The cold air has really set in around the Chicago area. As many of you bundle up and surround yourselves with friends and family you may also be filling your time with some fun activities! Many of you may have holiday traditions that you incorporate year after year, or maybe you are looking to begin some new ones. Our team here at Fleming Family Therapy has a full schedule ahead as they ring in the new year.

Janelle stays cozy on Christmas day enjoying great company:

“My biggest tradition is that on Christmas day, my immediate family and I have a lazy day. We open presents in the morning, have a big brunch, and stay in our pajamas all day to watch movies or a TV series together.”

Along with some yearly traditions with family Jessie also enjoys many Chicago holiday activities:

“What I love to do in Chicago around the holidays include ice skating, and the Christkindlmarket. Some traditions in my family are making gingerbread houses, pickle in the tree and whoever finds it opens the first present, matching pajamas on Christmas Eve, watching old Christmas movies and watching Elf!”

Dawn makes memories with the children in her family year after year:

“During the holiday time, I have the children make reindeer food and sprinkle some outside in the snow (if there is any). Reindeer food can be made with raw uncooked oatmeal and sugar cookie sprinkles. We shake them up in a glass jar and then go outside and sprinkle a path for Santa and his reindeer.”

Felicia makes new family memories:

“This is my daughter’s first holiday season, so we are looking for some new traditions to start! We have been listening to Christmas music, watching Christmas movies, we plan to go see the Christmas lights at the Brookfield zoo and maybe make some Christmas cookies! The last few years my husband and I have gone ice skating at the Maggie Daley Ribbon, so I would love to do that again too.”

Rachel is running out of cabinet space as she adds to her collection:

“I enjoy baking sweets (i.e., cookies, cake pops, etc.), going to Christkindlmarket to add another mug to my collection, putting childhood ornaments on our Christmas tree and participating in Secret Santa with my siblings.”

Sam enjoys celebrating with great food, friends and family:

“As Chanukah is always in December we love to make homemade potato latkes and fry them up and invite friends and family over to celebrate and socialize.”

This is Jessica’s second year in Chicago and she is ready to experience new activities (see below). She also incorporates traditions from Mexico where she is from:

“Some traditions that I usually do are putting up a Christmas tree, and filling the bottom with gifts that will be open on Christmas Day. I also try spending Christmas Eve with family and sharing gifts. In Mexico for New Years we have a fun tradition, we eat 12 grapes in the first minute of the new year and for each grape we ask for a wish. I also like creating a collage of things that I would want to achieve/have in the near future as a reminder that I have to continue working for it. Something important too, is that I like thinking about the year that just went by and being thankful for the positive things, as well as, for the learning lessons.”

Ashley breaks out her family’s matching pajamas and enjoys some quality time:

“One of my favorite holiday traditions is wearing matching pajamas with my family on Christmas Eve! We use this time to drink hot chocolate, watch our favorite holiday movies, and be together. I enjoy using this tradition with my family to be silly, fun, close, connected, and thankful!”

Maritza warms up with a holiday drink:

“I like ice skating with my husband, drinking golden milk lattes, baking, and playing board games with the family!”

Katie watches a holiday classic:

“The day after Thanksgiving my family all gathers together to watch The Muppet Christmas Carol. We love spending this time together and this is how we fully transition into the Christmas season year after year!”


What are some activities and traditions you like to do around this time of year? If you are looking for new holiday ideas and traditions, our clinicians at Fleming Family Therapy have many great ideas to help incorporate! We hope everyone stays safe and is able to spend this special time with friends and family.


Some Activities in/near the Chicago area:

– Christkindlmarket
– The Morton Arboretum Christmas Lights
– Brookfield Zoo Christmas lights
– Lincoln Park Zoo Christmas Lights
– Rosemont Sparkle Light Festival
– Ice skating in Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Ribbon
– Ice castles in Lake Geneva
– Ride or see the CTA Holiday Train
– Skiing in Wisconsin

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