Family Christmas Traditions:
A Different Way to Save
Do have family Christmas traditions? A quiet Christmas Eve watching A Wonderful Life? Decorating the tree the day after Thanksgiving? Donating toys and food to others in need?
Traditions are a wonderful way to build family closeness - and to save money! Focusing on family Christmas traditions means that we are not focusing on the material items that seem to surround us more and more at Christmastime. In these trying economic times, who couldn't use a little more tradition and a little less worry about money?
Looking for family Christmas traditions to start for your own family? Take a look at our list. You can use some of them straight off the page or change them up to fit your own family. Have fun with these!
- A thankful tree. Get a small tree - a small branch from the yard or one from paper will work fine. Have each family member write or draw on paper ornaments what they are thankful for. Do it once a week and then hang the ornaments on the tree. If you start early, you will have a tree full of thankfulness by Christmas Day. On Christmas Day (or whenever you need a reminder!), gather the family and read all of the ornaments.
- Decorate together. Whatever winter holiday you are celebrating, there are often decorations that go with the holiday. Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah all have decorations and preparations that go into each. Involve everyone and make getting ready for the celebrations as much fun as the celebrations themselves. It can add a whole new level of meaning - and a whole new family Christmas (or Kwanzaa or Hanukkah) tradition.
- Game nights. Some families already set aside a game time each week. If you don't, there is no better time of year to get started. In our part of the world, the nights are getting colder and longer. And things are getting crazier with the holiday parties and shopping that needs to be done. Game nights are great ways to stop focusing on the hurriedness of the holidays and back to the family basics.
- Long-distance caroling. Even if relatives and friends only live across town, finding time to be with them can be tough. Why not call them up and sing a couple of songs? It works great when the kids are younger - what relative doesn't enjoy "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" sung by a 5-year-old? But even as the family gets older it's a nice way to show others that you are thinking of them without spending money.
- Check out other countries for ideas. There are lots of traditions in other countries that can spark ideas. If you have friends or family in different parts of the world, this can be an especially meaningful addition to your own family Christmas tradition. Check out lots of different countries here.
What family Christmas traditions do you have or are thinking about starting? Send us your suggestions. We'll post them to share with others. (We ask only for your email address in case we have questions on your tradition. We will never sell or distribute it to anyone else.)
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