According to a Harris Interactive Poll, two-thirds of those surveyed said that spending extra time with loved ones is the most significant part of the Christmas season. Director of the poll, Regina Corso, says she was surprised by the findings since “you hear the grumblings every year about ‘I’ve got to spend time with my family,” but the reality is, that family time is one of the best parts of the holiday season. The holidays are a great time to connect family members together by developing family traditions in preparation for and celebration of the holidays. Here are five family traditions that will bring your family closer together.
Sing Christmas Songs
In Harris’ poll, “Silent Night” was the top Christmas song followed by “White Christmas,” “Oh Holy Night,” “Jingle Bells,” and then, of course, “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” “It really does show we are a nation of diverse people and that goes right down to which songs we love and which songs we hate at Christmas time,” Corso says. Kids especially react to Christmas music, and a recent study by the Parents as Teachers National Center suggests that listening to Christmas music can actually promote childhood learning, physical fitness and family bonding. Many of those polled also talk about the importance of Christmas music for family bonding. Either listening or singing Christmas songs can bring the family together and bring out childhood memories. As Corso explains, “there’s still a little of the kid in them on that end.” You don’t have to go caroling if your family doesn’t consider themselves a group of songbirds, but you could meet up with neighbors to share songs together.
Make Christmas Cookies
Put Christmas music on in the background and set up shop for decorating Sugar Cookies with icing. Kids love to cut out their favorite Christmas shapes and to coordinate the red and green colors of icing to match. To teach Christmas giving and sharing, wrap the cookies in festive paper and take the plates to the neighbors. If you want to add a little fun, consider doing a drop and run game with the kids. Leave the cookies on the doorstep of your favorite neighbors and run! Doing kind deeds without getting noticed is a fun way to teach gift giving lessons to kids.
Do a White Elephant Exchange
Draw names and let the kids find an old toy or something that belongs to them to give away to another family member. Kids will love the ability to share even if they don’t have their own money. It also helps them to think about each other and to bond.
Go to a Christmas Event
Whether it’s a play or a festival of lights, find an event that your family can agree on. If you go from year to year, the event or place will develop a sense of tradition and bonding time for your family. Events are also great ways to look forward to the season.
Host a Christmas Party
Get a Christmas song playlist together, bake some cookies and invite the neighbors over. Have the neighbors bring their kids and bond with your family while hosting other families.
The key to developing family traditions is repetition. Make sure to stay devoted to your events from year to year, and you’ll see the ways in which your family gets closer and has more fun during the Holiday season.
Haley Brown writes for http://www.christmassongs.net where you can find Christmas lyrics and music ideas for the season.
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