A New Tradition
As families change, so can holiday traditions.

Leisure Pursuits

Holiday traditions – they create lifelong memories and are often so cherished they’re passed on from generation to generation. Many center around meals and recipes, decorating, music, games, activities and when to open presents.

However, specific traditions need an update. Families change over time – children grow up, grandchildren are born – and who can make it to each holiday gathering fluctuates.

It can be hard to let go of longtime traditions, but bringing in new traditions or adjusting old ones can make holiday time less stressful and more enjoyable. It can also strengthen bonding and create new fun memories. As this year’s holiday season draws to a close, it’s the perfect time to reflect on how your traditions are evolving and what you could consider, as a family, for next year!


Here are a few ideas for creating new traditions or modifying old ones:

  • Be flexible: Maybe you can’t open presents in the morning due to other family member’s plans. Traditions can change time or even be held on an alternative day.
  • Get in the spirit: Volunteering or participating in holiday giving can make the holidays more meaningful whether you’re alone or with family. Ideas range from adopting a family to volunteering at a soup kitchen to donating and everything in between. See what charities are active in your area and what other family members are interested in doing.
  • Consider all ages: When re-evaluating your traditions, consider which ones will appeal to all the ages present at your holiday gatherings. Try to focus on traditions that can engage as many family members as possible. If weather and health permit, a walk or other physical activity can be a perfect compliment to a day otherwise spent sitting or eating.
  • A different day, a different way: Children and grandchildren often get pulled in multiple directions during the holidays, with all parents and grandparents wanting time with them. If you can’t all be together on a holiday, another option is to plan time together during a different part of the year. They will be less busy, which means more quality time. Taking a vacation together at a more convenient time is another option.

Holiday traditions are here to stay, but new traditions can take their place along with the old, making future holidays even better.


Grandparents’ Holiday Survival Guide – AARP.org

5 Meaningful Holiday Traditions for Kids – PBS.org

Create Your Own Family Traditions – WomansDay.com