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Oregon Family Magazine

Holiday Entertaining: Traditions with a Twist

11/22/2011 ● By Anonymous
Traditions help keep people connected over years and generations, and we love the experience of the holidays. But what happens when those traditions no longer work? Circumstances, budgets or tastes change, and sometimes you need a little help finding a new way to celebrate.

The good news is, you don't have to completely abandon what you know - traditions can be easily evolved into something suitable for you and your loved ones.

A recent Bing survey revealed that shaking up holiday traditions is on the minds of many this year. In fact, a major life change - such as marriage or a new baby - is the most popular reason (33 percent), with a change in financial situation coming in a close second (30 percent). No matter your reasoning, if you're looking to create new ways to celebrate and entertain this holiday, Bing's lifestyle expert, Karin Muskopf, offers tips for how you can do just that:

Create Your Own Holiday

The holidays are one of the busiest party seasons of the year, and it can be tricky to get everyone together on one specific day. If you're looking to entertain, use to help find ideas and inspiration on how to create your own special day, think outside the box and borrow festive ideas from others.

"To me, it's less important what day of the year it is," said Muskopf, "and it's more about being together with good food and lots of laughs."

If you can't get everyone together at the same time, consider several mini celebrations throughout the season. Or, host an "Eve Before the Eve" party - celebrating the day before the actual holiday so people can either squeeze in an extra special day with family and friends or simply relax.

To keep things interesting, start a new tradition with a competitive twist. "Our annual holiday party has turned into a highly anticipated event - Pie Night," Muskopf said.

"Each guest bakes his/her own pie to bring to the party for a taste test. Everyone samples a piece of each pie, and we award the 'Most Delicious,' 'Most Festive' and 'Most Fattening' titles in a hilarious ceremony."

However you do it, celebrating together on an off-day creates a memorable experience and a unique bond for all those involved.

Spice Up the Holiday Meal

If you're like many, you've got a few favorite holiday recipes up your sleeve. Holiday meals present a special opportunity to leave a lasting, happy holiday memory with your guests. Here are some fun, delicious ways to enjoy holiday feasting:

-Make it a potluck - Rather than burden one family member with all the cooking duties, have everyone bring their own specialty to the table, and ask everyone to bring copies of their recipe to share. Everyone will go home with a full stomach and a delicious keepsake for holidays to come.

-Serve healthier options - "My mom's classic holiday recipes are comforting and delicious, but often come with loads of extra calories and fat," said Muskopf. "These days, it's so easy to tweak recipes so they still taste like home but won't leave you five pounds heavier come February."

For more ideas and inspiration on tweaking old traditions, creating new ones and making this holiday all your own, go to

Photo courtesy of Getty Images