Once the Halloween candy has been eaten and the costumes are put away for another year, you’ll notice there’s a different type of chill in the air. You know what that means: The winter holidays are just around the corner.
No matter what holiday you celebrate, you want each year to be a fun, family-filled time brimming with new memories to be made and laughs to share. If you want to make this year even more memorable, check out these 10 tips to help make your winter holidays extra special:
Turn to Tradition
Most people’s holidays are heavily steeped in tradition. Whether that’s decorating sugar cookies on a cold afternoon or putting up a special decoration, traditions are one of the biggest things that make the holidays special.
With lots of family traditions on the list, it can be easy to get bogged down in keeping up every single tradition. Instead of trying to do everything, pick one or two of your favorites, or ask each family member about their favorite holiday traditions and focus on those. You’ll be able to make those traditions the most memorable without overwhelming everyone.
The winter holidays can be a reminder of how little others have. Give everyone a lesson in taking care of those who are less fortunate, by participating in a group charity project which is a rewarding way to spend the holidays. Whether you choose to select items off an Angel Tree in your area, volunteer at a soup kitchen, or adopt a family, everyone’s sure to remember how great it felt to give something back.
See the Sights
Many people decorate their homes and storefronts for the winter holidays. Lights, trees, and even music can all be enjoyed from the comfort of your car. Let the kids get into their pajamas, pack some snacks and a thermos of hot chocolate, and take in the outdoor lighting. You can even vote on which display was your favorite to add an extra air of fun to your trip!
The winter holidays are full of fun, family-friendly events. From tree lighting parties to cookie decorating, carolling to gift-wrapping events, there’s something everyone can enjoy during the season. Look through local online listings and draw up a list of events that fit everyone’s taste. Then, have each family member pick the one they’d most like to try. Work in as many as your schedules and budget allow.
See a Show
From professionally staged renditions of “The Nutcracker” and “A Christmas Carol” to a concert at a local pub, the winter holidays are stuffed full of opportunities for cheery entertainment. If your budget can’t stretch to allow for a stage show, check into what smaller theaters or churches have to offer. You don’t have to know anyone onstage to be able to enjoy the show!
No matter what holiday you observe, you’re sure to have some beautiful decorations in storage you’ll want on vacation. Some people love going all-out for the holiday, covering every possible nook and cranny both inside and outdoors. Others want a more understated feel. Whichever decorating style you choose, make sure to include family heirloom pieces, things made by your children, and items that just make you happy. Also, have each family member go through the decorations and pick one or two items that they feel absolutely make the holiday, and be sure these are put up each season, no matter where you’re staying.
What’s a holiday celebration without great food? Memories can be very closely tied to the senses, especially taste, so the things we eat during holiday celebrations often hold special meaning to us. If you’ve got traditional family menus, for example, prime rib on Christmas Eve or Grandma’s latke recipe for Hanukkah, be sure those things get included in your family celebrations.
Additionally, baking is big during the winter holiday months. Take a day of your winter holiday to make sugar cookies, fudge, cakes, or whatever else you’d like. Be sure to check out the shops in advance to ensure you have all of your ingredients ready when needed.
Create New Traditions
Just because something has never been part of your holiday celebrations before doesn’t mean it has to stay that way! If you want to host a cookie exchange for family and friends, or go carolling around your neighborhood, go for it! Your family may decide they want to make the addition permanent, or that they don’t like it. You can always try something new next year!
Relive all the great holiday fun all year long, and for years to come, by taking tons of photos. Whether you’re baking up some tasty treats, wrapping gifts, or taking in a holiday concert, you’ll be able to look back at the pictures and remember all the fun you had. With cell phone cameras offering better pictures than ever before, it’s really easy to capture loads of pictures of each and every event with little hassle.
Bonus: If your kids are old enough to have their own phones, everyone can take photos of what they found most fun or interesting, which can help you relive the event from new perspectives each time!
Presence, Not Presents
You and your family have enough “stuff,” right? Instead of buying a whole bunch of gifts for one another this holiday season, why not put the money you’d spend into taking a family vacation? Near or far, exploring a new place and enjoying some quality time together is sure to make this holiday season one to remember. And why not get other family members or friends to ditch the presents in favor of a group trip? The more the merrier!
New York Vacation Rentals for a Memorable Holiday Trip
If you’re planning to visit New York this holiday season, New York Rental By Owner has a wide variety of exceptional New York rental properties to meet your needs. From couples to large groups, you can browse only the best we have to offer to make your trip one you’ll remember for a lifetime.
Need some extra holiday cash? We’re always on the hunt for beautiful properties to rent out to our travelers. Contact us today for more information!