(BPT) - Every holiday season is built upon family traditions of years past. Whether it’s enjoying holiday baking with friends or shopping with loved ones for gifts, traditions define the season. While honoring the past, traditions also open us to the opportunity to create new family observances, along with some great memories.
This year, introduce some new traditions to your holiday celebrations with these ideas for blending the traditions of yesteryear with new ones of your own:
Decorating in the digital world
Decorating for the season is an important part of many holiday observances. Whether it’s an heirloom Christmas tree ornament, a menorah handed down through generations, or an African drum that highlights Kwanzaa celebrations in the home, a cherished decoration can be central to the season.
Technology makes it easy to give the time-honored tradition of decorating for the holidays a modern flare with items like personalized photo ornaments and digital picture frames. An ornament that preserves a holiday memory with a personal photo would make a treasured addition to any tree ornament collection. Another way to merge memories of holidays past with contemporary style is to load favorite photos on a digital frame and place the frame in a central location in your home.
The taste of a happy holiday
Holiday food traditions allow us to savor flavors and revisit memories that we don’t experience at any other time of year. Treats like cookies add sweet enjoyment to the season. In fact, 42 percent of people bring cookies or dessert as a hostess gift when invited to a party, according to a survey by Archway. With 30 percent of survey respondents saying they attend three to four holiday parties or gatherings between Halloween and the New Year, and 66 percent saying they will host at least one holiday event, there are a lot of cookies going around.
Busy modern life can make it difficult to find time to bake as many types of cookies as you might like, so options like Archway’s winter cookies - including holiday classics like Bells and Stars, Cashew Nougat, Gingerbread Man, Iced Gingerbread Man, Wedding Cake and Pfeffernusse - are a great way to enjoy the flavors of the season without the extra work.
The movies that move us
Whether you’re chuckling over Chevy Chase’s challenges in “Christmas Vacation,” pining with Ralphie for the perfect gift, or having your heart-strings tugged by Jimmy Stewart in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” holiday films can be a focal point of family holiday traditions. While the classics like “A Christmas Story” and “Miracle on 34th Street” will likely always have their place, it can be fun to incorporate some new options into your holiday viewing for a fresh spin on an old tradition.
Looking for something family friendly? Settle in with an oldie but goodie, like “Home Alone.” Don’t forget to serve treats. Make plenty of popcorn for both eating and stringing, and serve up winter cookies like Archway’s Iced Gingerbread Men cookies - always a family favorite.
Gathering with loved ones
Spending time with family is the holiday tradition 58 percent of people most look forward to, according to the Archway survey. For all the fun of gift-exchanges and feasts, sharing time with those we love is the real heart of the holiday season.
Traditionally, loved ones come together during the holidays for occasions like meals, parties, religious services, caroling and sports events. It can also be rewarding to create new family traditions by bringing loved ones together in fresh ways. For example, tap the season’s spirit of charity by volunteering as a family to work at the local homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or by participating in clothing and toy drives for those in need.
Holiday traditions are as much a part of the season as cool weather and good will toward all. Blending time-honored ones with new ideas can help your loved ones create unique memories that will last long after the last cookie is eaten and the decorations are packed away for another year.