How to Bring the Joy of Christmas to Life

Updated December 21, 2017

The joy of Christmas comes to life through creating and celebrating unique family traditions – flourishes and activities that your family looks forward to each year and remembers forever. Not everything has to be perfect. In fact, the stories families cherish most often involve things going wrong – the puppy knocking over the Christmas tree or a grandparent falling asleep at the dinner table.

Find the Perfect Tree

If you display a real tree in your home, make choosing the perfect one into an event. Set a date and take the whole family to a garden center that specializes in real Christmas trees. Look at a wide variety of types and sizes, and consult an expert for advice about choosing the right tree for your home and family.

Collect Special Decorations

Develop a tradition in which each family member chooses one special decoration each year. Label each decoration with the date and name of the person who selected it, and store each collection together. When it’s time to decorate the tree, distribute the boxes so each person can add their own special decorations.

Celebrate Through Decorating

Turn decorating the tree into a party – play festive music and serve special treats. Here’s an idea to consider: Set up the tree and string the lights before the party starts or use a pre-lit replica tree, but don’t turn on the lights until all the ornaments are in place. Finally, help the youngest member of the family place the topper on the tree and invite the oldest member to light it. Cheers!

Gather for Special Activities

Plan special activities for the whole family. Build a gingerbread house or decorate cookies together. Take the whole family to breakfast or tea with Father Christmas. Even simple activities like baking or playing board games take on new meaning when everyone joins in the fun.

Make Your Own Schedule

Remember that Christmas is a season, and you can celebrate any day that works for your family. Rather than hustling the kids from one house to another on Christmas morning, spread out the cheer. Schedule your celebration days or weeks before or after 25 December – whatever works for your family. Joy has no expiration date

Exchange Thoughtful Presents

Include every member of the family in the process of selecting and exchanging presents. Even young children take joy in giving authentic gifts the the people they love, especially when they’re given the opportunity to participate in the planning, shopping and wrapping.

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About the Author

Jerri Farris is editor-in-chief of Before joining Demand Media, she authored 24 books and wrote for print magazines, video and online publications. Her specialties include lifestyles topics, home improvement and crafts. Farris lives and works in Santa Monica, Ca.