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Creating Christmas Traditions

For kids and adults alike, a sense of continuity over the years can bring even more joy and warmth to the Christmas holiday season. You probably already have some traditions that you associate with Christmas. Share these with your kids, but try to create new ones just for them. Here are some ideas.

Of course, decorating for Christmas provides ample opportunities to establish traditions. Families rush to put up the tinsel and see which neighbor can create the most impressive display of lights and Christmas objects. Whether you like to take decorations to the extreme or prefer to keep things a little less flamboyant, there's a tradition out there for you. If you're the kind that likes a classic, candles-and-white-lights-style Christmas, why not teach the kids to string cranberries or popcorn for a tree decoration? Perhaps you could buy a special angel to top your Douglas fir, and each year leave it to the youngest child to put it in place. If you think white lights are boring and corny, make a game out of competing with your kids to see who can find the most ridiculous or flashy Christmas decoration. Throw that plastic Santa and reindeer up on the roof, get your giant glowing candy canes and a spare power generator, and light her up!

Buying the Christmas tree itself can be a fun family outing to plan for every year. Many Boy Scout troops sell trees as a fundraiser. Find a tree stand or farm near you, and take the kids to pick out the family fir.

If your kids like hands-on crafts, show them how to make their own Christmas wreathes, either with real evergreen cuttings, pinecones, or other materials. Bring them out every year and watch how your kids' talents progress. You could even set the same date every year in December as your annual crafts day.

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