Establishing a family ritual or tradition can offer numerous benefits for the participants. They can help strengthen bonds, contribute to your children’s well-being, and provide cherished, long-lasting memories. Family rituals can be as simple or as elaborate as you choose to make them. Below are 8 winter traditions that you can start with your family to help bring everyone closer together. In the New York City area? Then you have to check out our events blog that is your premier guide to all things winter in the community!
Go to a Tree-Lighting Ceremony
Visiting a tree-lighting ceremony can kick-start the holiday season for many families. A guide to popular tree-lighting ceremonies can be found here.
Wear Matching Family Pajamas
Dressing up in coordinating ensembles can add an extra touch to your holiday celebration. There are numerous adorable and fun options that can fit with every family’s style, and even some for your household pet if you want to include him or her in the festivities. You can set-up a family themed photoshoot once you’ve made your outfit decision.
Watch the Same Holiday Movie Every Season
Popular holiday classics include Elf, It’s A Wonderful Life, Home Alone, Lights: The Miracle of Chanukah, and The Polar Express. For additional viewing options, Parenting.com has a great list.
Open One Special Present on The Night Before
Some families choose to wait until Christmas Day or the first day of Chanukah to open and distribute presents. Others open one present the night before the holiday, and some people exchange gifts on a separate day, such as New Year’s Eve, entirely. Decide what works best for your family!
Give Back to the Community
Community service is a great way to teach your children the importance of assisting the less fortunate. This can mean volunteering at your local soup kitchen or sponsoring a child’s medical or food expenses. You can also adopt a family for the holidays via your local Salvation Army branch. Other ways to give back to others this Christmas can be found here.
Record a Year-in-Review
A year-in-review gives families a chance to reflect on their favorite and most meaningful memories of the past year. Additionally, it helps plan and create new goals for the year ahead. A free printable year-in-review can be found on our Pinterest and here.
Learn About Other Religions and Cultures
The end of the year is a busy time for many families, as many of them are celebrating Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa and other holidays. Parents should use the holiday season as a time to learn more about other religions and cultures. This will help children respect other familial practices, and expand their worldviews. We advocate a hands-on approach to teaching. Scholastic has a list of books that celebrate the various holidays. Why not pick a secondary holiday to learn and celebrate this year?
Bake Holiday Treats
Nothing says holiday time like baking cookies and decorating gingerbread houses! For families that don’t want to commit to creating and decorating a gingerbread house, here is an easy-to-make recipe for gingerbread men. If you need some inspiration for more wintery cooking activities, check out our guide to healthy food for the holidays.
Contact the Nanny Authority Today!
In addition to the creative ideas above, we also suggest coming up with your own traditions that are meaningful to your family. Spending time together is the real blessing of the season. From all of us here at the Nanny Authority, we wish you and your family a safe, warm, and happy holiday season!