Over the last few years as my siblings, cousins and I have started to grow our families and expand our close-knit tribe, we’ve noticed that we have continued to carry on “habits” and “cheats” for a no-fuss holiday season year after year. These habits are now holiday traditions that we all look forward to, and plan on passing down to our children for beautiful memories of the holidays. In addition to the classic traditions of gift giving, tree-decorating and building gingerbread houses, below is a list of traditions that my family loves taking part in every holiday, and for good reason too!

  1. Make it a Potluck

We try to make every family occasion a potluck! We’re all amazing cooks (no joke) and we love the ease of bringing one dish per family, setting up the table, and digging in! There’s no massive mess in the host’s kitchen from hours of cooking, and each family takes their dishes home for clean up. Easy!

  1. Games and Karaoke

What’s a night of fun with the family without games and karaoke? Lately the adults have been loving Cards Against Humanity and Scrabble, and the children always love Pictionary, Heads Up or charades. Karaoke is especially fun if you make it a contest! See if you can remember the lyrics to classic songs; in my family, if you get lyrics wrong you must take a shot of something boozy. Guaranteed laughs and good times!

  1. “We are Grateful” Letters

This is a tradition that I’d love to start when the majority of the kids in our family are old enough to participate and appreciate the meaning behind it. I’d love to have everyone in the family write a quick note of the things that happened this year that we are grateful for, seal it in an envelope, and open them at the following Christmas. It’s a fantastic way to have the kids look back on their favourite moments growing up, and it serves as a great reminder to us adults that we do continue to grow and change each year, and that we have lots to be grateful for.

  1. Pyjamas

The last few years, all of us (kids and adults included) have been showing up to our Christmas parties in pyjamas or onesies. Why? Because they’re warm, comfortable, and no one cares if the baby spits up on you. Plus, they’re stretchy, and we all know how important it is to wear stretchy pants during a family feast! 😉

  1. Sleepovers

Since we’re already in our pyjamas, why not sleep over? This works especially well for the family members that have older children, and for the adults who want to indulge in wine and eggnog all night long. The family members with little babies may have a harder time pulling this off (have you ever tried to put a 1 year old down to sleep in someone else’s room, in someone else’s play pen?) but once the children get a little bit older and are able to sleep pretty much anywhere, staying over after a night of indulgence is a decision that’s easy to make. Plus, as a child, some of my best memories are of my sleepovers with my cousins, telling ghost stories and eating late night snacks under the covers with our flashlights.

  1. Cake for Breakfast

This cute tradition is something I started as a child, and I think it’s caught on with the rest of my family. Especially fun for those mornings after a family sleep over, having cake or dessert for breakfast with a hot cup of coffee (or hot chocolate for the kiddos) is something I definitely look forward to after a night of creating memories. It’s not Christmas every day, and it’s not every day we get to sleep over with our closest friends and family! Why not make it extra sweet with a slice of cake?

What are your family’s holiday traditions? Add yours in the comments below!

Stephanie Casino

 Stephanie Casino is a mom of one, a digital content specialist and founder of the Canadian contest website for parents and tots, www.LuckyLittleOnes.ca. She claims her daily fuel is often in the form of strong coffee and even stronger wifi.