Merry Christmas Everyone! Or Happy Holidays! If You Prefer The Greeting.

Updated: Jan 10

Every tradition has to start somewhere. Whether you have a family that has a lot of holiday routines — favorite dinner recipes to make, cookies to bake, songs to sing and ornaments to put on the tree — or you're group with just a few, cherished traditions, it's always fun to try something new. And, if it's a rousing success, you can add it into the rotation for next year, and look forward to doing it again for the next 12 months. Looking back, it's not really the gifts that families remember most, but the Christmas traditions they do year after year that make the biggest impressions.

Many people fondly recall their most cherished holiday memories. If you're looking for inspiration, feel free to take these ideas, put your family's twist on them and start using them in your own annual celebrations. From counting down the days before Santa's arrival — Christmas advent calendar, anyone? — to converting the tree to a New Year tree, these ideas are packed with good cheer that'll last the whole holiday season.

Here are some ideas that we have found that you will either fondly remember, or want to start adding a new tradition or two.

  1. Create a Countdown Routine

  2. Sure, you can buy an advent calendar based on your kids' favorite activities and watch with joy as they get a new goodie each day. But it's even more fun to make your own. "Each year we fill an advent calendar for my son with tiny toys, sweets and notes promising trips to his favorite bakery," says Jacquelyn Rodgers. Try this: Fill 24 bags, boxes or drawers with love notes, candy, small toys or ideas for good deeds they can do that day to spread good cheer. Or, keep special ornaments aside in a box and add a new one to the tree each morning!

  3. Make the Tree Special

  4. When it comes time to trim the tree, find a way to commemorate a milestone or memory from the past year. "One of my favorite holiday traditions is adding to our ornament collection," says Jeanine Hays. "In the past, ornaments have been from a place we'd traveled or a gift from a dear friend. This year we are adding Black Panther to our tree. Each year your tree reveals a little bit more about your family and your heritage." Making