They’re heeeerrrre! The biggest celebrations of the year, when friends and family gather round to savor long standing traditions. From watching Christmas movies with big bowls of popcorn and decorating the tree with our favorite ornaments, to baking cookies and playing outside in the snow, there’s always a special thing we try to do every year.
My mom’s family makes an annual ornament for every dinner guest: over the decades we’ve made little log cabins from sticks, buckets of seashells, cork horses and snowmen from walnuts. This year, I found these DIY snowmen made from old pop/beer bottle lids and reclaimed buttons and ribbon. My youngest and I will be helping Grandma make them as soon as we get to her house. And we usually have an annual Boxing Day movie; for years it was Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings but now it’s full-on Star Wars as we introduce the newest generation to our favourite force-wielding characters.
For our New Year’s party, we stick to appetizers and fizzy drinks for dinner and board games. (When I was little, we had a fancy dress-up dinner with fondue until the fondue pots caught fire one fateful night.) And we once made the colossal mistake of letting our young kids stay up until midnight to watch the ball drop on TV. That has not become a tradition—the temper tantrums the next day were legendary.
Connecting is the secret sauce at the heart of holidays and science backs this up. A 75-year Harvard study revealed it’s the quality of our relationships—not the stuff that surrounds us—as the most important factor in human happiness. So regardless of the holiday you’re celebrating, here’s to making some lasting memories this year and maybe a new tradition or two.