The Kind Life is a community around Alicia Silverstone and The Kind Diet where friends, doctors, experts in green living, and members share vegan tips.

Seasonal

Holiday Traditions and Celebration Ideas

There are so many reasons to celebrate this time of year and I’m always so interested in hearing about particular traditions people have for the holidays that are unique and festive.

I’ve been thinking about holiday traditions and ways to celebrate the season, so I thought I’d share a few ideas and ask you to share your own too.

  • “Do less, enjoy more” (à la Magda Gerber) is my usual mantra. Toddlers and children, and adults for that matter, are sensitive and absorb our moods, try to avoid becoming possessed by the Christmas holiday madness and truly enjoy this holiday season. If anything is a chore or draining you, try really hard to listen to that signal and get out of it.
  • Make Glogg (recipe from The Kind Diet) and cheers to the season.
  • Use all reclaimed items for the season, nothing disposable, and make it a Kind holiday.
  • Keep it simple. Toddlers play longer with simple toys that they can be creative with and actively explore, like a set of blocks or a basket of balls. And the gift they treasure most is our attention and love. No need to get fancy and spend money and make waste.
  • Make hot apple cider and get cozy with your loved ones.
  • When cleaning up after the holiday festivities, make a ceremony of putting your decorations away in reusable bins and containers to be used for the following year.
  • Take all of the Christmas cards that you love and turn them into placements to use over the years to come
  • Go on a family/friend nature walk and take in all of the smells of the changing season
  • Go ahead and blast those classic holiday tunes and dance a little…or a lot!
  • Volunteer your time. Do something for the less fortunate and find an organization in your neighborhood that helps feed the homeless for the holidays. This LA organization provides free vegan and vegetarian meals to the homeless throughout the city.
  • Research the origins of Christmas and Santa Claus (St. Nick) and learn about the long history and how it has transformed over the years.
  • Let your little ones help wrap gifts using reclaimed paper – without scissors unless they are ready, of course. And don’t worry about how crazy the gifts look. It’s the fun of the project. And remember to try and save your paper from this year to use for next year.
  • Make your own winter wonderland by cutting OUT snowflakes and taping them to the windows.
  • Take time to read. The Winter Solstice: The Sacred Traditions of Christmas is a book I’ve had on my list.

Do you have any alternative ways to celebrate with kids?

What special traditions do you have for Christmas time?

Has anyone made up an amazing holiday tradition that feels exciting and fun and more meaningful?

I’d love to hear about your personal holiday celebrations, so please share them in the comments!

I hope you all have a relaxing and joyful holiday time – a time to live and love and enjoy!!

 

 

Photo source: Toner Spot

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  • Âgnéš Jâšnég

    on this kind of season specially during Dec. 25 or Jan. 1 almost every house are open for relatives, neighbors, family and friends to gather together and pay respect to the elders… its the time for the kids to be spoiled, gift giving clothes,accessories, toys or cash… the most important part is the kids are introduced to their extended family and pay respect to their godparents and the old relatives by taking their hands and placing the back of it on their forehead and asking for blessing….

  • Fiorella

    Hi, Alicia. Well, in Peru some people (including my neighbor) have the tradition of using fireworks at Christmas and New Year’s Eve, so all animal owners have to look after their pets hugging them or watching them hide under the beds until those displays are over. I hope someday they are banned. I think there is the same problem in Arg, and Chile, because we share the same posters in FB lol about stopping these things so everybody can enjoy this time of the year peacefully. Also, we use to eat apple sauce and something similar to turkey or chicken. I’m planning to make something similar to chicken this Christmas :P but made of mushrooms and quinoa. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving Day so all veg chefs are offering meals similar to what may be a Thanksgiving meal. It’s funny to see the same young guy giving out the meals in plastic containers at Kennedy Park to dozens of people for about three hours. People who are expecting their vegan Christmas meal that has been ordered some days before wait for him very anxious. He doesn’t do delivery, because it will be more expensive and I guess he doesn’t have time. And we are a small community of vegan people in Lima yet, but well, I guess there will be big restaurants offering vegan Christmas meals in the next few years (:

  • Anne

    In Germany the whole advent season plays a big role.

    It starts off at Dec. 1. The kids get a calendar with 24 doors. Normally they are filled with unhealthy stuff like candy. Here is what my lovely mom did: She stitched 24 little beautiful bags and hang them on a line. Every morning my brother and I ran to the line and opened one bag: one day we found a crayon, one day self-made cookies and another one an invitation to a sleigh ride. The best thing: it was always very unique, thoughtful and we used the bags every year again (with other fillings of course). Although the calendar is ment for kids I made one for my boyfriend a couple of years ago. I filled it to example with a coupon for a kiss, a sweet back rub or a date for a snowball fight. It was great to see him getting all excited every morning!

    We also had a “Christmas book” with 24 short stories. Every evening my dad, my brother and I cuddled up in bed and my dad started to read about Santa, the reindeers and the snowman. This and the calender really made it fun to wait for the big night! On the big night (in Germany it is Dec. 24) itself we kids prepared a little song, a poem, a play or something else dear to us as a little thank you for Santa. I think that was always the best present for my mom who had always tears in her eyes during our presentation!

  • John Mineck

    It’s my wife & my first Christmas with our first child. We don’t have any traditions yet, but we’re hoping to start. We’re just going to make sure we are thankful for all that we have & take it from there. Thanks for the website.

  • Nicole Freebairn Dawson

    Every year we bake a bake and decorate it for Christmas breakfast. It is our way to keep in perspective what Christmas means to us and so we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and have cake before we open gifts. The kids love making the cake and it teaches them that Christmas is not just about the gifts.

  • Val

    I have a dear friend who is a caring social worker.. She finds us a family or two who are struggling with either debt or sickness, or both. We receive so many blessings during and after buying and going through our things so that we can donate with love to these fine people in need. The magical moment yesterday, when we dropped toys off to a precious 4 yr. old boy, came when he looked at my husband and said ‘my heart feels funny, I think it’s full of Christmas’. Hugs and laughter from this little angel will warm our FULL hearts for a long time. My husband pulled me close as we walked back to our car and said, ‘don’t ever let me forget this happiness’.

  • http://ecofriendlyhomemaking.com/ Alicia

    Christmas has become so commercialized. We always remember the reason for the season is JESUS! We love baking lots of Vegan treats and sharing them. Hope you and your sweet family have a blessed holiday season!

  • Lou

    hello! house of vegans with crazy food allergies over here, this year was special cos my 2 year old understidd things a bit better, and we were given all clear from allergist to eat some things we had previously had to exclude. we are pagan hippies over here so our xmas is yule on 21st dec, we dont have santa we simply say that friends and family show love for us by giving us presents and that the fairies deliver them. Night before yule when babies are in bed we put up tree, put out presents and sprinkle glitter and baubles all the way to her room, this way when she wakes up its like yule has happened magickly. when she woke up me my husband and my 10 month old boy went to get her and followed the trail downstairs to the tree and presents, she had 3 presents, we looked at all the “fairy dust” we had breakfast and went out for a walk and we went to the pub in the afternoon, whilst the kids slept i cooked dinner which was seitan roast from post punk kitchen pureeed carrots, stuffing mash brussel sprouts gravey and an xmas pudding with alpro cream, there were some vegan after dinner mints scheeze and the obligatory wine for mummy :) they went to bed and mummy and daddy watched soem xmas cooking specials. so there u have it thats what we did
    :)

  • Rattle Heade

    My Sister-in-Law, who lives in Northern BC – here in Canada, started a neat tradition a few years back. In the Fall, she and her kids gather large Pine cones then before Christmas they make a suet-type paste with bird seeds mixed in. Her and the kids them load this mixture in the pine cones. when the suet hardens they then use some string on each cone. Come Christmas eve they head out to the forest, in their backyard. Sing Christmas Carols, drink hot chocolate or tea, while hanging the cones. Come Christmas Morning they are able to look out their windows and watch the birds and Squirrels enjoying themselves, dining on the suet. Starts the day off very positively and creates great memories for the entire family.

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