Deck the halls, bake cookies and jingle a few bells with your family as you start doing a few special traditions each year for Christmas. This is a time of the year when you should take some time to relax and enjoy each other. If possible, share some of your traditions with outside family members and friends so that they can enjoy the lights, sounds, smells and flavors of the season as well.

Make the Fireplace Festive

Many people think that the only thing that goes on the fireplace for Christmas is a stocking or two. Create a scene on the fireplace mantel. Drape a white tree skirt on the mantel with pieces from a village scene. Use one or two colors of garland with large and small ornaments mixed in with lights so that there is a shining effect on the mantel. If you don’t have a fireplace, then purchase one before the holidays so that you not only have something else in the home to decorate but also have another way to stay warm.

Unwrap Early Gifts

The night before Christmas is usually filled with excitement in both your children and the adults in the home. Play a game to see who unwraps a gift first on Christmas Eve. Another idea is to put together gifts that your kids can open on Christmas Eve that have pajamas, a pack of hot chocolate, a bag of microwavable popcorn and a movie or book. Your kids can enjoy a relaxing night watching the movie or hearing a story while waiting for Santa to arrive.

Swap Cookies

This is a tradition that you can begin with your family and your friends. Each household can bake and decorate their favorite cookies. When you all meet together at someone’s house, at a restaurant or at a community center, put all of the cookies on a table. Everyone can get the cookies that they want to take home with them. It’s like getting a variety box of cookies instead of buying them all at the store.

Give to Others

A tradition that you can start with your family that shows your love for others is to adopt a family or two. Get presents for the kids in the family and the items needed to make Christmas dinner. You could also adopt a senior citizen or two if you enjoy helping the elderly.

Christmas traditions can be fun while warming the heart. With each new tradition made and the ones that you repeat each year, take pictures to put in a scrapbook. Carry on the traditions with grandchildren and great-grandchildren so that they feel like they are a part of the fun as well.