Every family has their own holiday traditions. I know my family traditions differed greatly from my husband’s family traditions. It too us awhile to figure out exactly what our own family traditions were going to be as our own family with kids. We eventually combined our traditions, kept some, retired some, adapted some and added some new ones. We’re happy with what we have and we’ll continue to adjust it as our family needs and wants change.
Christmas Eve Traditions
Here are some of our Christmas Eve traditions and I’m excited to see how they form into more solid foundations for our holiday celebration.
Cookies for Santa
Every time the girls visit Santa they always surprise him by asking what kind of cookies he likes so they could make the right ones. Sometimes Santa told them he liked all Christmas cookies, other times he was more specific. The girls plan out what they want to make and have fun decorating and setting up a nice plate to leave out. They’ve even evolved this tradition to include setting out carrots and celery for the reindeer.
Twas the Night Before Christmas
Another tradition we’ve had since our first child was born is for Daddy to read Twas the Night Before Christmas to the kids. Every year the kids curl up on Daddy’s lap in front of the fireplace to listen to the story. This is one of my favorite traditions.
Throughout the years my husband and I have witnessed some fantastic light displays put on by some extremely creative and ambitious people. Now that we live in a bigger city, we have condensed several trips out into one trip out on Christmas Eve. We usually hit up one neighborhood where the residents put up some big, beautiful light displays. On Christmas Eve the streets of that neighborhood are lined with people coming to look at the lights.
Popcorn and Cranberries
There is something relaxing and fun about stringing popcorn and cranberries. Maybe it’s getting us back to the older days when this was a more popular tradition. Maybe it’s because we put them out in the trees and bushes for the birds to eat. Or, for me, maybe it’s because I love sewing things by hand. Whatever the reason, this is a tradition no one in our family wants to miss out on!
My family always opened all of the gifts on Christmas Eve, but my husband’s family always waited until Christmas morning. As a compromise we open one gift on Christmas Eve, then the rest on Christmas morning.
Meaning of Giving
My family can always count on me to bring everyone back to the appreciation of the values that go along with our holiday, no matter which one it is. For Christmas, I find it important to really start talking about altruism and giving without expecting anything in return. My kids are pretty good at this, but it’s the constant conversations we have about these concepts and getting their thoughts about them that really make it special to me.