My kids have gotten older, but my love for holiday traditions has not. So, this year I am trying to find ways to maybe tweak what we loved doing in the past to make it more fun for my teens. I thought I would share a few ideas I have seen on social media and from my own friend group. I would also like to add that even if you think they are too old to enjoy doing certain traditions, they will probably still enjoy it. Maybe just don’t post pics of them enjoying those younger traditions on social media – lol.

holiday traditions for teens christmas with tweensOne of my favorite memories every year is doing Christmas crafts together the day before Thanksgiving. Now, the crafts used to be simple little wooden ornaments or little crafts I found at the store. Now, we tend to do more in-depth and harder crafts. This year our sets include diamond art, drawing tutorials from Art Hub for Kids, and intricate canvases to use markers or paint on. They are no longer cute little handprint crafts, but more grown-up and harder to do for my teens. My favorite will be drawing together with my son for new cards to send to family.

Wearing our PJs to go look at the lights in our neighborhood used to be a fun outing one night in December. We called it our Polar Express night. We still like to drive around some nights and see what is around us. However, now we enjoy driving to one of the larger displays around the Nashville area and pick up some Starbucks to sip while we drive through the massive light displays. Our favorite display to go see is the Dancing Lights of Christmas in Lebanon. We do tend to go the week after Christmas when it is less busy, as a fun wrap-up to the holidays. Instead of PJs, we now wear ugly Christmas sweaters.

Oh, the dreaded Gingerbread house is one tradition I sometimes wish we never started. Do they ever stay up right? I still try to do them each year. This year, however, I think I am going to make it a contest, like some of my friends have done. They post pics of the gingerbread houses on social media and have friends and family vote on the best decorated one. This sounds fun, then maybe the winner can pick the next Christmas movie you watch as a family or they get first dibs on the leftover candy from the gingerbread house. Making it a contest will be right up my teens’ alley. They love to have bragging rights over each other.

The number one love/hate tradition – I think for every mom – is the Elf on the Shelf. Yes, we still have him at our house. Somedays he does crazy things like snow angels in flour, but now he brings little treats to enjoy as well. One thing he will bring this year is a peppermint scented bath wash for them to smell like Christmas this season. He will have funny jokes to make them laugh; he also brings our gingerbread house kits, new PJs, and cookie-baking supplies. I also like to hide him much harder now that they are older. I know it seems silly to still do the elf for teens, but it’s okay to allow a little Christmas fun to hang on as long as you can.

As our kids grow older, adapting our holiday traditions becomes a joyful challenge. From upgrading our Christmas crafts to keeping the Elf on the Shelf tradition alive with a teenage twist – these adjustments not only preserve the spirit of the season but also create new memories for our teens. Whatever you do this holiday season, just take time to spend it together. Realize these memories matter, even if they roll their eyes at you. Happy Holidays!