How to Create Holiday Magic — No Wand Required

Girl with a wand playing magician

What would the holidays be without our traditions, from the tree and the turkey to the football game and parade? Everyone knows apple pie will be served for dessert, your uncle will fall asleep on the couch, and the kids will ask to stay up all night.

While honoring those beloved traditions this year, we invite you to add your own creativity to the season. We asked RAC customers to share their ideas for creating holiday magic, and we offer them here, along with a few of our own suggestions as well.

Christmas tree

O’ Christmas Tree
The Tradition: Whether you cut it yourself, buy it fresh off a lot, or unpack it from the attic, the Christmas tree is an enduring holiday tradition. Each ornament evokes a memory and nudges us to recall people and places from the past: Baby’s first Christmas, classroom projects, family heirlooms, and more are represented.

The Twist: Host an ornament exchange where guests bring a gently used or handmade ornament to give. Encourage them to share the special story or meaning behind what they brought. In this way, you’ll add to your own collection of ornaments — and memories — while helping family and friends to do the same.

The Topper: Gather friends to decorate a tree in a neighborhood park or central square. Include ornaments that double as bird treats so all area residents feel included.

Family having a holiday meal, turkey

Come and Get It
The Tradition
: The smell of Grandma’s pies, the hum of conversation emanating from the kitchen, the glowing candles atop a special tablecloth — the holiday meal is at the center of many family traditions.

The Twist: This year, pair family and friends together and assign them an aspect of the meal to bring and/or make, such as bread, veggies, salad, or dessert. Give the teams free reign to be creative for the potluck! You’ll discover new traditions while encouraging family bonding.

The Topper: Grandma used to tell stories about the crumb cake her grandmother made. Dig into lost or forgotten traditions by finding old recipes online. Or, make a new dish inspired by your family heritage.

Family building a snowman
Better Together
The Tradition
: From The Grinch and It’s a Wonderful Life to the New Year’s Eve countdown in Times Square, the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and football (so much football), we love watching TV together. Bring in extra chairs, pile pillows on the floor, and invite everyone into the living room.

The Twist: This year, ask TV-watchers to write down what they most enjoy about the movie or event that’s on. Save the answers to read aloud next year.

The Topper: Watching it all happen is fun, but making it happen yourself is even better. Turn your TV-watching tradition into an activity by building a snowman, volunteering, or caroling together. These experiences are what everyone will remember the most about the holidays.