1. Begin and integrate new holiday traditions while maintaining the old ones. What I mean by that, is try to preserve old family traditions from your childhood, start new family traditions with your friends, significant others, and/or children, and mash them altogether. For example, wood fires in our wood burning fireplace was a holiday tradition. I enjoy a wood burning fire Friday-Sunday at my house. I even place the crochet stand alone stockings on each side of the fireplace that I had as a kid. Add in a story time session or two, and you have now integrated new traditions with the old. Story time by the fire on a Friday night is much better than the every night story time in bed. New traditions to be started that seemed to have popped up after my childhood are: Elf on a shelf, Advent Calendars (I know this isn't new), and opening a Christmas book a night for the 25 nights until Christmas. The 25 books before Christmas is a lot of work, but worth it!
I also enjoy visiting Christmas tree farms who offer hayrides, and pancake breakfasts with Santa. Anoka has many activities as well for the holiday season with their annual Over the River and Through the Shops activities. I especially like their annual tree lighting ceremony the first weekend in Dec. http://www.exploreminnesota.com/events/6810/over-the-river-and-through-the-shops.
Downtown St. Paul/Minneapolis is also always on our list. We love getting a hotel room with the kids and looking at Christmas lights. We will visit Macy's 8th Floor Display, and we used to go to The Depot before they tore it down to visit the train water park. It is too bad they won't be rebuilding it. They also recently started the Holiday Market downtown. I like to visit it on a weekday before our hotel visit. We get hot cocoa, pick out a new ornament, and just walk around enjoying each other's company. I've heard that the Christmas markets are all over the suburbs too. Don't forget about Menards! We love visiting their Christmas forest a few times in December. They go all out. Also, the Mill City Museum does an Almost Christmas play in the flour tower that we will soon attend.
12. Our favorite church service to go to is on the day before Christmas Eve at Grace Fellowship Church. They know how to rock out and celebrate the season! They have a live Nativity scene with real animals, and the best music. You can drink hot cocoa in the sanctuary as well. http://gracefellowshipmn.org/
13. Enjoy adult time and relaxation. Kacey and I try to find times to chill out just the two of us right before we lay gifts under the tree, in between holiday parties, while celebrating my December birthday, or on Saturday nights with a movie and a fire going.
I could have made this post way longer, but this is more of a "quick" tip post:) Merry Christmas!