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Revamping Family Holiday Traditions

If your list of holiday traditions is feeling a little, er, traditional, try these fresh ideas with a modern twist.

Spread Some Holiday Cheer

Then: Writing a letter to update everyone on everything that happened over the year

Now: Create a dedicated (and free) Facebook page or WordPress blog and send out the link.

Rock Around the Xmas Tree

Then: Plastic trees and candle menorahs

Now: Be good to the earth with reusable wooden trees ($350 for a 6-foot tree; or menorahs with wooden flames ($25;

Deck the Halls

Then: DIY popcorn strands

Now: Ribbons with sparkly felt snowflake decals (found at crafts stores). No mess, no needles—and it makes it easy for little ones to get into the spirit.

Winter Wonderland

Then: Building the biggest snowman on the block

Now: Turn snowdrifts into works of art using Sno-Paint ($19;

Sweet Treats

Then: Decorating a gingerbread house with white icing and gumdrops

Now: Make seasonal s'mores sprinkled with crushed peppermint and the new rectangular Jet-Puffed StackerMallows ($3; grocery stores).

New Year's Resolution

Then: Going to the gym and losing 15 pounds

Now: A family resolution of unplugging from the TV and cell phones to spend more time together!

What are some of your family holiday traditions?

This article originally appeared in the December/January 2012 issue of Parenting magazine.