Advent Calendars are all the rage

And every year, they become more luxurious and indulgent than before (have you see the gin advent calendars?). While we all enjoy a few spoils every now and then, the best way to incorporate it into a family tradition, is by making your own! You need 24 small boxes and bags, and you can fill them with chocolate, notes, or even small toys!

Tree decoration

Decorating the tree is a special event. Make sure your ornaments are also special. Whenever you travel, collect Christmas ornaments from special places you visit. Whenever there is a milestone you celebrate in your family (graduation, anniversary, wedding, etc.), make an ornament to commemorate it. Each year, when you hang the ornaments, you get to relive all the wonderful memories associated with it.

Get creative

Most people think that physical letters are dying a slow death. But seriously, we are bombarded with emails every day, so creating a handmade Christmas card for friends and family members will be appreciated so much more! Get the family together to make cards for each other, and extended family members.

Christmas Movies

If you love watching movies, why not have a Christmas movie weekend with your family. Get a few classic movies (did anyone say Home Alone?) and a few Hallmark romances. Pop some popcorn, get the eggnog ready, and have fun! You can always include some trivia in the movie, and see who know their films the best!

Christmas Carols

While most of us are likely getting tired of over-commercialized music in the malls, singing Christmas carols with family friends are still quite special. Get together with a few friends or family members, and sing carols in the neighborhood. Or if you think it’s too chilly outside, why not sing a few with loved ones in front of the fireplace? With COVID, you can always have a zoom Christmas Carols sing-a-along!

Giving or receiving

While for many, Christmas is all about the gifts, it’s a good time to teach your children about thankfulness and generosity. A good way to do this, is to go through their toy stash, select a toy (or a few toys) they no longer want to give to underprivileged children. You can also get them involved to volunteer at a nearby soup kitchen.

Staying up late

For some families, it’s especially exciting to stay up until midnight on Christmas Eve. Stay awake by watching movies, playing board games, or reading. We think of course, that playing boardgames is the best way to kill time. Keep a tally of all the points…the winner can get an extra slice of pie the next day!

Gift giving

If you’re on a tight budget, why not set a few gift-giving rules? Why not do a Secret Santa: you are randomly assigned a name of someone in your family, and you must then buy something for that person. They won’t know it’s from you, and because you’re only buying for one person, you can shell out a bit more money.

Ugly sweaters

With the 50s came the extreme secularization, and ugly sweaters came with it. It’s basically a sweater decorated with reindeers, bells, Santa Clauses, candy canes…the list goes on! The more over-the-top, the better. Start a tradition to see who can wear the “ugliest” sweater. You can even make your own. Buy a plain red or green sweater, and add your own outrageous decorations!

Bake cookies

christmas cookies

This time of the year we all have the munchies, and what better way to satisfy your sweet tooth than with cookies! Get the family together to bake various kinds of cookies, or even help to make a gingerbread house. Even better if you have an old family recipe that you can pass on to your kids.