11 Feel-Good Holiday Traditions Made Up by Creative Families

family ice skaiting

My husband and I had very different upbringings, so we don't have a lot of overlap in the "cherished childhood tradition" category of our lives. At first it made me a little sad, but then I came to realize that starting a family together gave us a chance to begin our own traditions.

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I'm already looking forward to starting our holiday season as we always do -- with Nat King Cole on the record player, a big bowl of popcorn as a snack, and the littlest member of our family in charge of putting the star on the tree. 

I'm always curious to hear about how other families have created their own special traditions for the holiday season. I love some of these cozy, creative, and fun holiday ideas -- feel free to steal some to try with your own family.

"We get the big family together on Christmas Eve. The smaller set gathers on Christmas morning for breakfast burritos. Then we hit the zoo. We live in Phoenix, so the weather is perfect. And there aren't many people -- just us and a few other families. We bring a ton of quarters and feed the giraffes from our hands. We wanted a tradition we could carry on if we ever had a child. It's still fun, even if it's just us!" -- Tessa K., Phoenix, Arizona

"Our tradition is to have a big breakfast on Christmas morning -- cinnamon rolls are a must -- and then we don't cook the rest of the day. We graze on snacky things and stay in our jammies all day. It is so low-key and awesome. Everyone gets at least one new book and we have family reading time in the afternoon." -- Bess E., Sandy Fork, Delaware

"Our family is Hindu, so we don't celebrate Christmas. Since we get the day off anyways, we've turned it into family game day. We play board games all day with my sister and her family and then we order Chinese food for dinner. Every year ends with an epic family charades tournament." -- Ina V., Malibu, California

More from CafeMom: 12 Christmas Traditions to Start With Your Kids

"My favorite new tradition is that we spend the day after Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas as family movie days. Everyone gets to choose one movie to watch. We usually end up suffering through at least one terrible kid movie, but it is so dang cozy to spend a whole day in the basement with the lights off. This year everyone is finally old enough to make my dream come true -- Harry Potter marathon!" -- Elizabeth O., Saint Paul, Minnesota

"This is more of a winter tradition than a holiday one, but I have to give a shout-out to our annual backyard skating rink! We build a rink in our backyard and it's the hit of our neighborhood. Yes, I live in Minnesota." -- Lark D., Duluth, Minnesota

"We have the same friends over every New Year's Eve and we always have a big breakfast right at midnight. Bacon tastes amazing after a night of drinking champagne! We even wake up the kids to join us and then everyone goes to bed. We have leftovers for brunch the next morning." -- Mary Kate, Mobile, Alabama

"Of course we have a Christmas tree, but we also hide a present for each kid somewhere in the house and do a treasure hunt for them to find it. We make clues and maps for each kid. Some years we hide their big gift, some years we hide a stocking stuffer. It's always a fun way to start the morning." -- Jessa V., Walker, Minnesota

More from CafeMom: 10 Holiday Movies Every Mom & Kid Must See

"We live in the country, so don't try this at home if you have neighbors close by! We celebrate New Year's Eve by having a big bonfire in our yard. We burn the Christmas tree and have s'mores and hot cider. It is very kid-friendly and we have lots of friends come over. Then we camp in the yard." -- Lacey E., Vail, Arizona

"My husband is a baker and we bake dozens of loaves of this special holiday bread. We usually spend a day driving to people's houses and delivering a loaf and singing a Christmas carol at each one." -- Mercy H., Lubbock, Texas

"Church is a big part of our life. Our church family always has a special service on Christmas Eve and then we have a fun gift exchange for the little ones. After church we go for a hot chocolate and then drive around to look at the local lights." -- Jennifer R., Liberal, Kansas

"I love living in Hawaii but we've made a decision to give the kids a white Christmas every year. So I take my beach kids to the mountains of Colorado every year. Christmas should be cold!" -- Anna H., Honolulu, Hawaii 

 

Image via iStock.com/Christopher Futcher

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