The shiny, happy season is almost upon us! Glimmer on the trees, sparkle of the lights, the holiday cheer—there’s nothing like that holiday spirit to elevate your vibrancy. This season is all about traditions with your loved ones and enjoying time with one another. It’s also a great time to start new traditions, some that you can truly call your own, and pass onto your children as a family pastime. A fun new tradition to try out is a DIY Christmas tree! You can play and create with this innovative idea—it’s really all about how you want to make it happen. You could try an alternative Christmas tree, decorate it with items you might not find on your traditional tree, or you can mix, match and play to create the right fit for you and your family.
Try these fun ways you can make your holidays even more magical:
Find (or Make!) Your Own Christmas Tree
The smell of pine (if you have a real Christmas tree), the glow of the bulbs on a fake tree or a real one, this Christmas tree tradition may be one of the hardest ones to change up. For many who celebrate Christmas, the traditional tree is a staple—you set it up, and decorate it somewhere in your home. If you get a real tree every year, you have spent quality time with your family going to a Christmas tree lot, or even cutting down your own, bringing it home and decorating it. Even if your tree is stored from year to year and looks as perfect as the first, you still have that moment of bringing it out, watching the glow when you plug in the lights and putting your fave ornaments on it to spread the Christmas cheer.
If you want to spice things up this Christmas though, you may want to try a new tradition: find (or make) an alternative Christmas tree! You’ve got to open to your creativity on this one. If you have young children, you could make an arts and crafts tree. Get some construction paper, paper towel tubes, markers, and glue. Use the tubes to make the tree and branches, then craft the construction paper to become ornaments. With the markers, you can write inspirational, seasonal and cheerful messages on the paper for ornaments of positivity and holiday spirit. Your little ones will love the creative aspect—and you won’t spend the month after Christmas picking up pine needles. Let them do most of the artwork, so it’s a really connected feeling to the new tree. When it’s complete, they’ll feel proud they created something the whole family can enjoy.
Change Up Your Ornaments
Ornaments—whether you like glitter and glimmer, or traditional green and red, or some mix of old and new—those dangling bulbs and accessories are essential to your Christmas tree. Not only do they make your tree look beautiful, they light up your home with joy, inspiration and love—quintessential feelings of warmth around the holiday season.
Some of us though have had the same ornaments year in and year out, and their appeal just isn’t the same anymore. This year, try getting your family to decorate the tree with things they love. It can be anything! Sports cards, pictures of your extended family members, or a few of your kid’s toys. You could also create your own ornaments with meaningful items, like dried flowers from a special occasion, or trinkets you’ve held onto because they reminded you of something special. For every day leading up to Christmas, create an inspirational word or phrase—your mantra for the holiday season and new coming year—that reminds you of how you want to live. You can also make snowflakes and hearts out of paper, looping and threading them throughout the tree. The possibilities are endless, and when you let yourself play and create, you’ll see just the joy and fun that’s available to you! Let your creativity shine bright when decorating your tree. Some of those unique decorations will get your guests talking, and could inspire them to change up how they view things, or even how they decorate their own tree!
Make Your Own Advent Calendar
Ah, advent calendars. Remember waking up just that extra bit early in December to open that day’s panel and enjoy the delicious chocolate hiding inside? (Ok, maybe not top quality chocolate, but chocolate is just the same!) You can bring those back, but choose what you want the surprises to be! You can input your own special chocolate, or add a unique or healthy treat and an affirmation, goal or challenge to each of your family members—something different for every day. This will inspire healthier, happier living. It could be an affirmation that says, “I’ll do one random act of kindness today.” Or, “you rock; just know, we love you!” A goal you may set could say: “I’ll happily complete my holiday shopping today.” The next day’s follow-up affirmation, may say: “I’m proud of myself because ____________.” Then let your son, daughter or spouse recognize the positive in themselves.
You may want to include some family-oriented ones as well. “As a family, we’ll string Christmas lights,” or “as a family, we’ll enjoy ___ hours with no electronics.” It’s a fun way to create a stronger family rhythm—and a playful way to be creative. Mix up the phrases, and pull one each day to complete. You can grab them all from one jar or, if you’re adding a special treat, fill a muffin tin with each space representing a new day. Place a piece of construction paper over the top, then pop it off each day, just like the traditional advent calendar—but your own, and fun to make!
You can also use these as ornaments for your tree. Once you complete that day’s message, hang it on the tree. Then on Christmas, you will be able to see all the positive things you achieved for yourself, your family, and the people in your community.
Start a new tradition this Christmas season! You and your family will love spending extra quality time making up new games, recipes, and even creating or decorating a new Christmas tree together. The holidays are about enjoying time with loved ones, elevating your sense of well-being, relaxing, rejuvenating and allowing your vibrancy to really shine through.
We’d love to hear your comments below about your traditions—and any new ones you’ve tried, or want to create!