Looking to incorporate new traditions into your family's holiday celebrations this year? We asked our Inspiring Families bloggers to share their favorite holiday traditions with us, and now we're feeling inspired! Here, we've rounded up seven of these unique family traditions. Let us know if you plan to make any of these your own this year.
1. Riding the Polar Minivan Express
“I got this idea from a blog a few years ago and adopted it as our own. It's been a big hit. Every Christmas, we get the kids dressed up in their jammies, make cups of hot cocoa and then get in the van which we've decorated inside with battery operated mini lights and then we drive around the neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights. It's particularly fun looking at the lights with those colored cardboard glasses. My kids love this time and as soon as Halloween is over they start saying, ‘Do you remember last year when we looked at the lights?’ Lots of fun.” –Zee M.
2. Decorating Cookies
“A favorite: Making Christmas cookies in a warm kitchen with Christmas music blasting, and dancing, and silly Santa hats. Everyone gets covered in flour and food coloring and sprinkles. The kids make crazy cookies. We all eat too many warm cookies right out of the oven! This tradition started when I was a young girl and we continue it in my home.” – Laura Rossi of My So-Called Sensory Life
3. Singing Songs
"We sing when we light the candles! I hand out song sheets. After we chant the blessings, we sing about 8 different Chanukah songs. The family favorites are "Who Can Retell" and "Eight Days of Chanukah" to the tune of "Those Were the Days My Friend." - Loren P.
4. Special Decorations
“I have saved Christmas tree decorations from my grandparents on both sides of my family. Every year as I dress the Christmas tree, I now hang ornaments that I remember hanging as a small child with my Nanna and Grandma. I love that other members of my family now see our Christmas tree and it helps them remember years gone by and loved ones who are no longer with us. I plan on keeping this going and sharing this with my own son (and possible future children) who will be able to continue this.” -Jodie Thompson of Muddled Up Mumma
5. Helping Others in Need
“My son, Max, came into this world December 10. He had a stroke at birth and ended up in the NICU for two weeks…Every December 24th, to celebrate my son's release from the hospital, I make a donation to a group that supports kids in need, such as Save The Children. And then I give Max eleventy billion hugs.” –Ellen Seidman of Love That Max
“Because our tenth child was born with Down syndrome, there is a special place in our hearts for all children who share her extra chromosome. Last year we discovered Reece's Rainbow, an organization that helps find families and provide grants for orphans with Down syndrome in Eastern European nations. Our family ran a giveaway for two of these orphans on our blog- as a result almost $17,000 was raised, and two families were able to commit to adopting these little girls.” –Patti of A Perfect Lily
6. Hot Chocolate Station
“We set out a pretty tray filled with hot chocolate mix, marshmallows (store-bought, or homemade if we are feeling motivated!), pretty mugs, and candy cane stirrers. The kids can help themselves, and it is nice to have out for house guests. We just started this last year when I saw another Mom doing it, and are looking forward to colder weather so we can set it up again! “ –Angel Dockendorf of surprisingsweetness
7. Reading a Special Story
"One of my favorite rituals is the reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' on Christmas Eve. I had my kids a bit late in life and there were years when I wondered if I would ever be blessed with children. During those wishful years, I bought of copy of Samuel Clement's classic book with gorgeous illustrations. I tucked it away for 'someday' when I had my own kids. Now, when I pull it out each year, I am doubly grateful -- for the gift of my two lovely kids and the magic of Christmas as seen through their eyes." -Kristin Brumm of Wanderlust
What's your favorite family holiday tradition?