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10 Holidays Traditions You Can Start

The military is so rich in customs and courtesies. When I started asking military spouses for their holiday traditions, it was no surprise that the ideas were bountiful. The holidays offer many times to get together with family and friends. From holiday parties to attending holiday programs at local churches or organizations, there is always something to do.

Here are some great ideas from fellow military spouses, perfect for your family’s adaptation:

1. Start a countdown calendar.

Your countdown calendar can have a theme, for example a “tree” with a new decoration to add each day. You can purchase a pre-made holiday activity calendar or use a basic one with a magic marker and stickers. The point is to do the countdown together. You could also add a fun prize or candy for each day.

2. Sleep under the tree.

The day you put the final decorations on your Christmas tree, have your family camp out underneath its branches. Add something extra special and have hot cocoa, play games, and read holiday stories.

3. Go on a holiday light tour.

Each year, tour the neighborhood with your family in search of the best holiday light display. You can each “vote” and pick a family favorite. Spice it up by giving the winning family’s display a plate of holiday goodies.

4. Bake cookies.

Our family definitely has our favorite cookies. Each year, we spend a weekend baking up a storm. Have everyone put one of their favorite cookies on the list and bake up a batch. Cookies can be used as great homemade gifts, too! You can even share the “secret” family recipes with each other. Don’t have any favorites? Check out our 12 Days of Holiday Cookies.

5. Wear Christmas Eve pajamas.

On Christmas Eve, everyone gets a brand new pair of pajamas. This is great for the kids as they are excited to get in their pajamas and head to bed to wait for Santa.

6. Fill stockings.

Whether they are filled by you or by Santa, stockings are a lot of fun. You don’t have to fill them with expensive treats. You can pick from small everyday needful things, like office supplies, toiletries, or even fruit and nuts. But of course they’re fun when fill them with candy and games.

7. Watch a holiday parade.

You’d be hard pressed to find a city or town that doesn’t have a holiday parade. Chances are you can find at least three or four near where you live. Take the family, pack up some goodies like popcorn or hot cocoa, and “vote” on the best parade float or display.

8. Get pictures with Santa.

Most malls or large retailers have a Santa on hand during the holiday season. Make sure you get your children’s picture each year. It’s a great thing to look back on as the years go by.

9. Select holiday music or an ornament.

Every year, purchase a holiday ornament or holiday CD. It’s a wonderful way to build your collection, and the hunt for the perfect one each year is a lot of fun!

10. Plan Christmas Eve activities.

Families are usually pretty talented. Each year, have your family showcase their talents in a Christmas Eve program. You can sing together, have a special feast, showcase each other’s talents, or even play a game. It’s a wonderful holiday tradition in which to incorporate most all of the traditions above.

Share with us some of your favorite holiday family traditions! 



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The Days Are Long as a Milspouse

The Days Are Long as a Milspouse

If you’ve read any of my blog submissions on Mission Milspouse lately, you’ll likely see a pattern where I have been mostly writing about what I’ve learned being a military spouse for the past twenty years but in presented in slightly different ways. In addition to...

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