Festive & Fun Family Holiday Traditions

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Festive & Fun Family Holiday Traditions

My friends and I were discussing different holiday traditions that families share through the years and the topic got us all excited.  Everyone shared an annual traditions.  Each time someone shared another idea, we all started feeling festive and asked to borrow each others to try out this year, so I decided that this would make a fun segment for our holiday show.  Check out these cool holiday traditions that you may want to adopt for your family's festive fun.

A Thoughtful Thanksgiving Tradition

The Thanksgiving Table Cloth -- My friend, Liz puts out a special table cloth every Thanksgiving.  Each person attending traces their hand print and writes a message with the date.  Liz says that it is so special every year to take it out and to read past messages and memories from those that have attended and especially from those that have passed on.  I love this!

Christmas Eve Tradition Ideas

Christmas Eve Jammies Scavenger Hunt -- I met a gal who told me that her family buys new Christmas jammies and then hides them for the kids to find and wear on Christmas Eve.  What a fun idea!

Christmas Eve Movie Night -- Our own Sherry Kline tells me that years ago to help the kids handle their Christmas Eve excitement, they went as a family to see a movie.  They had so much fun that they continued the tradition for years and this helped the kids to control their excitement and get to bed after their return from the theater.

Pet Stockings -- Every year we fill our pets' stockings and give them their gifts on Christmas Eve.  Super fun!

Ugly Sweater Night -- My daughter came up with this one and it is pretty funny to see what the guys in the family come up with!  Her requirement is that we all come to the dinner table in ugly Christmas sweaters.  For added fun, get the Make Your Own Ugly Sweater Kit at Tilly's.  The kit sells for $29.99 and comes with the sweater, glue, ornaments and ugly decorations to place on your customized sweater.

My Sister-In-Laws Swedish Nuts Recipe -- Every Christmas my sister-in-law, Stephanie brings her family favorite recipe for Swedish Nuts and we can't eat just one handful.  They are so yummy and they can be packaged in festive jars to be given as gifts.  The recipe is so easy and is shown at the end of this article.  So read on and then make and enjoy the recipe, too.

Christmas Morning Magic

Christmas Letters from the Heart -- My friend, Becky has her family write each other a letter every Christmas season.  Then on Christmas morning the letters are read and remind each other that the best gifts come from the heart.  She plans to give the saved box of letters to her children when they leave for college.  I love this!

Charitable Gifts for Adults -- This year our family is doing something that our late Grandmother used to request.  She asked us to make a donation to a charity instead of giving her a gift.  So this year, we will buy gifts for the kids and cousins in the family, but instead of buying gifts for the adults, we will each make a charitable contribution in their name.  Families can choose the organizations that receive the donations or ask the family member what their favorite charity would be to give to.
New Years Traditions

The Blessings Jar -- I saw this on Pinterest last year, so I did it this year and every time I tell people about it, they excitedly tell me that they are going to do this, too.  Simply put an empty jar out on the counter and tell your family members to fill it all year long with a special memory from the year.  No one can tell what the memory is until New Years Day when the family sits together and opens up the jar and reads each memory one at a time.  This is a great way to celebrate the year, to be thankful for the blessings and to start a new jar for 2014.

Black Eyed Peas for good luck -- This is my husband's family tradition that has its roots in Texas.  Every New Years Day, no matter what, we always eat a big helping of black eyed peas.  It is supposed to bring us good luck throughout the year.  For a tasty version, buy the black eyed peas that are seasoned with jalapenos.

Fire Pit Paper Toss -- Another friend of mine told me that every New Years Eve they sit by the fire and toss notes in the fire that lists something in their life that they want to let go of to start anew.
Good Fortune Quarter -- My friend, Angelic tells me that they put a quarter in their shoe on New Year's Day to bring good fortune all year.

A Clean Start -- Angelic's Mom always makes sure to start the New Year with all of the laundry done for a clean start to the new year at hand.
December To Remember Traditions

Attend A Community Event -- We always attend the Ahwatukee Children's Theatre "Christmas Carol" production.  My daughter isn't doing the play this year, but we are still going.  We also always drive around to see the neighborhood Christmas lights and that is free family entertainment.

Book It All Month Long -- Vanessa tells me that she buys holiday books and every night in December leading up to Christmas, the children open one and they read it for a bedtime story.

As I mentioned earlier in my article, here is my sister-in-law's yummy Swedish Nuts Recipe...
3  cups Pecan halves
1 cup sugar
2 stiffly beaten egg whites
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350.  Melt butter in 9x13 pan. Beat egg whites to a peak and add sugar slowly until egg whites are stiff.  Fold in nuts and spread in melted butter in the pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Stir the mixture every 10 minutes. After 30 minutes I take out and spread out on a cookie sheet to cool.

What are your family holiday traditions?  Share in the comments section and remember to check my blog at www.managedmoms.com for more holiday ideas, recipes, pet stuff, parenting talk, beauty news and more.  Happy Holiday Season!