Creating Holiday Magic

Creating Holiday Magic

Do you have a favorite memory of the holidays when you were a child? Do you remember waking up to a huge pile of gifts or stocking with your name attached? Do you remember the smell of oils and candles, a big pot of soup cooking, home baked cookies, pumpkin pie or the holiday turkey cooking? Were you entranced by all the glitter and lights?

Many people have vivid memories of wonderful holidays that evoked a feeling of magic while many others didn't get that same chance for various reasons.

Whether you were able to experience wonderful childhood memories or not, there are things that you can do to create them now for those you love and especially for the children in your lives.

Start a new tradition of creating holiday magic this year for yourself as well as those around you with these tips that are sure to put a smile on everyone's face!

Ideas for Creating Holiday Magic:

Pay attention to your loved ones during regular conversations and listen to hints of items that they'd really enjoy having, seeing or doing. Think of things you could do, buy or make that would fulfill this request.

Start preparing for the holidays early on so that you have the time to comfortably add holiday magic without it creating more stress in your life – that defeats the purpose!

Plan to decorate your home with exterior and interior lights. Add solar lights along an entry pathway to show the way. Lights set a festive mood, give items around them a glow and are calming to the senses.

Try to add holiday decorations in each room of the home for the holidays. It could be a small lit tree in each room, a decorative scented candle, using holly or other live evergreens on the mantle or wrapped around a staircase railing. This will help everyone in the family begin to get in the holiday spirit.

Use scented candles and essential oils to add your favorite aromas to the home that others would enjoy as well. Scents are very relaxing, calming and soothing which is one way to create holiday magic.

Plan a favorite meal or food item for those in your immediate family during the holidays to show thoughtfulness and consideration of your loved ones.

Plan to bake a favorite dessert for each member of the family for the holiday. This will help to evoke special holiday memories in years to come.

Locate an old recipe from your mother, grandmother, sister or aunt or other loved one that gives you happy memories of earlier holidays and recreate the recipe for your family. Share the memories you have of that recipe with your family.

Plan outdoor events during the holiday that include the whole family such as taking a hay ride, sleigh ride, building a snowman, caroling, shopping or volunteering as a group.

Play board games as a family during the holidays. In the future, this will be remembered as something the family always did that was fun, relaxing and time spent together.

Build a fire inside or outside with firewood that you gathered, chopped and stored together. Toast marshmallows or make s'mores as a family.

Read holiday stories together aloud, encouraging each member of the family to take a turn at reading a few pages or chapter of the book. Discuss the book after each chapter or the whole book if short to create a time for conversation of everyone and to enhance learning.

Play holiday music while making preparations, wrapping, decorating, baking or other tasks as a way of creating holiday magic. These moments will long be remembered by members of your family as fun, engaging or even silly.

Add mistletoe and bells to your home and explain to young children the history of each and why you added them to your holiday.

Watch any of the classic holiday movies as a family.

Tell stories of holidays gone by, including the way things were years ago, stories of grandparents and compare to times of today. This will create a feeling of appreciation and gratefulness and is part of creating holiday magic.

Go Shopping for the holidays with a loved one only when you are well rested, not hungry and have ample time to browse the stores for ideas or actual purchases. This can create a happy future memory with loved ones and can be so much fun to plan a yearly date with your mother, sister, brother or friend.

Purchase at least one item that would be a true surprise for your spouse, partner or child. It could be a ticket to a sports event, a special toy, a desired piece of jewelry or special collectible item. When gifts are received that are truly unexpected, they will become a cherished memory of something very special and are a big part of creating holiday magic.

Take part in a local charity event in which you purchase a toy or item of clothing for a child in need. Involve the whole family with acts of volunteerism for the holiday that teach charity, giving, caring and love and will long be remembered in the future.

Start new traditions that you could duplicate every year during the holidays. This could be the particular way you wrap each person's gift using a certain color, use gift baskets or tins to present gifts or the way you decorate a holiday stocking. Traditions are one of the ways to create holiday magic and will be remembered years from now.

Think of any traditions that your family did when you were younger and duplicate those that give you the fondest memories of happiness. Share the stories of how this became a tradition and include why you'd like to continue doing it. Getting the family involved in older and current traditions will enhance the holiday experience for everyone.

Creating Holiday Magic is possible for everyone if you start to think about it in advance and find ways that you could add special and thoughtful things to do for those you know and love as well as those you've never met. Use your imagination and creativity. Many times, the little things mean the most.

Happy Holidays!