My Teens’ Favorite Holiday Traditions


My Teens' Favorite Holiday TraditionsWhen you get past some attitude and embrace a bit of snarky dialogue, having a teen is a lot of fun. Sometimes, it might feel like the holiday ‘magic’ is a bit lost in these older ages, but I’m here to share that Christmas can still be a time that builds connection and creates memories…which is something of even greater value as their time in your ‘nest’ starts to wind down.

As a mom, there are so many traditions that I bring to the family every year.

We attend the Christmas Eve service, pack and send shoeboxes, participate in a daily advent door reading, annual ornaments, Christmas light road tours, holiday dates with mom, ice skating, traveling to visit family, visit to see Santa, decorate gingerbread houses, bake cookies and deliver to neighbors, party with friends at home, and the list goes on.

A few traditions seem to fall away, however. In middle school, they stopped wanting to visit Santa. It became harder for the teens with their own social calendar and job schedules to participate in our family friends’ party. Traveling to visit relatives wasn’t on top of their priority list. So I asked, what do you still love?

After much pulling of teeth, they admit to loving these the most:

  • “I really like just chilling and watching Hallmark movies with mom.”
  • “The advent doors are always slap.”
  • “You know I like eating big meals as a fam.”
  • “The advent calendar is the best because it’s a little celebration everyday.”
  • “The annual ornaments are great because they hold a memory every year.”
  • “Christmas light drives are fantastic and just feel so festive.”
  • “I like the advent doors, the holiday date with mom and the stockings.”

If you have older children, ask them what they like! It’s fun to hear their perspective…and it may free you from doing something that just doesn’t resonate any longer.

Yes, the traditions may not look exactly the same as your holiday did when you had young children, but your older kids and teens still love and appreciate the family fun of holiday traditions. No matter what season of life, carry something from the past into the future and hang onto the memories while making more. The most valuable point of traditions is the togetherness and what they foster. With teens, it’s never been a better time to create that point of connection.

Other ideas for holiday fun with teens:

  • Walk the dog through a holiday light show.
  • Deliver cookies to your neighbors, assisted living home or fire station.
  • Go to a parade, they are fun and festive.
  • Pick up hot chocolate (or make your own) and go for a Christmas light drive. Let your teen pick the playlist.
  • Have a wrapping party together.
  • Take them to a thrift store and provide $$ to purchase a festive sweater.
  • Enjoy a winter hike.
  • Have a date with mom and make it somewhere they love.
  • Let them invite a bunch of friends over for holiday movies.

What ideas would you add to this list? Drop a comment below to share!


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