Memorable Holiday Traditions to Start With Your New Family

A Christmas family photo of a young family

Holidays are all about the traditions. These time-honored rituals give us a connection to the past. Whether that is taking the family to cut down your Christmas tree or watching It's A Wonderful Life for the 32nd time, we look forward to these traditions every year. Of course, there is always room for a fresh tradition or two. If you're starting a new family this year, then you're in the perfect position to create your own holiday traditions. Here are some awesome suggestions:

Old/New Christmas Photo

From here on out, you're going to have a Christmas tree with your new family, right? Perhaps you can set up what will become a classic family pose in front of the tree. This will then become the picture to take every year: Same pose, same smiles. You might even try to pull on the same Santa hats or matching pajamas. With every photo you'll be creating a wonderful timeline for your family to enjoy. Bring out these photos every Christmas and put them on proud display.

Cookie Exchange

Memorable Holiday Traditions to Start with Your New Family, christmas cookies

Everybody loves the sweet taste (and smell!) of fresh baked Christmas cookies. You probably have a favorite recipe. This year, start the tradition of a cookie exchange. Invite friends and family over to make their own favorite cookie recipe. One recipe per person. By the end of the night, you'll have dozens of cookies to swap like trading cards. The kids can get into the act by being in charge of final frosting.

Elf on the Shelf

Memorable Holiday Traditions to Start with Your New Family, elf on the shelf

A quick internet search for "elf on the shelf" photos will reveal some very busy elves. You can pick up these dolls just about anywhere. The idea is that the elf is here to watch over the kids to make sure they are staying on Santa's nice list. Each morning, the elf pops up in a new place and the kids have to go on a hunt to find out where he will appear next. You'll get bonus points if you take photos of your elf's midnight adventures.

Embrace Your Heritage

Memorable Holiday Traditions to Start with Your New Family, heritage, russian christmas

Many of our traditions are handed down through the generations. However, over time some of these traditions could have gotten lost or merely forgotten. Head back to the internet search engines and dig into your family's cultural heritage. There will be plenty of old world traditions that you can bring into the present. These can be a special recipe for Christmas dinner or unique presents. Either way, you'll be providing your children with a wonderful link to their heritage.

Volunteer Outing

Memorable Holiday Traditions to Start with Your New Family, charity, family, volunteering

Another common holiday tradition is to head out with the family for a tour of Christmas lights or visit with loved ones. You could start a tradition of spending one of those outings volunteering. You're sure to have many opportunities in your community to help those less fortunate. After all, this is the season to give and it's another great lesson to share.

What are your favorite holiday traditions? Let us know!