5 Ways to Create Happy Holiday Memories for Your Family

familyWhen it comes to the holidays, it’s all about family – and creating memories that will last a lifetime. This year, focus less on the gifts and commercialism surrounding the season and try to build lasting memories with your kiddos. Here are a few ways you can do it:

Decide Together

While you may love the idea of taking a hike on Christmas Eve every year, it won’t turn into a beloved family tradition if you’re the only person who likes to hike. When you’re forging new traditions, it’s important to get “buy in” from the whole family. Ask for suggestions on activities you can do together and decide as a family what new traditions to try – and which old ones you need to keep.

Evaluate the Old Ones

Speaking of those old traditions, are they really “beloved?” If every kid complains when they have to watch Christmas Vacation again, maybe it’s not a lasting family tradition. Don’t be afraid to nix traditions just because you’ve always done them. Your family’s enjoyment should take top priority.

Think About What You Already Do

Chances are, you already have holiday traditions in place that are important and special to your kids. These could be as simple as breaking out holiday pajamas on December 1 or reading a particular book during the holiday season, or as elaborate as volunteering at a shelter or soup kitchen each year.

Incorporate Food

Food and taste spark memories, so your holiday traditions will likely include food. Ask your kids what their favorite holiday foods are, and make sure they’re included in your celebrations. One child might love turkey and stuffing, while another goes ga-ga over your sugar cookies. Food is a good way to customize your traditions to each member of the family.

Don’t Stress About It

Whatever activities or foods you decide to try this holiday season, be careful not to stress over it. Chances are, your holiday celebration won’t be perfect – and that’s completely fine! In fact, your kids will likely remember the holiday “mishaps” with nostalgia and joy. As long as you celebrate with a joyful, grateful heart, your family traditions are sure to build lasting memories.

What are your most cherished family traditions?