10 New Holiday Traditions You Wish You Were Doing All Along


We know your family already has some awesome holiday traditions, but if you’re looking to switch things up this year, try out one of these cool suggestions.

  1. Organize a cookie giveaway. Challenge your neighbors, friends and family to bake the best batch of baked goods. Once the judging is over, consider donating the cookies to a homeless shelter, church or hospital.

  2. Go for a light tour of your neighborhood. Homeowners appreciate spectators "oohing-and-aahing" at their colorful Christmas lights. Get in the car, stock up on some blankets and drive around to your holiday playlist. You’ll be surprised at all of the houses with most impressive shows.

  3. Leave carrots out for the reindeer. Cookies for Ole Saint Nick are cute, but what about his trusty reindeer? Leave a plate of carrots and celery out for Rudolph and the gang. You can also throw some oatmeal or candy sprinkles on your front lawn for a quick midnight reindeer snack.

  4. Do Elf on the Shelf. Based on the 2005 book of the same title, this tradition is sure to put a smile on your kids’ faces. Each night, The Elf sneaks away to a different location around your home. For more information on the fun-filled game, click here.

  5. Read a different Christmas book every night. Swap out a night of Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas for a new holiday book. A lot of festive movies are based on books (The Polar Express, Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Carol) anyway, and it gives you the opportunity to share some Christmas classics with your kids.

  6. Track Santa’s progress. With today’s technological advances, it’s now possible to track the gift deliveries of the man in the sleigh. Log onto NORAD to see where Santa and his reindeer are flying to next, but make sure you tell your kids to go to bed before he visits your neighborhood. He knows when you’re sleeping!

  7. Create a scrapbook of Christmas cards. Whether you collect your own or the cards of your friends and family, creating a scrapbook of Christmas cards is a great way to keep the holiday spirit alive and commemorate each year’s fun times. It’ll make a great keepsake for your kids when they’re older, too.

  8. Get stockings for your four-legged friends. Your pets are part of the family, too, so choose a jolly stocking and hang it above the fireplace with the others. Stock up on some Christmas goodies like treats, new toys, or fuzzy blankets.

  9. Substitute gifts for a family vacation. Presents are tricky. You don’t know how many to give compared to how many you’ll receive. There can be price ranges, lost packages, low quantity and a slew of other problems. Instead of stressing about buying and wrapping gifts, plan a family vacation. Whether you continue enjoying the winter wonderland by skiing or sipping eggnog on the beach, the memories are worth more than any present.

  10. Buy a new ornament for each year or occasion. One of the most charming things about Christmas trees is that they literally hold a bunch of memories. For each exciting event or just because, buy a new ornament for your tree to reminisce on all of your wonderful adventures throughout the years.

From reading a holiday classic and stuffing your pet’s stocking to joyriding around the neighborhood for Christmas lights and playing Elf on the Shelf, these holiday tips are sure to create some picture-perfect moments.