Holiday traditions conjure up a feeling of warmth, coziness, and belonging. Start your own holiday rituals—celebrating the season in your own way. Be inspired and choose from our list of 10 fun holiday traditions that are easy to implement that you’d like to incorporate into your holiday routine. Click the bold text in the paragraphs below for links to resources. The holidays are the perfect time to renew and reflect. Celebrate with loved ones. Create new feelings of connection and belonging with others. Cherish and honor what makes you smile during the holidays.

1. Try the Icelandic tradition of giving new books on Christmas Eve 

Jolabokaflod is a long-celebrated Icelandic tradition of giving and reading books on Christmas Eve. Perfect for those who want to share stories with others and connect through literature! Originating during World War II when paper was the only thing not in short supply, books were abundantly shared amongst Icelanders as a way of showing love. If you love to read, this tradition would be the perfect one to start. Peruse the bookstore shelves and then cuddle up with others on Christmas Eve with books in hand. Gift books to loved ones or just enjoy treating yourself to one!

2. Take in a performance of The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol

During the holiday season, you can find many productions of The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol. A tradition cherished by many, watching A Christmas Carol will get you into the holiday spirit and remind you of the virtues of patience, kindness, and generosity. It’s always wonderful to be transported to Dickensian times and see the misfortunes of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge visited upon by the four ghosts of Christmas. The Nutcracker is a ballet that must be experienced. With favorites like the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy and the invasion led by the Mouse King, The Nutcracker will renew your childlike wonder and fill you with musical reverie. Dress up in your seasonal best and escape into enchanting worlds.

3. Play holiday games 

Playing games is a great way to laugh with loved ones. Test your listening skills with the Christmas Poem Game – This link opens in a new browser tab.–a game where people sit in a circle, read a Christmas poem with many occurrences of the words “left” and “right” and pass along a gift to the person on their left or right following the poem’s verbal cues. To win, you want to be the one holding the gift when the poem ends. We recommend starting with the poem, “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” – This link opens in a new browser tab. Other games to enjoy are Holiday Pictionary – This link opens in a new browser tab., White Elephant Game – This link opens in a new browser tab., Holiday Bingo – This link opens in a new browser tab., Scavenger Hunt – This link opens in a new browser tab., Mad Libs – This link opens in a new browser tab., and so much more. Make sure to dedicate an evening to this fun tradition. 

 

4. Decorate your apartment home with DIY holiday decorations

The perfect ambiance of twinkling lights, paper snowflakes, and bright hanging ornaments creates the long-awaited warm feelings of the holidays. Let the spicy scent of cinnamon permeate your apartment home with this easy (only cinnamon sticks, hot glue gun, and candle required) candle craft – This link opens in a new browser tab.. Create a gorgeous centerpiece with this elegant and wintery glass hurricane winter scene – This link opens in a new browser tab. or enjoy a warm glow with these tin can candle holders – This link opens in a new browser tab.. Crafting doesn’t have to be hard, time-consuming, or expensive. Cherish your time creating these crafts and bring holiday cheer to yourself and all others who see your home. Check out the decorations at Villagio at Capriana – This link opens in a new browser tab. as they celebrated the holidays. Blast your holiday playlist and get crafty!

5. Make easy holiday-themed food crafts to share and gift 

Holiday baking doesn’t have to be complicated and intimidating. Be inspired by these easy-to-make holiday desserts like this cute penguin and snowman made out of eggs, olives, and carrots – This link opens in a new browser tab.. They would make such adorable, edible centerpieces for your holiday table. Try making candy cane heart pops – This link opens in a new browser tab. for a gorgeous dessert or watermelon Christmas trees – This link opens in a new browser tab. and kiwi and strawberry Christmas trees – This link opens in a new browser tab. for a nutritious after-supper platter. Who could resist a healthy Santa toast – This link opens in a new browser tab. for a holiday breakfast? The good news is that these food crafts take only twenty minutes or less to make and are super easy, letting you focus on the joy of creating with loved ones and eating them together. So simple and so pretty–perfect for giving away as gifts as our  team members at Oakmont of El Dorado Hills did – This link opens in a new browser tab. or bringing to your next holiday potluck!

6. Watch holiday movies or see a new release in the cinema

With so many holiday movies available, you have your choice as to which movie to designate as your traditional holiday movie. Enjoy heartwarming classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas or laugh at charming comedies such as Elf and Home Alone. Hearken back to childhood with nostalgic favorites like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This year, residents at Oakmont of Torrance watched a showing of Miracle on 34th Street followed by a delightful lunch. You can watch a holiday movie each week in the lead-up to Christmas day, complete a movie marathon, or view a new release in the cinema with all the other movie fans. Let the movies take you away on holiday adventures and enjoy spirited discussions about them with loved ones.

7. Create a DIY advent calendar based around your interests 

In the lead-up to Christmas, create your own DIY advent calendar. You could stick to the ever-popular chocolate advent calendars or make one at home based on your unique interests. Try getting creative with advent calendars around themes such as board games – This link opens in a new browser tab., acts of kindness – This link opens in a new browser tab., gardening – This link opens in a new browser tab., books – This link opens in a new browser tab., legos – This link opens in a new browser tab., or even food for dogs – This link opens in a new browser tab.. Don’t forget about possibly gifting a grandchild a DIY advent calendar filled with Christmas books, candy canes, small toys, crafts, puzzles, and other kid-friendly items they’ll enjoy.

8. Take a picture of you and loved ones in your wackiest holiday-themed outfits or matching PJ’s

Go all out in a photoshoot that will have your loved ones wondering if you had too much eggnog. Send them to loved ones as a holiday card or text, making them laugh and letting them know you’re thinking of them. This is a chance for you to stretch your creativity and memory of all things holiday-related, and create a memento of your treasured holiday season. Don’t forget your holiday-themed backdrop! Click these links for some hilarious inspiration: Silent Night pose – This link opens in a new browser tab., Santa with dog reindeer – This link opens in a new browser tab., holding heart candy canes – This link opens in a new browser tab., crying on Santa’s lap – This link opens in a new browser tab., caught mom kissing Santa – This link opens in a new browser tab., I’m dreaming of – This link opens in a new browser tab., two adorable matching snowmen – This link opens in a new browser tab., Santa’s on his way – This link opens in a new browser tab. 

9. Create cards for hospitalized children and the troops

Send a word of encouragement to those who could use the personalized expressions of care. Write a card expressing respect and gratitude to our troops through the Military Holiday Card Challenge – This link opens in a new browser tab.. Be sure to follow the directions on the website and mail them in as soon as possible. Also be sure to not forget this season’s most enthusiastic celebrators–children. Many children remain hospitalized over the holidays, and their days are made a bit brighter through cards expressing love. Here are four organizations – This link opens in a new browser tab. that accept holiday cards to be sent to children at hospitals nationwide. Enjoy making someone’s Christmas day brighter.

10. Put on a Holiday Talent Show 

Connect with family and friends as you witness their amazing talent. Put on a show where everyone must exhibit their special talent while a holiday song is playing. From singing, dancing, playing an instrument, juggling, pantomiming, lip syncing, and mimicking celebrities to karate chopping and executing pet tricks while the music is playing, you and your loved ones are sure to laugh a lot. Here is a link – This link opens in a new browser tab. to a selection of holiday song playlists for your loved ones to choose from.

Traditions don’t have to always stay the same, and there’s never any reason not to add new ones. Spice up and enliven your holidays, making the most out of all the holiday cheer. We hope these 10 holiday traditions help you to maximize your joy this season and inspire you to customize your very own holiday celebration.  

Here at our Oakmont communities, we celebrate the holidays in so many fun ways, and the best part is we get to spend it together. Our Oakmont residents herald in the season with events like our annual holiday brunch, tour of Christmas lights, holiday movie matinee, caroling, and hot cocoa bar. Events like “Christmas Jingle Mingle,” “Carols and Cocoa,” “Candlelight Soiree,” “Martinis and Mistletoe,” and “Scents of the Holiday Experience” round off our extensive, highly anticipated holiday calendar.

During these events, our residents celebrate all that is merry and bright, feasting on lunch, cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres, and enjoying carolers, a live string quartet, rejuvenating massage, and holiday scent workshop.  

There are always extra smiles at Oakmont during the holidays, and the plethora of holiday events means there’s ample time to make new friends and acclimate yourself to the exceptional community that is our residences at Oakmont. Please call us to learn more.

Oakmont Senior Living Oakmont Senior Living is a recognized leader in the retirement industry. Caring for over 4,500 seniors across 51 communities in California and Nevada, Oakmont operates with a passion for excellence, integrity, and high standards of service in our communities.