From baking cookies to giving back, there are so many ways to celebrate together.
The holidays seem to go hand in hand with treasured traditions. The season inherently encourages family togetherness, which in turn inspires deeply personal ways to celebrate, from making cherry-chocolate mice a la The Nutcracker to viewing White Christmas with mom. If you don’t yet have an annual holiday tradition with your grandchildren, make this year the Christmas you start one.
One of the difficult things about establishing a new tradition is choosing something that feels special and memorable to build it around. The holidays make that decision easier, as there are myriad seasonal activities to choose from. Corral the kids for a cookie-baking marathon in your kitchen, or load everyone in the car with thermoses of hot chocolate to take in the neighborhood Christmas lights. Bake and decorate holiday-themed cookies with them, or take them shopping for toys to donate to a local children’s hospital or Angel Tree program. Even if it’s an activity you’ve never done together before, it’ll feel special simply because it’s something your grandchildren won’t experience any other time of year.
Another tricky part of starting a tradition from scratch is establishing consistency. That’s why Christmas is a great time to begin one. Rather than getting lost in the everyday shuffle of life, the tradition will become something the whole family can look forward to each winter. After just a few years of repeating the tradition, your grandchildren will hardly remember a Christmas without it!
If you know you won’t see your grandchildren over the holidays, there are still ways to create memorable holiday traditions. Send them an Advent calendar to open each day; read a beloved book over FaceTime on Christmas Eve; share favorite family recipes for latkes or cookies; or gift them unique ornaments for the tree every year so that they’ll always have a little piece of you with them for the holidays, even when you’re apart.
Of course, traditions are meant to be fun, not stressful, so don’t sweat the details. At the end of the day, holiday rituals are just one more way to shower your grandchildren in love, whether you’re with them in person or celebrating from afar. There’s no better Christmas gift than that!
For more Southern Living news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on Southern Living.