Six ways to celebrate this season.
Traditions give kids and parents something to look forward to and something to count on during the hectic holiday season. Here are some new traditions your family can start.
- Light a candle. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, you can light a special candle in memory of those who were lost in the 9/11 attacks and pray for peace in the world.
- Give to others. Instead of just getting presents this year, make sure it's a year of giving as well. Donate extra winter coats to a local homeless shelter; answer kids' letters to Santa (they're gathered by many local post offices); befriend a local firehouse or police station and bring over signs of support or homemade goodies; or serve holiday meals to those less fortunate. Make it an annual event.
- Start a family journal. Leave a blank book in a central location so family members can write or draw anytime they feel like it. Include newspaper articles that affect you or print out e-mails from friends or family. At the end of the year, look back and see how much you have accomplished and what's changed in the world.
- Plant a tree. Look to the future by planting a tree and nurturing it over the coming year as a sign of hope and peace in the year ahead.
- Add patriotism to your holidays. Some families have been adding American flags to their Christmas light displays and making red, white and blue menorahs for Hanukkah. You can also add "God Bless America" or other all-American songs to your holiday repertoire.
- Host a family New Year's Eve. Why not turn the beginning of the new year into a family or neighborhood celebration? Host a pot-luck supper or suggest a moveable feast where each course is eaten at a different neighborhood home. For a quiet night, sit around a fire and roast marshmallows and talk about your accomplishments during this year and your goals for the next one.
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