Make This Christmas Extra Special with These Trending Traditions

Get Ready for New Year's Eve

Even if you don't officially convert your tree into a New Year Tree — replacing the Christmas ornaments with ones meant to ring in the new — you can still keep one eye on December 31. 

Play Christmas Games

Organize a marathon of your favorite board games, or DIY holiday twists on classic games like Pin the Nose on the Rudolph. 

Show Gratitude

It might be too much to ask overstimulated kids to sit and do handwritten thank-you notes when they'd rather be playing with their new toys.  But it's not too hard to make sure that everyone takes a beat before dinner to be thankful for the good holiday — and year — they've had.

Set Gift-Giving Rules

Whether you do a Yankee Swap, Secret Santa or some other type of gag gift grab bag, when it comes time to give presents to your extended family, the wackier the rules, the better. 

Wear an Ugly Christmas Sweater

You leave it in the back of the closet all year long, waiting for its day in the spotlight. Now it's time to bust out your tackiest fashions and wear them with pride.

Pass Down a Family Eggnog Recipe

"My family has a secret recipe for eggnog that has been passed through many generations and kitchen starting in 1901," says Ray Rastelli.  "Every holiday season we come together, and a new generation learns how to make it."

Make Festive Place Settings

"I'm the child of British immigrants, and we still follow British traditions:  homemade mini mince pies, Christmas pudding and crackers at each place setting for everyone to pull," says Lynn Redmile, contributing product reviews analyst at the Good Housekeeping Institute.

Build a Gingerbread House

"My family of seven makes gingerbread houses together every year," says Erika Hollinshead Ward.  "It's fun, and it allows me to teach the lesson that at the core we are all the same, but there are little things that make us special."

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