Holiday Traditions to Start
By Editorial Staff
Contributed by Info Guru Terri Wallace
Don’t let the holiday turn into a competitive, over-indulgent path to the poor-house.
Instead, adopt some new traditions this year that will help you save time, money, and maybe even your sanity.
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Even if you are not the sort of person to don your best woolens and amble through the neighborhood calling out the songs of the season, you can still rustle up the family and cajole a few friends to join you at your local hospital, nursing home, or shelter and inquire about visiting their guests to brightening up their holidays with a few holiday melodies.
9. Make Gifts
Instead of buying all of your gifts this year, consider making some of gifts on your list. Whether you knit a scarf, make scented bath salts, or bake a basket of cookies and fudge, a gift that you make yourself lets them know that you care.
8. Adopt a Senior
Contact a local nursing home and inquire about “adopting” one of their residents for the holidays. Unfortunately, some seniors don’t have family nearby; this fact is even more obvious during the holiday season. While other residents’ families come to visit, with armloads of gifts in tow, others are left to the watch wistfully on. The best gift you can offer them is your time. Visit with them, listen to them, and let them know that they are not alone.
7. Christmas Portrait
In the age of electronics, many of us make full use of the camera on our cell phone. The only drawback is that, too often, those memories stay locked away in the phone and never again see the light of day. Instead of adding your family Christmas picture to the other thousand or so photos tucked away on your cell, invest in an actual photographer to take an actual photograph that you actually get framed and hang on your wall.
6. Holiday Bake-a-Thon
Remember how Grandma Edna used to bake those cookies, and make that amazing butterscotch fudge, ohhhh, and that divinity that was lighter than air? Well…make them again. Gather the kids around, pass out the aprons, and break open the cookbook Not only will you make some fabulous treats, but you will also make some pretty amazing memories.
5. Woodland Walks
With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it is easy to lose track of the season. After your holiday meal, make it a point to go for a walk—the whole family—to trudge through the snow and draw your coat a bit closer against the winter wind. Listen to the squirrels chatter as they dig for the nuts they stored away in preparation. Oh, and leave the cell phone at home.
4. Feed the Hungry
With the holidays comes excess. So it is easy to forget that so many people simply don’t have enough and are forced to go to bed hungry. Take some time away from the tinsel and tannenbaum and visit a local soup kitchen. It is a good reminder to be grateful for what we have and to give back to those who are not as fortunate.
3. Holiday Potluck
Start a new tradition this year; ditch the inflated expectations, the fancy place settings, and the tense small talk often associated with holiday meals. Instead, have everyone bring a dish or two to the meal and host a holiday potluck. Invite friends as well as family. If your best friends are there, you will have at least a few allies when your Auntie Lou starts lamenting how few “child bearing years” you have left.
2. Be Someone’s Secret Santa
At the beginning of the season, gather together the family and have everyone write down their name and put it in a large bowl. Draw names, and for the rest of the season, each person tries to be Santa for the person whose name they drew. Don’t make it about gift though. Instead, spend the holidays trying to make that person’s life just a bit easier. But be discreet and try not to let them know who their Secret Santa is. On Christmas morning, everyone can reveal who they have “Santa-ed.”
1. Keep It Real
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One of the best traditions you can start is to try to “Keep it Real.” Be realistic about what to expect this holiday season. Not every day can be the perfect hot cocoa and sugar cookie moment. There will be too many crowds, too many invitations…and not enough time, or money, or patience…and that’s okay.
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