In case you haven’t heard it enough yet, we agree that this year has been quite the rollercoaster ride. With all the sacrifices, adjustments, and new routines we’ve had to adopt, finding comfort in old holiday traditions may seem like just what some of us need right about now. On the other hand though, if this hectic 2020 has morphed you into a change-embracing goddess, why not keep going? You’ve kept up with washing your hands *super* frequently, you’ve survived lockdowns and quarantine, and you’ve managed to keep (somewhat of) a social life while socially distanced. Quite frankly babe, you’re a star. So if you’re ready to ditch the overdone, overcrowded holiday parties and you want to keep doing your own thing, read on. BBE has crafted the ultimate guide to starting new traditions this holiday season.
Start the New Tradition of Donating Instead of Gifting
We know how stressful it is to get the perfect gift for everyone on your list. On top of that, there always seems to be a few people that are just so hard to buy for.
What’s more is that so many of us simply go out and buy what we need when we need to! So take some time to really think about who actually needs what in your life. If you find yourself with a few people who seem to have it all, start the new tradition of donating in their name.
There are so many amazing charities to choose from this holiday season. Not to mention, organizations who are working tirelessly to mitigate the negative effects of the current pandemic. This new tradition is also great if you and your girls are sticking to a budget, and want to spend wisely this year. Any amount helps make a difference, and you’ll feel good knowing your gift won’t end up in the back of someone’s closet around this time next year.
Ring in the New Year with a Little Dose of Zen… Midnight Yoga & Intention Setting
If you’re spending the holidays solo this year, or simply want to focus on your wellness instead of the holiday madness – we’ve got just the new tradition for you.
Create a serene and inspiring setting in your very own home. Once that's done, you're half way there! Bring in Christmas or the New Year in a calming and intentional way. Light a few candles, turn on some music, and lay out your yoga mat. Taking time to ground yourself, breathe, and think of the year that has passed, as well as the year ahead is actually a really magical way to spend some of your holidays.
Enjoy a slow flow or yin practice followed by some meditation to set your intentions, and ease yourself into the start of a new year. If you want to get out of the house, check out some of your local yoga studios for holiday classes. Several studios offer Christmas Eve and New Years Eve events if you’re looking to center yourself and feel part of a likeminded community.
Make Friends Your Family With Your Own New Traditions
For many of us, our families aren’t always in town for the holidays. And although we hate to be downers, the truth is that with this year’s travel restrictions and limitations even more of your friends will likely be spending Christmas or New Years solo.
If you know that a few of your pals are going at it alone this year, why not start the tradition of a “friends Christmas” or any holiday party for that matter? Of course, make sure you follow all of the necessary guidelines to have a safe gathering. Then, get together to make your very own new holiday traditions.
Pour up some fun cocktails, and cook up a healthy holiday recipe. Add in your favorite holiday (or non-holiday) playlist, and simply enjoy each other’s company. Just because you don’t get to see your family on this special day, doesn’t mean you can’t show some appreciation for the friends that have become just that.
Need some holiday playlist inspo? We’ve got you on that front, too! Just click here.
The Holiday Movie Marathon Tradition
Even though we are sure that so many of you already have this tradition going, we still have to mention it! One of our favorite ways of enjoying the holiday season only requires a bit of Netflix, and some tasty snacks. Oh, and maybe some good company!
Round up your kids, your partner, your dog, and whoever else lives under that cozy roof of yours! There is no better time to bond and chill out over some hot chocolate and holiday classics. Start the tradition of your very own annual holiday movie marathon.
Pick out all of your favorite Christmas movies, and just binge! We definitely recommend adding all of the classics to your list of essential holiday watching. Check out just a few of our most beloved holiday flicks below:
- Christmas with the Kranks
- Home Alone 1 & 2
- The Grinch
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
- A Christmas Story
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
- It’s A Wonderful Life
Start Your Own Christmas Light Show Tradition
And we don’t mean overdoing it on your outdoor Christmas decorations. Nope, this new tradition can be as simple as taking a nighttime walk through your neighborhood to admire all of the bright lights.
Fill up your thermal mug with your favorite tea, and make a Christmas Eve stroll a part of your annual holiday routine. This is a great way to decompress, get some fresh air, and take in all of what the holidays bring to the environment around you. You know, besides waiting in mega line-ups at the store.
Instead, appreciate the effort you and your community put into decorating, and enjoy just how magical a simple nighttime stroll can be. Here's a home just down the street in our neck of the woods: Denton, TX! This family goes ALL OUT every year to outdo their previous light extravaganza. Not only is the entire house covered, but they even synchronize the lights to music, piped through a speaker in their front yard.
Post-walk, warm up in the living room with the fam. If you’re rolling solo, consider indulging in a little cold weather beauty ritual to really close your night off properly. Not to mention, to sleep like a total baby on Christmas Eve.
Honor Your Loved Ones
We think no matter what traditions you incorporate into your holidays, it is always important to honor those you love around you.
Whether you want to remember someone close to you that has passed, or show some appreciation to those you are so lucky to have in your life is up to you. There are several sweet traditions you can easily add to your Christmas holiday this year, to achieve just that.
Light a candle for any of the angels in your life this Christmas. Or, take the time to call someone you may not get the chance to speak with as often as you’d like. Tell them you appreciate them, no gift needed. Trust us, the warm fuzzy feeling this brings about comes at no extra cost either.
Start the New Tradition of … Holiday Takeout
Look, we said it. We need to take the pressure off preparing extravagant holiday feasts!
Now listen, we love a good turkey dinner as much as the next girl. But if you’re spending the holidays solo or with a small group – why stress? Start the holiday tradition of ordering your favorite takeout from a local restaurant. Seriously, shake things up! Whether it be with your city’s top rated Thai food, or your guiltiest drive-thru pleasures, it's your call! Do it up and forget slaving away in the kitchen!
Most of us have multiple holiday dinners, so this isn’t to say you can’t enjoy at least one traditional feast. But if your Christmas Eve with the immediate close fam can consist of some killer shrimp pad Thai and a screening of Home Alone, why not? The holidays are about spending quality time, and dare we say it: chillaxing. We guarantee your kids will love a coffee table dinner paired with a holiday classic. Oh, and you slaving over the stove for hours? Yeah, they definitely won't miss that.
Start the New Tradition of Making the Holidays about … Actually Taking Holidays.
If you can swing it, leaving your city during the holidays can be a refreshing way of spicing up your life. Especially during a time that can seem awfully repetitive year after year.
Now of course, spending Christmas on a beach is an amazing experience (and highly recommended to do at least once in your life). However, you can even take a short trip to a town nearby and get the same uplifting effects.
Plan to be away on Christmas, and discover a new town or city. Eat different food, walk different streets, and enjoy being exposed to a different culture or way of life. The memories you will make will stay with you for a lifetime. Most importantly, you’ll likely end up seeing the holidays much differently after experiencing them elsewhere than your usual home location.
We should also mention that doing this even once every few years can help make you appreciate when you are home for Christmas. But if it doesn’t, no sweat. You’ve got yourself a new holiday tradition of being away at Christmas altogether.
Feeling New and Revitalized for This Holiday Season Already?
We sure hope you are. We know how hard it can be to make time for yourself. Or, to incorporate the simple things that make you happy during this chaotic time of year. So whether you decide to take a trip, watch one too many versions of the Grinch, or to just order that takeout – we think you’re doing it right, babe!
Make the holidays about what you think they should be about. Be it volunteering at your local shelter, having that traditional meal with the fam (followed by your new annual Christmas light walk), choose to be somewhere this Christmas or New Years where you will feel present (no pun intended).
Let us know down below what new traditions you plan on starting, or how you want to spruce up some existing ones. Cheers from us to you, girl! To all of your beautiful traditions, new or old. <3