Dear CDA Families,
As the holiday season approaches, I am always excited about the chance to spend quality time with loved ones, show my appreciation, and give thanks. I reminisce about growing up in a large family where family gatherings were important. I recall my family getting together every weekend and visiting extended family during the holidays or summer breaks. I still look forward to tamales and champurrado (Mexican hot chocolate drink) on Christmas Eve as we wait until midnight to open gifts.
Family Traditions leave us with lasting memories and often tell a story that can teach our children about where their family came from, their culture, and important beliefs and values. Traditions provide a sense of belonging, connection, comfort, and security, and a source of identity. They are experiences or activities that are passed down between generations.
Looking back, I appreciate the memories that helped shape my family, but the best part is that I get to create new traditions and pass along the old ones to my children. What are your favorite family traditions that you get to share with your children?
Below are some essential values in creating family traditions for your children:
- Strengthen family bonding: spending quality time with family has the potential to develop stronger bonds, trust, and family relationships. Quality time is a great time for storytelling and helps make memories for a lifetime.
- Personal identity: traditions provide children with a healthy sense of identity from a young age, which they can continue to build on as they grow up.
- Sense of belonging: family traditions can nurture a positive family identity that provides a sense of belonging and personal pride.
- Comfort and security: family traditions provide children with stability and security, especially during difficult times and transitions. Participate in simple traditions that are consistent and familiar to children.
Family traditions for the holidays that you can adapt:
- Watch a family favorite movie to celebrate the holiday.
- Play “I spy” holiday decorations or ornaments around your neighborhood.
- Take a holiday trip to the library and check out books to learn about different holidays or family traditions.
- Get hot chocolate and watch a community tree lighting ceremony.
- Cook a favorite meal together as a family for a special holiday.
- Write letters or holiday cards to family, friends, and/or others who are away during the holidays.
- Create fun holiday coupons to gift others during the holidays. For example, “this coupon is good for 1 free car wash.”
- Play your favorite board games or assemble a puzzle together as a family.
- Tour your community to see lights and holiday displays.
- Create an annual family vision board for the New Year.
Toys for Joy
Event Date: Saturday, December 10, 2022
Toys for Joy will have multiple distribution locations in which families will receive a large box of groceries and a toy and bag of treats for each child. Click on the link for more details: Toys for Joy 2022
The Salvation Army
Thanksgiving and Christmas meal provided free to anyone in need while supplies last.
Click on the link for more details: https://sandiego.salvationarmy.org/san_diego2/locations
Dinner with Santa
Event Date: December 16, 2022
Time: 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Flyer: Dinner with Santa
Free food, photo booth, crafts, and more. Click on the link for more details: https://www.sandiego.gov/park-and-recreation/centers/recctr/dolores or call 619-235-1125.
Community Resource Center:
Holiday Baskets include Holiday gifts, basic necessities, and all the trimmings for a holiday meal. Click on the link for more details: https://crcncc.org/integrative-services/holiday-baskets/
San Diego Food Bank
The Food Bank provides nutritious food to individuals and families in need throughout San Diego County. Click on the link for more details: https://sandiegofoodbank.org/
Feeding San Diego Food Distribution
Feeding San Diego works with distribution partners to provide food and resources throughout the county. Click on the link for more details: https://feedingsandiego.org/
Please visit or contact 211 San Diego for information on additional holiday assistance programs that may be available. https://211sandiego.org/holiday-assistance/
List of free holiday events throughout San Diego:
We’re Here to Help
For individualized assistance with resources or referrals, please contact our Family Resources Team via the contact form on our workshops page: