10 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays… Just Like the Ones Our Grandparents Used to Know

Embrace the attitude and traditions of an earlier
generation for old-fashioned holiday fun!


Experiencing an old-fashioned holiday season centers on choosing what really matters to you. Reflecting back and practicing meaningful traditions not only pays homage to relatives and friends with whom you shared time, but also shapes the traditions you practice today.  Consider the following suggestions for inspiration in making your holidays intentionally slower while infusing the wisdom of generations past.


1. Use Cash Only
Many of our grandparents had a budget and stuck to it out of sheer necessity. Spending with cash can make it feel more real.  It also gives you a moment to stop and think about what you’re buying, which makes spending more focused.


2. Bake From Scratch
Dust off the old recipe books or cards and try your hand at making homemade butter cookies or a friend’s no-fail brownie recipe.  You have to slow down enough to read the recipe and may find that the nostalgic act of remembering those who gave you the recipe makes everything just a little sweeter.gallery-1478627859-gettyimages-563963167


3. Send Holiday Cards
In the age of social media and instant updates, real honest-to-goodness cards are a way to reconnect with family and friends far and near.  You can buy boxed holiday cards – or look to craft websites for inspiration and make your own – then take an afternoon and write a handful of cards to send via snail mail!


4. Save Those Ribbons!
As a child, my grandmother taught us to carefully open packages and save the ribbon and wrap.  Not only was this a thrifty means to re-use packaging (remember ironing your ribbon to make it look new?), but it extended the anticipation of what lay underneath.  And today, it is environmentally friendly.


5. Spend Time Together
Bake cookies with your kids. Plan a family game night. Attend services at a house of worship. Go caroling. Drive around and look at holiday lights. Make ornaments. Arrange a potluck party with friends. The point is to interact and be present in the moment with your family and friends.


6. Make Your Gifts
We all have talents so think about ways you can give your talents as your gift.  For example, maybe you could paint your mother-in-law’s bedroom, or bake homemade goodies, or put a ribbon around a jar of homemade jam that you made last summer. The possibilities are endless!


gallery-1478629882-gettyimages-5639658417. Dress Up!
When you look at old photos, you see that everyone is dressed nicely at big holiday gatherings – even the children; faces washed, hair combed and cheeks oiled.  Most days in our lives are casual.  To make your gathering feel special and different, dress up!


8. Send thank you notes
In our digital age, a handwritten card or thank you note reigns supreme.  Sit down and write a real thank you note this holiday season, whether you’re thanking someone for a lovely party or a special gift.  This simple act of thoughtfulness will go a long ways.


9. Share Your Memories
Part of the joy of the season is reminiscing about what makes your family unique. Sharing stories, traditions, and values defines your family and is a great gift to each other that doesn’t cost a cent.


10. Give Back
Our grandparents shared what they had with neighbors when times were tough. Your gifts don’t necessarily have to be monetary. Collect coats for homeless shelters. Help an elderly neighbor put up her tree. Send care packages to military members who are deployed away from home this year. Invite someone who’s alone and may not have family nearby to your own holiday dinner.

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