“Thanksgiving and the holiday season are right around the corner, and parents everywhere are looking forward to this special bonding time with the kiddos. Many mamas and papas know the best way to bond with their little ones is through fun holiday traditions, but they are stumped on which seasonal family rituals to start. Not to worry! Parenting expert Daddy Nickell, a.k.a. Robert Nickell, is here with tips on festive holiday family traditions that will ensure special familial bonding.”
Daddy Nickell’s Suggestions for Fun New Holiday Family Rituals
• Fill a “Thankful Jar”. Starting each November 1st, have family members add a note to the jar with something they are thankful for each day of the month. This small gesture reminds us all how much we have to be grateful for.
• Take a ride on the Holiday Lights Express. Dress the kids in their PJ’s and slippers and make some popcorn and hot apple cider “to go.” Then have the family hop in the van, turn up the holiday music and take them for a ride to view Christmas lights. It’s an unplugged activity enjoyed by the entire family.
• Surprise residents at a retirement home, local fire station, or police department with holiday treats. Elderly people always appreciate the sentiment, and those serving the police or fire department will be working through the holidays. This is one family activity you’ll never regret.
• Slumber party under the tree. Each Christmas spend one night sleeping on the living room floor under the lighted tree, listening to holiday music. This will be a memorable event for years to come.
• Help the needy. Volunteer your time as a family at a soup kitchen or a food bank that hands out food to families in need or help collect winter coats to donate to those in need. This act of kindness teaches giving back and is good for the soul.
• Share a Hanukkah movie together. There are many great books and movies about Hanukkah, find one your family would all enjoy like Chanuka at Bubbe’s for younger children and for all ages, the PBS Special, A Taste of Chanuka.
• Go to a tree farm to find the perfect Christmas tree. Slip on your warm boots, pack the hot cocoa, and get ready for a wonderful family tradition. After you do this one year, you’ll want to go back year after year. Once home, put on the holiday music and deck the halls!
• Start an ornament collection. Each year let your child pick out his/her favorite ornament. Don’t forget to label and date it. When your children leave home they will have an entire collection of ornaments for their own tree.
• Go caroling! Revive an old tradition by getting your family and some friends together to go caroling. You’ll be surprised by how well received your singing group is, even if you’re out of tune!
• Go sledding, ice skating or other outdoor winter activity with your family. Channel your inner child and surprise your kids with a fun trip outdoors (this is especially good after a big holiday meal!). The cold, fresh air and exercise will be invigorating and your kids will be thrilled!
Robert Nickell, a.k.a. Daddy Nickell, father of 6, offers his “5 cents” worth of advice to expectant and new parents. Daddy Nickell is the founder of Daddyscrubs.com, delivery room duds, gifts and apparel for dads, and the Daddyscrubs.com blog where he covers topics about parenting and the latest baby and kids gear, all from a Dad’s perspective.