The holidays are my favorite time of year. I get to spend time with my family, focus on things I’m thankful for, and of course shop. Not that I don’t do throughout the year but it’s magnified during the holidays. I embrace every detail of the holiday season, lights, the smell of pine cones, hot cocoa, and more. Now that I’m married I want to make sure we start holiday traditions or hobbies that we can look forward to year after year. If you don’t have a tradition or hobby to keep you busy during the holidays, keep on reading and choose something you and your family will enjoy.
Host a Holiday Party
I love a good get together especially when it doesn’t break the bank. Last year I threw an “Ugly Christmas Sweater Party”. It was fun and low key. I turned it into a potluck, prepared games, and readied myself of a night of fun and laughter. I still hold to those memories even as I type this post. Ask friends to bring a dish and bring some games they’d love to play to bring some cheer to the night.
Plan a Special Meal
Plan a special dinner to celebrate the holidays. I like to try new dishes so I make sure I look up a special recipe each year. If you have a traditional dish you cook each year, look for ways to incorporate it into your meal each year. That’s a memory and tradition that your kids will also share in.
Send a Holiday Card
My husband and I started taking Christmas pictures our first year of marriage and it will be a tradition we will continue once a baby enters the picture. If you want to take it a step further, start a scrapbook to capture the memories each year. You can get creative and do theme or colors for each year. Check out how to get budget-friendly holiday cards made here.
Go on a Light-Seeing Tour
I have the fondest memory of one perfectly manicured lawn spruced up in lights in the neighborhood I grew up in Orlando. It was beautiful. There wasn’t a light out of place. I never saw the homeowners but I always saw the lights. In fact this year we will be taking a trip to St. Petersburg, FL to see the famous Christmas display that was seen on HGTV and the Today Show! It’s a great date night or family tradition to start.
I love giving back. Volunteering as a family is a perfect way to teach your kids to help the less fortunate. Serve dinner at a homeless shelter, donate toys to a children’s hospital, sponsor a family for Thanksgiving or Christmas, or donate to a local food bank. Pick one event and do it every year or let one family member choose a charity to sponsor each year. Volunteer as a family at your community’s food bank this season, or find another opportunity in your town to give back together.
Host an S’mores and Hot Cocoa Night
Graham Crackers+ roasted marshmallows+ and chocolate = a happy blogger. If you had hot chocolate to the mix and you’ve got a fan for life. I live in Tampa so we don’t get much cold weather but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying treats of the holiday season. If you don’t have fireplace, don’t worry because I roast mine in the oven.
Host and Christmas Ornament Party
This is a great way to hang out with friends while they decorate your tree. Choose a theme or color and have everyone bring an ornament representing that theme. It’s also a great way for your kids to get crafty each year. Build your collection of ornaments and make it personal by having everyone make a handmade ornament, engrave it with names, year, theme, or interest. If your son or daughter play sports or an instrument, hang ornaments that fit their interests.
Baking cookies is a cheap and easy tradition for anyone to start. If you don’t want to bake from scratch, pick up some ready to bake cookies and decorate them instead. You can take it one step further and host a cookie exchange. You can make gift baskets and purchase some cheap decorative tins from the Dollar Store that won’t break the bank
Give a Gift on Christmas Eve
One of my favorite traditions as a family is opening presents on Christmas Eve. Every Thanksgiving, everyone would list three items they want for Christmas based on the budget set by the group. Then we’d meet at my aunt’s house on Christmas Eve to eat, play games, and of course open gifts from their mystery person. Another tradition I like is giving new pajamas every ear. If you know me, you know I cannot sleep without a real set of pajamas on (weird I know). Start the tradition of providing matching pajamas for everyone every year. This will also make for a good photo op to add to your photo album or scrapbook every year! ”
Cook a Special Breakfast
When I was younger we’d get up to open presents. We got a new bike every year. While we were out riding our bikes or playing with toys, my mom would be making a huge breakfast for us. Grits, eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits, and anything else she wanted to make. Everyone would eat together and then we’d go back outside to play. These are some of my fondest memories. Whatever you make, make it a memorable one.
Watch Holiday Movies
I love, love, love Christmas movies. So much, in fact, I watch them during the year. My favorite Christmas movie is A Christmas Story. If you want to go more traditional checkout Miracle on 34th Street or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Another favorite of mine is How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Those are classics that I can watch over and over again. I also love Hallmark Christmas movies because I know they’ll be a happy ending.
Make a Gingerbread House
I’ve never done this but my plan is to build one with my nephew this year. I love gingerbread cookies so this is a perfect bonding time. Not sure if I’ll be able to talk my hubby into doing this but if it fits into the budget I will be buying a kit because I’m not skilled enough to bake this myself! If you want to host a party, have your friends bring a candy to use to decorate it.
12 Holiday Hobbies to Start Now was first seen on Hobbies and Cents.