Today we give you Five “NEW” Holiday Traditions your teen will love!
Why do they have to grow up??
Finally, our family traditions were a well oiled machine.
Then… BANG… they hit you with,
“that’s boring” or “Um, no mom – not interested.”
The thing is, although we understand that they are growing up and becoming adults, as parents we are desperate to think of special things to hold the family together and create memories. For more on traditions, check out our post on keeping traditions alive and why it’s important HERE.
Now we have this (for the most part) awesome time to enjoy our kids as budding adults – so how do we create new holiday traditions for our teens that they WANT to participate in?
Here are FIVE new holiday traditions your teen will love.
GAMES NIGHT – Christmas Edition
A successful teen family game night includes these things.
- An age 14+ game – somewhat edgy but you learn a ton and there is a more “adult” vibe to the evening.
- Holiday baking, candy, fudge, popcorn – you get the idea – fun food. And to be honest, it doesn’t hurt to throw in a pizza for good measure!
- Minimal phone useage – if you can get them unplug it is more fun because they are more engaged (obvs)
- No TV / Netflix / Movies at the same time – lets focus people!
- No judgement. Sometimes interesting things come out while playing these games. If you can put your “mom ears” away for a couple of hours you might learn something! 🙂
In my experience, even the crankiest of teens will come around and enjoy this night of family time.
If you really are not game players, try a puzzle. There are some pretty complicated Christmas puzzles out there and this can be a 2 or 3 week Christmas activity that you can come and go from.
A Night at the Theatre
Christmas is a wonderful time to experience live theatre in any city or town. Do some research, produce a few options, and have your teens vote on the one they want to see.
While professional theatre can get expensive, think outside the box. Many churches, schools and amateur theatre / dance groups also do performances during the holidays for a fraction of the cost. There are also free performances available at various venues – sometimes even outside.
Grab an overpriced hot drink (a treat for your teen) and watch some live theatre together. The important thing is to pre-plan the date, and have your teens participate in picking the event. That way everyone is on board and there is no grumbling on the day of the show!
We have done A Christmas Carol many years – sometimes with other families, and it is always a special evening with our teens.
Spend an Afternoon or Evening working at a Charity of their choice
While they can been testy at times, teens are quite often pretty socially conscious and want to make an impact where they live too.
There is nothing that builds a bond between families like spending some time giving back. When we started including this in our family traditions, I did a little background research first and then presented my family with a few options. When they were really little, we did things like fill stockings at the Mustard Seed – where kids as young as 6 could be a “candy stuffer.”
As they age, they are permitted more participation but if you have a wide age range in your family, you might want to look into restrictions, and other requirements.
Serving a meal, reading stories, packing backpacks are all things that teens will enjoy and learn from at the same time.
Family GRINCH Trees
My daughter recently participated in a Christmas party where the activity was making these cuter than cute “grinch” trees.
The kids varied in age, but everyone enjoyed the process and I thought it was such a brilliant idea, I had to include it on the blog.
If you live in the YYC area, call ESMÉ BEAUTIFUL and I’m sure they can set you up with the things you need and / or give you some direction. If not – there are many links: YouTube – Grinch Tree to guide you. I love the idea of making them with our teens to give to teachers / grandparents and also the idea that my husband will have to muddle through this too! 😉
If you have teens, you know that anything that involves a little creativity and is “new” will spark some fun conversation and camaraderie between siblings. If you don’t have someone to gift the trees to, teens love to have a little Christmas in their rooms and this is a great way for them to add a special touch in their own space that doesn’t take up a lot of room.
Parents versus Kids Hockey Game – or skating party
Teens and young adults love their friends. I will say it again. Teens love their friends. They love their friends almost more than they love us right now.
Many of us have kids coming home from university eager to spend time with their friends. This is a perfect way to satisfy your need to spend time with them, AND to make them happy as well. And what child doesn’t love attempting to beat their parents in a “friendly” parents versus kids game of shinny?
Depending on your circumstances this can be done in a multitude of ways, but the main point is to get the kids and the parents active and having fun together.
If you wish, and the budget allows, book an hour at a local rink. If you’re old school, pick a meeting time and wander down to the “ODR” in your neighbourhood. Everyone can join a game in progress.
Make a day or evening of it and consider a potluck open house afterwards. Easy, warm food like chili or lasagna can be waiting for everyone in the crock pot. Just add a basket of cheese buns and a veggie tray. Easy peasy.
Don’t have hockey players? Skating parties work just as well. Many of the outdoor rinks have fire pits to warm up so include marshmallows / s’mores in the plan and make a day of it.
None of this HAS to be complicated but does involve a little effort.
Let’s face it, we are no longer spending our time changing diapers or sitting through elementary school Christmas concerts. Perhaps you don’t even have to drive to school anymore. Now is the time to take advantage of these last years that our kids are at home with us and to create some new lasting bonds.
Have you started any new family traditions as your teens have gotten older? Let us know your ideas – we would love to hear from you! AND if you are still stuck for gift ideas check out gifts for Teen and University Age Boys or Ten Perfect Holiday Gifts for Her.