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Holidays can be a stressful time.  They're certainly busy and full of many activities.  So,it's good to have some ideas for family holiday fun. After all, family is really the most important part of the holidays.

For our family, there are a few different things we've established that we really enjoy or plan on adopting as traditions:


Now that the kids are old enough, we make them part of the decorating process.  We put up multiple trees, and they help with the decorations as much as they can, and they also look forward to certain elements that they know are coming, like mini trees in their room or the little Snoopy piano that they can press to make music from the TV special play.

Advent Calendar

Each year, my mother-in-law gets each of our kids an Advent calendar.  They look forward to getting their piece of candy each day, and it's fun to see them progress with finding numbers on their own corresponding to the day of the month.


We have a collection of books that we look forward to reading.  As the kids get older, we add new mb-201011villagebooks here and there, but there are already some favorites that we look forward to reading, and our reading of course culminates with me reading ‘The Night Before Christmas' to close out the season on Christmas Eve.

Elf on the Shelf

I know people have mixed feelings on these, but we have definitely enjoyed our Elf, whose name is Figgy, and the kids love waking up and going together to look for him each day.

Movies and shows

We have a variety of Christmas and holiday TV shows and movies that the kids look forward to watching, such as Rudolph, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and Frosty, while the adults always look forward to some of the classics like Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, and of course Elf.

Making cookies

For years, my wife has organized a Saturday as ‘Cookie Day'.  This brings together some of the ladies, moms, aunts, sisters, friends, to get together and bake cookies.  This year, they're going to shift that get together to a non-cookie making event.  Even so, we're going to bring the kids into it and do cookies with our family.  They love making them and we all love eating them!

These are great because they are pretty low or no cost activities.  Plus, they're great ways for us to do things together as a family.  We hope that these things will leave long lasting memories for all of us.  After all, great memories are one of the best things that can come out of the holidays.

Readers, what are some of your holiday traditions or activities that don't cost a lot but bring your family together for lots of fun?