Easy Holiday Traditions for the Whole Family

Christmas Shopping.  School Plays.  Work Parties.  Traveling.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right?  

With all of the things on your to-do list, it can seem hard to slow down and enjoy this magical time of year.  Over the years, I’ve looked to family traditions to help me plan our holidays and focus on what’s really important this time of year.  Here are some of my favorites.  

Random Acts of Kindness

Two years ago, on November 19th, we were on the receiving end of a Random Act of Kindness when a stranger gave my daughter a stuffed animal at Lindale Mall. That gesture meant so much to us that my husband and I decided to make it a tradition to spend November 19th each year doing Random Acts of Kindness.  It’s a tradition that will help me stay focused on what’s really important this time of year. Here is a list of things we are considering doing:

Viewing Holiday Lights

Ever since I was a little girl, my family and I would visit Kersten’s light display in the north of Vinton. We would meet family friends and go out for pizza before heading out to see the lights.  As an adult, I still get excited when my husband and I pick a date to do this with our daughter.

Here are a list of area light displays you and your family could check out:

  • Blue Creek Light Show (4942 Blue Creek Ct, Walker, IA)
  • Kersten’s (5598 22nd Ave. Trail, Vinton, IA)
  • Gordon Avenue Light Show (5401 Gordon Ave NW Cedar Rapids, IA)
  • Private Residence (9908 Hall Rd in Cedar Rapids, IA)
  • Check out The Gazette’s Holiday Light Finder for more light displays near you!

Holiday Baking

I love to bake, but get so stressed out during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  A few years ago, a group of girlfriends and I decided to get together and make cookie dough ahead of the holidays. We agreed on a time and place and everyone chose a recipe we wanted to make. One friend would do the shopping and we’d all show up ready to whip up some treats. At the end of the day, we’d each have a variety of frozen cookie dough, perfect to pull out for a last-minute party. This is a tradition I look forward to because I get to spend a little time with my friends while preparing for all the holiday season.  Here are great cookie recipes to try!

What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate the holidays?  Any things you and your family make into traditions?  

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Meredith was born and raised in Cedar Rapids before attending Central College in Pella and settling in Vinton. She and her husband married in 2011 and welcomed their daughter, Claire, in February of 2014. Meredith is a Title 1 Reading Teacher at Shellsburg Elementary. She is passionate about her family, connecting with friends and teaching. When she’s not spending time with her daughter, you can find Meredith catching up on social media, watching reality TV or eating tacos.