping paper, ribbons and bows or gifting mostly handmade items can eliminate a lot of landfill waste on Christmas morning. Make it a tradition to see who can come up with the most eco-friendly gifts and wrap. Nothing can put a damper on frenzied gift exchanges more than seeing a big pile of plastic packaging and shiny, glittery non-recyclable wrapping paper scattered around the living room.
Extend your eco-friendly mandate to the holiday table as well. Use fresh branches and flowers for decorations and make sure to deposit all food scraps into the appropriate waste bins. Holiday gatherings are busy and it’s easy to just toss recyclable waste into the garbage instead of taking the time to separate it. The few extra minutes it takes are worth it.
A Christmas walk
The family can get caught up whiling away the holiday hours indoors on their new electronic devices or eating good food, but what about bundling up and going for a Christmas walk? Walking, especially after a big meal, can give you the opportunity to stretch your legs and help with digestion.
Pack up the family and head to a nearby trail, a neighbourhood featuring incredible light displays or a quiet lakeside with views and short paths. There may be freshly fallen snow or the temperature might be tolerable. Either way, getting some fresh air and putting a rosy colour on everyone’s cheeks can set the stage for a rousing round of board games or tucking into yet another tasty meal when you get back home.
Modify holiday recipes
We all have our favourite Christmas desserts, but how about challenging the bakers in your family to come up with less fat, less white flour, less sugar versions?
All it takes is a little research into finding healthier substitutions for traditional ingredients. I bet the changes would hardly be noticeable and your body would be healthier for them.
Source out a new charity or organization in need
It seems like every year there are more people who need help, not only at holiday time, but all year round.
Maybe your family could adopt one in need and purchase small gifts or food for a meal and deliver your donations together. You might also make a list of local charities that could use your time and resources and focus on volunteering for a new one every quarter or more often if you like. People love to give at Christmas but there are always those who could use your help all year long.