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Submitted by Carol N., Sprout Contributor

Every family has a holiday tradition, from picking out the tree, to eggnog on Christmas Eve. Your holiday traditions may have been passed down from parent to child, generation by generation. Now that you have your own family, you can create lifelong holiday traditions for the next generation and you can start these holiday traditions for free.

  • Play holiday charades. On those cold winter nights when the family is gathered inside during the holidays, you can play a game that will fast become a family tradition favorite. Holiday charades is played the same way normal charades is played, but everything has a holiday theme. Anything from Christmas movies to traditional holiday foods can be a subject for this game.
  • Make gifts for each other. Everyone in the family has to make one gift for another member. You can draw names from a hat to decide who makes a gift for whom. Pictures with homemade frames, baked goods, poems and drawings are all great gift ideas. Not only does this new family tradition cost nothing, it’s a great way to keep the kids occupied during winter break.
  • See the holiday lights. If the only time you and your family see the holiday lights in people’s yards during the holiday season is when you’re rushing to and from the mall, you’re missing a great opportunity to start a new family tradition. Set aside one night to take the family on a holiday light sightseeing tour.
  • Give this holiday season. Usually, it’s hard to get kids to clean a room or get rid of things they don’t use or play with anymore. Tell everyone in the family to go through their things and set aside toys, clothes and other gadgets that they don’t use anymore. Explain that the items they no longer use will be going to people who can use them. Donate these goodies to a charity, The Salvation Army or your local church. Not only will you be establishing family values and starting a great new holiday tradition, you’ll get your home clean for the holidays.
  • Watch the classics. Everything is so fast-paced today, and families are often all off doing their own thing. Remember the classic holiday movies and shows you watched as a child? Make them a part of your children’s new holiday traditions as well. If the family can’t all get together when the shows are scheduled on TV, the library is a great place to check out holiday movies for free.