There is so much magic with traditions. Year after year, the little goofy things our families do for the holidays start creating the memories that last a lifetime. Beyond the Elf on The Shelf and the Christmas Tree picking, I've compiled over twenty unique traditions to start with your family this year. Some of the ideas came from mommas who shared their traditions on Instagram a couple of weeks back. I've tipped my hat to the mommas next to their ideas. Others are from my own childhood (#2, #16, #17, #20). The rest are just really neat traditions I'd love to start someday (hello Christmas light scavenger hunt!). I hope you'll be inspired to start a new tradition with your family this year.
1. Open gifts at midnight on Christmas Eve. (hat tip: veronicay)
2. Hide a pickle ornament in the Christmas tree. Whoever finds the pickle hidden in the tree gets to open the first gift! This German tradition has been passed down for decades and is one of our favorites on Christmas morning!
3. Load the car up with everyone dressed in their pajamas and drive around town looking at holiday lights. (hat tip: wickedpaperco)
4. Do a Christmas light scavenger hunt. (Hat tip: This one from The Dating Divas)
5. Create a night before Christmas box for your little ones filled with new pajamas, a holiday movie, and treats to snack on during the movie.
6. Adopt a family for Christmas. Find your local St. Vincent De Paul organization and make the holidays special for a family in need.
7. Have each family member pick a cookie recipe and spend the day baking.
8. Bake a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas day.
9. Hang your Christmas tree upside down. (hat tip: @ninawiser -- check it out!)
10. Turn off all of the lights and eat dinner by candlelight on Christmas Eve.
11. Buy an iron-on-patch representing something of importance that happened in the family member's life that year and iron it onto their stocking each December. (hat tip: @dkliwosz)
12. Pick out an ornament of sentimental value for each family member and gift it to them on Christmas Eve.
13. Make a snowman shaped pizza for dinner. (hat tip: @hart.it)
14. Pull out the sleeping bags and have a family camp-out by the Christmas tree.
15. Create an advent calendar full of random acts of kindness you can perform in your community.
16. Read The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve. Every time you come across the word "and" you pass the book to the next person to continue reading.
17. Put on The Nutcracker soundtrack and have a family dance party
18. Pick a theme for your holiday dinner
19. Choose a different country and celebrate their traditions for the holidays. (hat tip: @missdrebaybay)
20. Use wrapping paper to cover the entry into the room your Christmas tree is in from floor to ceiling. The little ones will have so much fun waking up to this on Christmas morning and bursting through the paper.
21. Kick off Christmas morning with mimosas & hot cocoa. (hat tip: @ashtonduncan_)