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5 Family Traditions to Start your New Year

This past year was full of memories for the Ellis Family. Starting the year off with a baby was by far the highlight of our year. When Wilkes joined our family, Timmy and I reflected on traditions we had growing up and the traditions that we wanted to start with our own family. I want to encourage you to make the month of January full of New Year's traditions. Here are the five traditions that we are starting at the Ellis House!

1. Watch home movies from the past year.

What a great way to remember all the fun memories from the year. This is a favorite activity of mine when I travel back home. I love watching home videos of my family when we were kids, and I hope this tradition continues with Wilkes. Check out this gem that we found while watching our old videos. It made me miss my man’s sweet little gummies so much:


2. Create a family yearbook.

It’s super easy to add pictures from your phone to your computer or the cloud and just leave them there. Most people rarely print off pictures and add them to an old school photo album. Instead, you should create a customizable photo book.  

Choose a site like MyPublisher, Picaboo, Shutterfly or Mixbook and begin uploading your photos. Check for promo codes, which usually make for a pretty good deal.

Not interested in spending time to create a yearbook? Let My Social Book do it for you. My Social Book takes the date range you pick and turns your Facebook wall into a book for you. There is even an option to connect your Instagram, too. Four easy steps will turn your posts, statuses, pictures, and comments into your very own family yearbook.

3. Make a time capsule.

Come Together Kids blog has such a cute craft using a 2-liter bottle to make a time capsule. Your child can add pictures, information about themselves from the year, or even a letter to themselves for the upcoming year. I love the idea of using ribbon for the children’s height and including a handprint. What a fun and easy way to compare to the next year. She suggests keeping the Time Capsule in your Christmas decorations!

4. Set family goals.

A good website that "highlights hands-on experiences that are fun for all ages", Edventures with Kids, mentions focusing on three topics: Personal, Home, and Family. Personal Goals - Don’t just stop by listing what your personal goals are. Talk about how your family is going to make that personal goal happen. Home Goals - These can be areas of the home that you’d like to improve or change. Include financial goals here, too. Family Goals - These goals can be how you would like to spend time together. I enjoyed the suggestion to introduce your children to new places and activities each year.  I’m excited to do this with Wilkes!

When Timmy and I sat down to discuss our goals, we wanted to make sure that our goals were measurable. Instead of deciding to read more this year, a goal could be to read 12 books this year. Wanting to lose weight? Set a goal to lose 10 pounds by Memorial Day. This helps when keeping yourself accountable. Timmy suggests Jerry Seinfeld's productivity secret called "don't break the chain" to help you keep your goals.

5. Count your blessings.

January will be full of new year activities and crafts. As you enter the year, I encourage you to sit down with your family and reflect on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.   “Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you.” As I think back to all the things that happened this year with my family, my Grandmother, Gan Gan, pops into my mind. She tells us to “Count your blessings. Name them one by one.”  My family had many blessings in 2015, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for 2016.  

Happy New Years, y'all!

Mary Agnes

If you’re looking for more New Year’s ideas for your family this January, check out the Grace & James New Years Pinterest Board.  Does your family have New Year's traditions? List them in the comments! Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of the page and follow us on social media!

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  • Jacquie on

    Family movies are the best! It’s amazing to see how much the kids change in a year’s time. Love your suggestions & thanks for including our goal setting activity. Happy New Year!

  • Meredith Rea on

    Finished my year book on My Publisher Saturday. It was fun to look back and a great time to do it since My Publisher had great coupons out!

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