Family Traditions are an AWESOME way to bring your fam closer together, and make lasting memories. Whether they be big or small, they will be cherished – and maybe even continued into next generations!
Some of my favorite family traditions do fall on the holidays. Having something to look forward to year after year makes this time of year extra special. And for those traditions that fall on ordinary days, well, they promise to brighten everyones day. Here are some of my favorite traditions my family has adopted, plus some new ideas to try out this coming year!
8 Family Traditions for Your 2018
1. Holiday Collections
Ever since I can remember, my parents have gotten my brother and I a Nutcracker and a Snow Globe (respectively) each Christmas. And let me tell ya, no matter if I’m 10 or 20, opening up a Snow Globe on Christmas surely puts a smile on my face. My favorite globe by far is my Nightmare Before Christmas one, complete with Jack Skellington and all of the other characters in a sleigh! Starting little collections for the holidays is a great way to remember each year and get nostalgic about the season of giving. I can say with confidence that my Snow Globes will stay with me for years to come!
2. Sunday Breakfast
When I was younger, Sunday mornings had a strict structure. My Dad and I would wake up early, listen to our favorite Simon & Garfunkel songs, go to Donut Inn for a coffee and some munchkins, and have lunch at a local Mom & Pop burger joint. As I’ve grown older, those mornings are some of my fondest memories with my dad. Committing to breakfast on Sunday mornings is an easy and enjoyable way to get some quality time with your family! Enjoying a meal together lets you detach from technology a bit and catch up. Another plus? It can be as long or quick as you choose! If one week your family can only commit to some granola bars and coffee instead of a full breakfast spread, it’s all good. Its the dedication to time together that matters. Whether you have kids, are the kid, or without kids, putting aside time to get your family unit together each week is so important.
3. Seasonal Trips
My whole life I’ve been lucky enough to grow up just an hour train ride out from New York City. I never realized how grateful I should be until I went to school in South Carolina, and people I met always said, “Wait you live in Connecticut?? Have you ever been to New York City?!?!” and were blown away when I told them I can go in any time I want. Going to the City in the wintertime has been a favorite tradition between me and my friends. The best thing about trips seasonal trips? You don’t need to spend buckets of money. These winter trips are all about sight seeing for us, like the tree at Rockefeller Center or the window displays at Macy’s. All we spend money on is the train ticket in! And lets be real, the hot chocolate in Bryant Park is definitely a worthy investment. If you don’t live as close to New York City, a simple trip to a new town or a city close to you can be an awesome way to create some holiday memories.
4. Happiness Jar
Starting in January I’ll be starting a Happiness Jar of my own to go along with my month of mindfulness! The idea here is to focus on the little things, and write down something that made you smile each day. At the end of the week (or month – depending on the size of your fam!) you can empty out the jar and reflect on everything that made you happy lately! It’s a quick and simple way to focus on happy events day to day, and can give your family an opportunity to get to know each other better.
5. Game Night
Now, Game Night is HUGE in my house. At least twice a year, we get as many people together as we can, and have the ultimate Yahtzee game. More recently, my step sister has gotten us all into Headbandz, and we’re always a fan of some classic card games. Game Night is good, healthy competition, and is sure to end in some laughs. Gather your favorite board games or cards, throw in some yummy snacks, and you’re in for a fun night with your family!
Pizza Night – always a crowd pleaser. It was a staple in our house when I lived with my Momma! No delivery though! The fun part of this tradition is making these pizzas yourself, and customizing them to your favorite flavors. It’s easy too! Just grab your favorite toppings and some fresh dough at your local grocery store, turn up some music, and get to cooking! My pizzas were always classic – pepperoni or black olive. My mom loved making half of hers a Margherita with fresh basil and thick slices of mozz and tomatoes, and she would line the other half with asparagus and garlic and drizzle with a little olive oil – yum!
7. Gratitude Spoon
I stole this idea from an article in the November issue of Real Simple, but it was too cute not to share! When setting the table for a family dinner, put one mismatched spoon at a setting. Whoever gets the spoon shares one thing they’re grateful for, then passes the spoon around the table! It’s a different twist on saying grace before a meal, and still gets everyone feeling warm and fuzzy. I can’t wait to implement this once I have my own house!
8. Regrets to the Fire
The New Year comes with promise of fresh starts, new opportunities, and letting go of the past. Something I’d love to start doing this year is writing down a regret from the past year, or any grievance I carry, and tossing it into the fire place. Cheesy, maybe, but the act of burning the paper definitely symbolizes closure, and can be a breath of fresh air. I see the new year as a chance to forgive myself and others, and move forward with a clear head and clear intentions.
That’s all folks! I hope these spark some ideas for new traditions to try out with your family this upcoming year. Wishing you all good health and happiness in 2018!