It is the holiday season, and it really is the best time of year! It’s cold outside: you finally get to pull out those winter coats, hats, and, my favorite, scarves! The holidays are a time for family, love, giving, and family traditions. Your cheer team is your family, and those holiday traditions may be getting old and out-of-date, or perhaps you are part of a new squad, and want to come up with some new ideas that can bring the team together!

Many teams have ‘buddies’, where a senior cheerleader is buddied up with a freshman, and they give each other gifts throughout the year for special events or home games, and sometimes they are secret buddies! If it’s a secret, the holidays would be a great time to reveal who your buddy is. You can create care baskets for your buddy with all the things they like in it: you can make a scarf, Santa hats, make your own holiday cheer bow, or make a gingerbread person that looks like your buddy! You can expand upon the gingerbread idea by having everyone on your team decorate gingerbread people together, and then have everyone guess who their gingerbread person is supposed to be. It can get really silly, and a lot of fun to guess!

The holidays are also a time to give back, and maybe your team is more into giving than receiving. Your team can do free gift-wrapping, make lunches and take them out to feed the homeless, or other community outreach activities! One year with my own sports team, we adopted families. Adopting a family is a lot of fun! You fundraise money to buy gifts and goods for a family, and then on Christmas Eve, you bring the family a holiday dinner and present. It is very rewarding, and very rewarding to see a family who really needs help to have a good holiday. I still remember the family I adopted in high school: the mother was crying, and her daughter was so excited to have a bike for Christmas! It still, to this day, brings tears to my eyes thinking about it.

Your cheerleading season isn’t even close to being over, so maybe you want to incorporate some team building with some holiday fun. One fun thing to do is a holiday scavenger hunt. There are plenty of pre-made lists you can find online, or you can make your own. Once the hunt lists are made, split up into two teams, and then run around town with a camera to find everything! The first team to find all the items on the list wins. The winning team could win a holiday spirit stick, or some gift cards. It is really fun, and a great team-builder!

I love giving back over the holidays, and my high school cheerleading team coordinated an event for a home for the elderly once. They set up flyers around the school to get volunteers to take part in the event. Some people sang holiday songs, the cheerleaders did several songs and performed some holiday cheers, and they also provided cookies and other baked goods! It was a really successful event, and was a lot of fun to be a part of.

The holidays are the best time of year. Remember to talk to your team, see what they are interested in doing, and don’t limit yourself to just one thing! You can give back, and also do something just for the team. Whatever you do, remember to have fun–that is what the holidays are all about!

What are some holiday activities that have turned into traditions on your team? Share your stories in the comments!