Old-Fashioned Holiday Traditions to Do with Your Family
Spending time together with family and friends is among the most important holiday traditions. With everyone's hectic schedules and the increasingly commercial nature of the holidays, falling back on a few old-timey Christmas customs can help you slow things down and add a hefty dose of charm to your season.
Get Crafty Together
Arts and crafts are at the heart of traditional Christmas decorating ideas. Try this old-fashioned cranberry popcorn garland from the Salty Canary to hang on your mantel or Christmas tree.
- Start by popping plain popcorn and washing fresh cranberries. Dry the berries and let the popcorn cool.
- Thread a cranberry onto floral wire, pushing it to the halfway point, before starting to alternate one cranberry with three popcorn kernels. Push everything down the wire as you go.
- Once you have half filled the wire, wrap the loose end into a loop. Start working on the other end.
- Tie the end off with another loop when it's finished. Your garland is ready for display.
Trim the Tree and the House
As one of everyone's favorite family Christmas traditions, trimming the tree and decking the halls is an annual event that everyone can help with. Put up the tree — cut it down yourselves if you have the option — string it with lights, and start sifting through your favorite ornaments to create your family masterpiece. A few additional old-fashioned Christmas decorating ideas include:
- Decorating gingerbread houses
- Putting up an advent calendar, a decoration with roots back to the early 1900s
- Going outside and finding pinecones, tree boughs, and other greenery for natural holiday decor you can gather as a family
Spend Time Together
When your kids are grown, the moments they'll remember most are the memories you make together. Spend quality time watching classic holiday movies, playing family Christmas games, writing letters to Santa, and mailing holiday cards to friends and family near and far. A few ideas include:
- Hosting a family baking night for your annual cookie exchange
- Going caroling around the neighborhood and heading home for hot cocoa
- Driving around to see the lights on homes
- Volunteering together in the community as an annual commitment to giving back at the holidays
Use Fruit as Stocking Stuffers
Placing small oranges or clementines in your Christmas stockings is one of the old Christmas traditions that many families keep alive. There's a centuries-old story about St. Nicholas that may be one of the possible origins for this time-honored tradition. As the story goes, St. Nicholas discovered that there was a poor man who didn't have dowries for his three daughters. After learning of the situation, St. Nicholas tossed a sack of gold for each daughter down the chimney. The sacks each landed in the stockings that the girls hung by the fire to dry. The oranges today still symbolize the gold.