As holiday tunes are blaring through shopping malls, we’re busy checking boxes off on our holiday to-do lists. We move faster than the Amazon delivery man as we rush from one thing to the next as quickly as possible.
But as we round the corner and head into the holiday season, it’s important to pause for a moment and consider what makes these times with loved ones so special. I think you already know it’s not the elaborate gifts.
The holidays are an opportunity for us to come together and celebrate what matters most: family and friends. What better way to celebrate the gift of family than by creating lasting family traditions? If you’re not sure how to start a meaningful tradition, here are some ideas to help you create lasting memories with your loved ones.
Five Popular Ways to Make Meaningful Holiday Traditions
Making meaningful family traditions doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. In fact, the best traditions are often the simplest ones that you can do together as a family. Here are five ideas to get you started.
- Cook together. Cooking is a great way to bond as a family and is easily passed down from generation to generation. Teach your kids how to make your family’s favorite recipes and let them help with the cooking.
Here are a few ideas on how to make cooking a holiday tradition:
- Bake an assortment of holiday treats. Select your favorite family recipes or try new ones. Whether you are making cookies or frying up latkes or donuts, wrap them up and deliver to friends, neighbors and family.
- Hire a private chef to teach your family a new holiday dish each year.
- Select the holiday menu together. Each child can pick a side dish and the whole family can decide on the main course.
- During the holiday season, select your family’s holiday recipes to make throughout November and December. Share stories of your loved ones who made each recipe famous at the dinner table.
- Go on an annual trip. This idea can work in two different ways. One, you can spend time together over the holidays on an adventurous or relaxing trip. Or two, you can use this as a gift idea. (It’s a great gift idea for older kids or adults who don’t have lots of needs or wants.)
Investing in time together is a gift you won’t regret giving. To keep the memories alive from your trip, consider creating a photo album or framing a family photo from the trip to share with everyone in the family the following holiday.
- Have a holiday game night. Family game nights might already be a tradition in your house throughout the year. A holiday spin on this tradition creates great memories for everyone involved. Choose one night each week during the holidays to ditch your phones and spend quality time playing games together. Wear matching holiday PJs to add to the fun.
- Read holiday books together. Start a tradition of reading your favorite holiday stories aloud to your kids every night before bed. To make these books even more special, save them for reading during the holiday season only. Or give your grandchildren a holiday-themed book each year with a handwritten note from you. This is a great way to introduce your children and grandchildren to memories of your childhood.
- Volunteer together. Giving back as a family is a great way to teach your kids about compassion and responsibility. If you have a go-to charity or non-profit organization you donate time to regularly, that’s great! If not, have members of your family suggest different non-profits to donate your time and gifts to and vote for your favorite.
You can also volunteer with specific events/organizations that focus on holiday themes.
Now is also a great time to discuss ideas for your family foundation. Creating a family legacy that will help your community for generations doesn’t happen overnight. If you’re not sure where to start, check out this blog on preparing your family foundation for future generations.
Create Your Own Holiday Traditions
There’s something special about family traditions. They bring us together, help us feel connected to our loved ones, and create lasting memories. If you’re looking to start new traditions of your own, here are steps to guide you through the process.
- Pick a theme for your holiday celebration and build everything around it. Whether it’s a specific color scheme, cuisine, or activity, having a central focus will make your event feel more cohesive and memorable.
- Incorporate elements from your heritage or culture into the festivities. From food to music, this is a great way to honor your roots and share them with future generations.
- Make it interactive. The more involved everyone is, the more fun they’ll have. Plan games, crafts, or other activities that everyone can enjoy together.
- Put your own spin on classic holiday traditions. If there’s a particular holiday tradition that you’ve always loved, find a way to make it unique to your family. This could be anything from adding personal touches to the decor to changing up the menu to suit your taste buds.
- Document everything. Take photos or videos of your celebrations so you can look back on them fondly for years to come. And be sure to write down any special recipes or instructions, so you can pass them down as well.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating holiday traditions that will last for generations.
Sharing Our Favorite Holiday Traditions
At Private Wealth, we hold tight to the memories that make the holidays special. Here are some of our favorite holiday traditions we celebrate with our families.
With my family, we do two special holiday gift traditions. The first one is a white elephant gift that is exchanged as a Christmas story is read. The gifts change hands until the story is complete, leaving everyone with their gift. The other tradition we have is wrapping a variety of gifts (cash, candy, gift cards, lottery tickets, sports tickets, etc.) in a giant plastic-wrapped ball. Each person has a turn unwrapping the ball to get as many gifts as possible. Both are hilarious and fun for the whole family. – Russell Samples, Founding Partner
After the table is set and we are about to enjoy our meal together, our family goes around the table to each share things we are grateful for. This is not groundbreaking by any means, but we feel it is important to do with our young children. It keeps us all grounded in gratitude for what we have and not to be envious or ungrateful for what we do not have. – Aaron Curry, Associate Wealth Advisor
There’s something special about family holiday traditions. They give us a sense of belonging and make us feel connected to our loved ones, both past and present. Creating new traditions can be just as fun as revisiting old favorites. Whether you’re looking to start a new tradition or keep an existing one alive, we hope these tips have inspired you to create lasting memories with your family this holiday season.
Learn more about how Private Wealth can help you preserve your family legacy at https://privatewealth.com/who-we-serve/