Holiday Traditions for Your Military Family
The military is incredibly rich in customs and courtesies. So, it was no surprise when I started asking military spouses for their holiday tradition ideas that the thoughts 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 that they do with their families:
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 doing the countdown together. You could also add a fun prize or candy for each day.
Sleep under the Christmas 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.
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.
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.
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 Claus.
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.
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.
Picture with Santa Claus
Most malls or large retailers have a Santa Claus 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.
Holiday Music or Ornament
Every year purchase a holiday ornament or holiday music CD. It's a wonderful way to build your collection and the hunt for the perfect one each year is a lot of fun.
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. What fun.
Tara Crooks, or "Household 6" in the Crooks' family, is best known for her ability to motivate and empower others. Tara's journey with the military began in 1998 when she and her husband PCS'd to their first duty station, Ft Hood. She and her husband, Kevin (US ARMY), have two beautiful little girls, Wrena and Chloe. Their family, including two dogs and a cat, is all snuggled in their cozy home in Fort Sill, Okla. Tara currently writes columns for several military publications, one of which, can be found here on www.military.com. Tara is also the host of Army Wife Talk Radio and cofounder of the popular website www.ArmyWifeNetwork.com.
Army Wife Network is interactive empowerment for Army wives. Featuring Army Wife Talk Radio the original internet talk radio program for military wives, "Field Problems" a self-syndicated question and answer column for military families, "Field Exercises" live interactive events for military spouses, message boards, Loving A Soldier blog, columns, live chat, social media, and so much more.
To find out more about Tara visit her blog,www.TaraCrooks.com.
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