The holiday season is the perfect time of year to create new traditions with your family. Most kids and adults appreciate the tradition of breaking bread as a family at Thanksgiving and exchanging gifts at Christmas, though sometimes the beauty and meaning of these holidays can be taken for granted. By creating new traditions with your family, kids and adults alike can gain a new-found sense of gratitude and generosity. Below are a few ideas for traditions that will connect your family compassionately with others and fill everyone with the spirit of the holiday season.
- Volunteer at a Food Bank
Thanksgiving is a great time of year to volunteer at a food bank or distribution center bagging food for hungry families. Children can especially benefit from this type of service by learning that not everyone can afford to put a feast on the table, even once a year. Helping other families can nurture children’s innate desire to share and connect, and of course you’ll be helping a hungry family.
- Help a Neighbor
Most neighborhoods have at least a few residents who are elderly, alone, or disabled. The season of good will offers a great opportunity to create a tradition of helping a neighbor in need that can be carried on throughout the year. The opportunities to offer help are endless; your family can pick up groceries for a neighbor, shovel her walk, put up Christmas lights, or offer rides to appointments and social visits. Not only will your family be lending a hand to a less-able citizen, you’ll be forming a new friendship with someone in your community.
- Send a Letter to a Soldier
Many organizations, including the Red Cross, offer programs and instructions for how individuals and groups can write letters or create holiday cards for overseas soldiers during the holidays. Sending a personalized note of gratitude to a serviceman is a wonderful way to warm his or her heart and remind yourself of everything you have to be grateful for at home.
How does your family celebrate the holidays? Do you participate in any community service activities, or unconventional traditions?