23 Holiday Traditions to Start With Your Guy

Part of the reason Christmas felt so magical when you were a kid was because of all the special things you did only at that time of year, like sing Christmas carols or help decorate your mom's famous sugar cookies. (OK, fine. Also because of presents.)

And once you start celebrating the holidays with the person you love, it's even more special to share your traditions with them and start your own to look forward to all year. Don't have an annual ritual with your guy yet? Here's a list of 23 suggestions to inspire you to start one. (Um, you don't need to do all of them, unless you secretly found a way to make each day during the holiday season have 10 extra hours in it.)

  1. Do a movie-marathon night of your mutual favorite holiday movies, like It's a Wonderful Life, Elf, and Love Actually. (He knows he secretly likes it.)
  2. Make a special meal of both of your traditional holiday favorites.
  3. Do good together: Volunteer to make holiday visits at a nursing home, provide gifts for a family in need, or help collect for a local coat drive.
  4. Agree to skip the shopping and buy yourselves one nice mutual gift like a record player for the house, or a pricey bottle of Scotch to enjoy together.
  5. Make a ritual of putting up a particular decoration in your house: an Advent calendar or matching stockings with your names on them.
  6. Send your friends and family a funny joint card.
  7. Or exchange naughty cards with just each other for fun.
  8. Go to a Christmas-tree farm to cut down your own.
  9. Bundle up with some travel mugs of (possibly spiked) hot cocoa for a romantic moonlight stroll.
  10. Get a grown-up picture with Santa. (You're never too old.)
  11. Forget your usual cool and don matching holiday sweaters. Or pajamas, if you're too embarrassed in public.
  12. Take a day off work together mid-December to actually relax in the midst of all shopping/traveling/cooking chaos.
  13. Go ice skating.
  14. Buy each other one special ornament each year so you'll eventually have a collection of memories to decorate your tree with, instead of a jumbo pack of generic bulbs from Target.
  15. Fill each other's stockings with your favorite candies before Christmas (and then eat them for weeks).
  16. Have a moment of reflection by telling each other your favorite memory of the year that's almost past.
  17. Introduce each other to one of your own family's traditions.
  18. Exchange at least one homemade gift.
  19. Exchange "experience" gifts instead of material gifts: a photography class, a weekend at a B&B, concert tickets, etc.
  20. Host an annual party for all your friends with a fun theme, like White Elephant or ugly sweaters.
  21. Drive around the ritziest neighborhood in your town to look at the fancy houses' lights.
  22. If you aren't so into family time, make the most of the days off by making this your usual vacation slot and jetting off to somewhere warm.
  23. After the year's first snowfall, make snow angels in your backyard or the park.