“Home for the Holidays” is taking on a new meaning this year, as many of us are adjusting our usual holiday meet-ups and family traditions. While this December is going to look and feel a little different, there are still plenty of opportunities for family fun and other holiday activities. This year, you might even want to try a new family tradition.
How about gathering the household for good ol’ fashioned bake-off? There are several variations to a holiday cookie challenge. You can ask everyone to prepare their own special recipe, or you can level-up the cooking challenge by asking everyone to include specific holiday-themed ingredients. For households with young children, you can have a cookie decorating contest and then judge who has the best holiday flair.
Santa Beard Challenge
If you’re not afraid of a little mess, this challenge is a lot of fun and could quickly become a favorite holiday tradition. With the Santa Beard challenge, everyone makes a “beard” by spraying and piling shaving cream onto their face. There are no mirrors allowed. Once everyone is done, you can vote on who has the best beard (and, take a few funny photos).
Holiday Light Displays
Have the family pile into the car and go check out the local holiday light displays! There are some venues that host ticketed events and drive-through light spectaculars. Or, you can cruise around your neighborhood and vote for the home with the best or the most over-the-top decorations.
Holiday Movie Marathon
Need another reason to binge-watch your favorite programs on Netflix and Hulu? This holiday, how about streaming a holiday movie marathon? It’s a fun tradition, and everyone can participate. On movie night, you might have everyone in the household select their favorite Christmas flick. Or, you can watch something new. To make it even more fun, you can snack on movie-themed goodies, or play movie-themed trivia while you watch. Don’t forget your holiday pajamas!
This is a favorite holiday tradition in many households. You should give it a try! Every year, the household adds to the ornament collection. Parents may purchase or make a special ornament for their child that marks the child’s age, how many holidays they’ve celebrated, or something they’ve done or accomplished earlier that year. When the child grows up, they’ll have a collection started for their own household. Whenever they look at the ornament, they’ll be flooded with happy memories.
The Pickle Ornament
While we’re on the topic of Christmas ornaments, a fun and quirky holiday tradition involves a pickle ornament. This custom, which originated in Germany, involves hiding a pickle ornament on the Christmas tree. On Christmas morning, the first person to find the pickle gets to open the first Christmas present. Or, for family-friendly variations, they might receive an extra present or have the job of handing out the presents. The pickle ornament is a symbol of good fortune in the year to come.
Christmas Eve Present
Can’t wait until Christmas to open those bright and shiny packages? You and your family may want to begin the tradition of opening one present on Christmas Eve. Pro Tip: it’s best to set some ground rules beforehand on this tradition. Decide whether the household gets to pick their own present or if they should open a specific, designated gift.
Matching Holiday Pajamas
The night before Christmas, some households’ designated Christmas Eve present is a set of matching pajamas. That way, when everyone wakes up on Christmas morning, they’ll all be wearing the same adorable outfit. Others choose to include the matching pajamas with the other presents under the tree. Either way, the matching outfits can be a fun and festive holiday tradition. They also make for a great photo-op!
The holiday season is more than celebrations and receiving presents. It’s also about giving back to your community. This year, your new holiday tradition can involve volunteering. There are so many ways to get involved. You can serve food at a homeless shelter, donate toys to children in need, give warm clothing or grocery gift cards to a community center. Your family could “adopt” a family in need this holiday season by purchasing items off their wish list. There are also non-profit groups that collect homemade cards for those who are in the hospital or overseas for the holidays.
Brian M. Douglas & Associates’ Holiday Traditions
Our law firm loves the holiday season! Whether it’s spreading holiday cheer at the office or celebrating holiday traditions at home with our loved ones, December is a special time for our team. Here are some holiday traditions that our employees enjoy every year:
- Brooke, Project Specialist: Christmas Eve is spent with the whole family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) All kids in the house, who are under 16, must partake in a Christmas Concert for the family.
- Amy, Paralegal: We play the present stealing game, aka White Elephant.
- Amber, Senior Attorney: My husband’s family always has Kraft Mac & Cheese on Christmas.
- Amanda, Director of Client Services: Every Christmas Eve, our family enjoys the Feast of Seven Fishes, which is an Italian tradition. This tradition is supposed to commemorate La Vigilia (or La Vigilia Di Natale), which is the birth of Jesus Christ. So, on Christmas Eve, we fast all day, and then at night we have a big meal that excludes meat. The reason why we have 7 different types of fish is unknown but some link it to observing the seven sacraments of the roman catholic church.
Whether you try one of these holiday ideas or create your own new tradition, we hope that you enjoy the holiday season. If you or a loved need help with an issue related to estate planning, probate, or real estate law, please reach out to Brian M. Douglas & Associates at (770) 933-9009 or via our online contact form. One of our experienced attorneys would be happy to help. Happy holidays!