A guide to holiday traditions worth starting in 2016

(BPT) - Every family has their own set of traditions. Some involve going to holiday parties or shows like the Nutcracker, baking batches of cookies or a trip to the Christmas tree farm.

But just as our phones, cars and lives have changed over the past 10 years, so have holiday traditions. While ugly sweaters, family, trees and gifts are as much a part of the holiday spirit as ever, new traditions are popping up, adding new memories and new possibilities to the holiday season.

New travel destinations

There was a time when it seemed like everyone scrambled to make it home for the holidays. And while families are still making plans to get together, an increasing number are shaking things up by traveling to a new state or a new city to celebrate the holidays.

And they're not only traveling to the iconic spots like the ice rink in Rockefeller Center or seeking out palm trees and white sand beaches. One vacation theme that has been rising in popularity involves reliving favorite Christmas movies.

The best example of this trend can be seen in Cleveland, Ohio where A Christmas Story House & Museum (www.achristmasstoryhouse.com) is currently celebrating its tenth anniversary. Each year, thousands of people from all over the country make the trip to visit the restored house where the iconic movie was filmed. Inside A Christmas Story House, open year-round, every room and detail matches up to the movie so people who have grown up watching the movie year after year can have the first-hand experience of what it's like to be one of the Parkers. Only the furnace works a little better, and no one gets his or her mouth washed out with soap.

Changing shopping habits

You've probably seen a store advertising artisanal, hand crafted, locally produced goods pop up in your neighborhood. It's a sign that people's buying habits are changing. This is especially true when it comes to their holiday shopping routines.

While there may still be plenty of people lining up outside of the big box stores for Black Friday sales, more and more are searching for that one-of-a-kind gift that can only be found in a local store or after some serious online hunting. Instead of giving each other the gift everyone else wants, people are trying to give each other gifts that are truly unique and thoughtful.

Get a workout in

It's tradition to prepare for the numerous snacks, sweets and huge meals of the holiday season by buying a couple of baggy sweaters. But the current health conscious generation is changing that.

No, they're not replacing sugar cookies with kale chips, rather, adding a workout to the Christmas routine.

Many cities around the country now host Santa and reindeer-themed runs. But as fun as these are, few are as unique or memorable as A Christmas Story 5K/10K Run. Taking place each year in Cleveland, Ohio, the race involves more than 5,000 people dressed in pink bunny pajamas, the infamous lamp or any character from the iconic movie. Participants run from the former Higbee's Department Store and finish at A Christmas Story House & Museum, where runners can visit the gift shop to shop for some amazing A Christmas Story-themed presents. Those who are unable to make the trip, can still order their own Leg Lamp at www.redriderleglamps.com!


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