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Holiday Family Traditions

Family is what makes the holidays memorable and worthwhile. Holiday family traditions passed down from generation to generation can be a great way to add a little more cheer to the season. See these ideas for family traditions for the holidays, and begin one this year with your family!

two gingerbreadhouses on display

Holiday Family Traditions:

  • Watch a holiday movie together as a family. A few ideas: A Christmas Story, Mixed Nuts, Home Alone, or Elf.

  • Read the kids The Night Before Christmas the night before Christmas - or, start a tradition with a different holiday story, like The Polar Express.

  • Make and decorate gingerbread houses together.

  • Bake and/or decorate cookies together.

  • Light the menorah together every night of Hanukkah. Even if you don't typically celebrate this holiday it could be a great chance to teach your children about other cultures.

  • Spin the dreidel. Again, even if you don't celebrate Hanukkah, who cares? It can still be a fun game and tradition!

  • Enjoy a hot cocoa night. Play games or just talk while partaking in one of the most beloved Christmas beverages.

  • Go to your place of worship as a family.

  • Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or with a food drive.

  • Make a charitable donation in lieu of / in addition to gifts.

  • Sing carols at home or go out caroling.

  • Visit a senior home or hospital and cheer up those who need it this season.

  • Have a family member dress as Santa for the kids.

  • Mysteriously have a bag of joke gifts appear each year. Gag gifts are fun!

  • Play a slideshow of pictures from previous holiday celebrations. If you have a Chromecast you can show pictures from your phone or computer right on the television.

  • Put on a festive puppet show.

  • Decorate the home together with lights. Or, take a drive together to see where the best lights are in nearby neighborhoods.

  • Pick out and/or cut your own tree and decorate as a family.

  • Do a holiday craft together. Find crafts for tree ornaments and more at a local craft store.

  • Plan a day / evening of local holiday shopping as a family

  • Attend a local parade or annual holiday event as a family each year

  • Visit Santa's Cottage in Saratoga Springs

We hope this list of holiday family traditions gave you some good ideas for a tradition (or perhaps a few traditions) you can start in your home this holiday season!

Start a tradition choosing and cutting your own Christmas tree »

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