15 Family Traditions that You Can Start Today

Family traditions are wonderful for many reasons. They bring back fond memories of the past, help you to live in the present, and are something to look forward to in the future.

Do you have family traditions that have been passed down through the generations? Is there something that you did when you were a child and have continued to do with your children? Or, have you started new traditions with your own family?

Importance of Traditions

Family traditions help children make sense of life. They provide predictability and patterns that are important for both children and adults.

Traditions are something that can be planned for and eagerly awaited! Often, the anticipation of something fun can be as exciting as the actual event.

Traditions can help strengthen family bonds. Social connections are an important aspect of overall health and well-being. Traditions can help foster important relationships, reducing stress and loneliness. Family traditions also give a sense of belonging.

The holiday season is a special time for family traditions. They are something to be joyful about!

Would you like to start new traditions?

To make it easier, we’ve split the traditions into 3 categories: Food, Service, and Capturing Memories.

15 Family Tradition Ideas to Get You Started

Holiday Family Traditions to Start Today | BrainMD


Spending time with the ones you love and enjoying delicious foods is a part of many happy traditions. You can fill your heart while filling your stomach.

1.    Enjoy a Special Meal Together

This is such a simple and versatile family tradition! All you need are the ones you love gathered together and sharing food. It could be on a specific day, time, or location. You can choose to prepare the meal together or go out.

2.    Bake

There’s something magical about baking during the holidays. Try a new recipe or a familiar favorite. Baking holiday treats doesn’t have to leave you feeling lousy either. You can make healthy ingredient swaps and choose healthier recipes.

3.    Use a Family Recipe

Not only can following a family recipe be delicious and familiar, but it also provides a sense of connection and belonging to your family. If you don’t know family recipes, consider asking older family members. It just might be a fun opportunity to learn some family history too.

4.    Eat Cultural Foods

Even if you didn’t grow up eating cultural foods, you can make it part of your family tradition. Research your own family history and pull in some traditional cultural foods for a holiday meal.

5.    Pair a Snack with an Activity

Snacks are good anytime, but pairing them with a special activity can create a tradition! A few examples would be:

  • Nature walk and holiday trail mix
  • Holiday movie and festive fruits with dips
  • Evening ride to see holiday lights and healthy, homemade cookies


When you serve, you not only help those you’re serving, but you also get a boost of happiness. Spreading kindness and giving service have been shown to contribute to a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and overall well-being.

6.    Give to a Charity

Do you have a cause or charity that has touched you personally or holds a special place in your heart? Start a tradition that involves one of them.

A few examples include:

  • Give donations or toys to a local children’s hospital
  • Participate in an event or run connected to an organization
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen or church

7.    Give Anonymously

There’s a special feeling that comes with giving a gift anonymously without expecting anything in return. You can drop something off on the doorstep of a neighbor, or someone in need.

8.    Make A Gift

The options are endless when it comes to homemade gifts. Tap into your creative side and make something that you enjoy. Consider no-sew fleece blankets, crocheted or knitted scarfs, or make some original artwork. Homemade baked goods or potpourri also make great gifts.

9.    Send Cards and Letters

Holiday cards and heartfelt letters are an easy way to spread some love. You could even forgo the stamps and send an email or text message. Expressing love or gratitude to people in your life will leave both you and the recipient feeling more joyful.

10. Give Your Time

Giving service doesn’t have to come with a price tag. Simply spending time with the elderly, or those you care about, is a beautiful gift. If you’re able, consider shoveling snow or raking leaves for neighbors as a family. You know what they say, many hands make light work.

Capturing Memories

When you’re participating in a family tradition it’s often easier to be present and mindful. You’ll hopefully be making memories that you can look back on with warmth and fondness. Having a family tradition that helps to capture those memories can be fun for children and future generations.

11. Make a Time Capsule

Making a time capsule with letters, pictures, predictions for the future, and other trinkets is a fun way to capture a moment in time. The time capsule can be kept in an envelope or box in a closet. Return and open the time capsule in whatever amount of time you’d like; in a year, or five, or more!

12. Write Letters, Stories, or Poetry

The holidays are a great time to reflect and write. You can write letters to loved ones or collect family stories from the year. You could exchange poetry with family members or create some together.

13. Make an Ornament or Memento

Making or purchasing an ornament or memento can be a fun tradition. Together, you can make or find just the right thing to mark the year. These can then be a joyful reminder of experiences and later passed on through families.

14. Take a Family Photo

Get the family together and take a photo! You can be more formal and get professional pictures done, or casually gather everyone together in the living room. Sure, it’s no easy feat to get everyone smiling, but regardless, the photos will be cherished.

15. Make a Video

As with photos, having a tradition of taking videos can be a fun thing for everyone to look back on. Technology makes it easy to capture memories through video. If you have a set tradition to record videos of trimming the tree, singing carols, or telling stories, it will be easier to make it happen.

How to Easily Start Your Own Family Traditions

If you’re ready to start a new tradition, just go for it! Talk with your family and friends choose something meaningful to you and start making memories this holiday season.

Here are some tips when thinking about making new traditions:

●      Do something that makes you happy or brings joy.

●      Keep it simple or make it as extravagant as you want.

●      Be flexible and adjust as needed.

●      Involve the people you love: think about children, parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, and even friends.

●      Do it once, and then do it again! All it takes is one time.

It’s never too late to start new family traditions. Eat good food, give service, and capture memories. Most of all, find joy in the holidays with your family.

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