7 Family Traditions for Christmas

Christmas is a time to bond and build family traditions. To make your holiday more memorable, why not start traditions that involve the entire family? Activities that involve everybody create memories that can carry a lasting impact. Here are seven family traditions to consider this Christmas:

1) Take in the Christmas lights as a family:

To get into the Christmas mood, start with a no-hassle tradition to ease you and your family into the holidays. Head to Parliament Hill to see all the gorgeous lights. (There are 300,000 of them in this brilliant annual show.) Many provinces and territories string lights in their capital cities to participate in the Christmas Lights Across Canada effort. No matter what your age, the dazzle of the lights will help usher in the Christmas spirit and also create a simple way for you to bond with your children.

2) Bake cookies:

Spending time in the kitchen is a great tradition to help with family togetherness. Baking cookies allows the whole family to participate. Kids can help mix the ingredients and cut the cookies, while parents help with the baking. Many families participate in cookie exchanges with other family members. After swapping cookies, you can take this tradition further and do a taste test to determine which cookie is your favorite.

3) Order decorations online:

Decorating for Christmas is one of the best traditions that will allow preteens and their parents to participate in choosing what decor will look best in their home. Plan a day when you and your kids take the time to order Christmas floral arrangements, wreaths and other festive decor. This can even end up being a learning experience if you emphasize the value of planning ahead, teamwork and the simplicity of creating a tradition that involves little-to-no fuss.

4) Make a tourtière in your kitchen:

Many Christmas Eve meals include tourtière as the  entree. This classic meat pie offers ample opportunity for parents and kids to get involved in the cooking tradition at a young age. Kids can mash the potatoes, while parents can supervise the contents of the meat filling. It teaches families to bond in a way that doesn’t involve gifts or materialism and teaches children the importance of not only eating a meal together, but cooking a dish that requires a cooperative effort.

5) Serenade the neighbors with Christmas carols:

Stroll around and serenade your neighbors with popular Christmas carols. Your family can preplan what songs you can sing and what houses you visit. This tradition will help extend Christmas cheer and goodwill to those who live the closest to you. It is a guarantee that many people will smile watching you and your children sing together.

6) Donate your time together:

During the season of consumerism, you have a wonderful opportunity to teach kids the importance of giving to those who are less fortunate. Carve out time to visit a homeless shelter, soup kitchen or look up how to volunteer with a charity of their choosing. Doing so will help instill the virtues of kindness and compassion. As your kids watch you help, they will naturally want to extend their hands too. During this outing, focus on gratitude and even discuss what you learned of you learned

7) Pick out a Christmas tree — in the bush!

No Christmas is complete without a tree. Picking out a real Christmas tree is an easy way to get into the spirit of the season. Make it an annual tradition by allowing family members to pick out two trees  they like and conducting a family vote on which one will grace your living room.

Traditions create special memories for the whole family to carry on and even to carry through the generations. Including your kids in these activities will not only cement memories for them, but also help you, as parents, to hold onto these family treasures in the future.

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