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18 Awesome Holiday Traditions Your Family Should Try This Year

Up your quality time game.

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We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us their favorite family activities to do during the holidays. Here are the fun results:

2. Start a new gift swapping game.


"My grandma and my aunts would wrap cheap and completely random but useful items (gum, a pack of batteries, a nail clipper, etc) along with three or four actual gifts (a $20 gift card, movie tickets, etc). On Christmas, we'd sit in a circle and pass them around until my grandma would ring the bell to stop. We then had to decide whether we wanted to keep what we had, or move on to the next round for another "gift." It was always funny to hear what people thought they had and see their faces when they ended up with something completely ridiculous."

Submitted by meganf21.

3. And make it actually competitive.

Sony Pictures Television

"My mom's side of the family has an elaborate gift exchange that has turned into what we call "The Moses Family Game Show." We have a legit game show set up and everything, with buzzers that light up when someone buzzes in first. If they get it correct they get to open or steal a present. It's like a weird mix of Jeopardy, Family Feud, and White Elephant. The most coveted gift to date was a jumbo pack of toilet paper (I'm not even kidding)."

Submitted by realemilyruth.


4. Practice your group acting skills.


"We start by going to Waffle House, and while there we create a new "fake family" with a family history, new identities, even draw a new family crest… Then we tour swanky houses and apartments pretending to be interested in the property and for the whole day we act as the 'other family'."

Submitted by savannaannmarieb.

5. Challenge your relatives to a gross food-off.

Cartoon Network

"An eating challenge occurs after the big meal by combining random leftovers from the meal. We run a pool as an incentive for the lucky person to eat it. Just to give you an idea of how gross these concoctions can be: one year for Easter, my uncle ate a deviled egg with a marshmallow Peep on top with a string bean and a tiny dollop of mashed potatoes all in one bite. He no longer enjoys Peeps…"

Submitted by hoppe136.

6. Bring childhood traditions (like blanket forts) back as adults.


"On Christmas Eve my brothers and I build a blanket fort in the bedroom upstairs and we stay up all night watching movies and playing board games, and our mom always reads us "The Night Before Christmas". Then we get up bright and early while we're all sleep deprived and open presents. The youngest of us is 17 and we've been doing this for as long as I can remember."

Submitted by btubman.

7. Drive around together — with a purpose.

Warner Bros.

"My family likes to go ride around town looking for Christmas lights and when we find them we all scream CHRISTMAS LIGHTS! We live in a smallish town so sometimes we have to ride around for a while looking, which is fine because we'll have coffee and sing along to Christmas music. "

Submitted by mj1394.


9. Turn holiday foods into a game.

Cartoon Network

"The women in my family get together every year and compete in decorating ginger bread houses. We all take it very seriously and draw plans for our houses and it is the best party of the holidays."

Submitted by klkiz2.

10. Resolve your aggressions with a Nerf war.


"Every year my mom buys everyone in our family a nerf gun for Christmas and once all the presents are opened we have a giant family nerf battle throughout our house. It's the best!"

Submitted by audsrichards.

11. Do little things to make the day more fun.

"Every year on Christmas morning when we are opening presents everyone gets a full bottle of Martinelli's Sparkling Cider to just carry with them throughout the day to finish. This has been going on as long as I can remember and it is what I always look forward to."

Submitted by heavene.

Note: use splits of champagne for ~adult gatherings~.


12. Play a game and then soothe battle wounds with a family-friendly movie.

Instagram: @juandaone

"We play the angriest, most competitively tense loteria you have ever seen, drunk on champagne with strawberries and long harboured resentments. Many hours we settle in to watch a production of the Nutcracker. Ballet appears to mollify my family en masse."

Submitted by erenah.

13. Really. Play a game that gets the tension out.

Instagram: @aglasgow00

"Spoons! There have been wrestling matches, diving across tables, people getting kicked out of houses, and human bite wounds from that game over the years."

Submitted by Allison Priess Finney, Facebook.

14. Give everyone a turn at being in charge of the music.

"We each get a turn DJ-ing. We also get into intense debates about artists/musicians/genres. It's probably the most fun and intellectually stimulating part of the night."

Submitted by bridusty.


17. Start a holiday-themed tradition.

"Every year my grandma hides a green pickle ornament somewhere in the tree and the rest of the family looks for it. It's actually pretty hard, but fun. The winner always gets a silver dollar coin."

Submitted by hollyh48af38ab.

Get a pickle ornament for your family here.

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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