Traditions are a sentimental, beautiful, and often emotional part of the wonder of the holiday season. It’s natural to organically create some over time with your family, and lovely to look forward to those familiar comforts. But they don’t all have to be about painting a Norman Rockwell-esque portrait of your family. Loosen up with some roll-on-the-floor hilarious holiday must-dos that your kids will look forward to year after year.
Here are a handful of wacky, hilarious, and sometimes snarky family holiday traditions to start this year:
1. Take an ugly Christmas sweater family photo: the more your knit concoction hurts the eyes, the better!
2. Start a food fight when you’re done with Christmas dinner, so you don’t have to play refrigerator Tetris with all those leftovers! (Outside, obviously.)
3. Go gift shopping while dressed as elves, but act like there’s nothing peculiar going on. See the madness that ensues around all of you!
4. Instead of a background of holiday music, stream family-friendly stand-up routines by your favorite comics, like Jim Gaffigan and Ellen Degeneres.
5. Conduct a white elephant exchange on Christmas Eve. Set the insanely awful stardards high!
6. Write jokes on the candy canes like you see on Popsicle sticks. Whoever eats one has to read one, even if it’s a terrible knock-knock joke one of the kids wrote. (Especially if it’s a terrible knock-knock joke one of the kids wrote.)
7. Take a jacked-up family photo fail on purpose and make it your holiday card. Who cares what your mother-in-law thinks?
8. Collect funny quotes from everyone throughout the year by writing them in a journal as they happen. Read them out loud when everyone is together for the holidays, and take turns guessing who said what.
9. Have the kids take pictures of everyone being silly, then make a garland out of them. Makes a fabulous addition to any mantle!
10. Create a wacky interview sheet and have everyone answer the questions each year, including the strangest food tried that year, funniest story to tell, and what weird things they want to do the next year.
11. Christmas Mad Libs? YES, PLEASE.
12. Compete to see who can buy or build the most awful ornament for the tree. Include smack talk and a lot of glitter.
13. Instead of hiding a pickle on the tree for good fortune, hide something else like Santa in his underwear.
14. Have Santa hide one gift per person somewhere in the house, annnnnnd…NOW GO FIND IT. YES THIS IS A RACE.
15. Have a crazy hats craft time instead of a cookie exchange! Oh yes, those hats are to be traded until each person has an atrocity that someone else made upon their head.
16. Break out the eggnog and watch Elf together: every times he gets excited, everybody takes a drink. (You have full permission to spike the grownups’ nog, of course.)
17. Host a fruitcake eating contest: winner never has to eat that crap ever again. WOOHOO!
18. See who can put the Elf on the Shelf in the strangest (PG-rated) scene possible.
19. Tell the kids that Santa prefers beer and a clean room on Christmas Eve. See if they fall for it, year after year.
Graphic by Kim Bongiorno