Wednesday, July 17, 2024
The Parents' Voice

Christmas Traditions

My family has had the same Christmas Eve traditions for as long as I can remember. We would attend family mass, come home to lots of snacks and chatting and family time, prepare cookies, milk, and carrots for Santa and his reindeer and head to bed. The whole house would awaken very early Christmas morning, sometimes as early as 4 a.m. We’d take our time exchanging and opening presents followed by a delicious breakfast and really just bask in each other’s company. I have always loved our Christmas.
Now that we all have three families to make time for, this has changed slightly, and although I miss our Christmas Eve, we’ve changed it slightly to make it work for us. A tradition that includes waking up in our own home and allowing for Santa to be able to find us. Of course our new traditions will include spending time with all of our extended families. Sometimes this feels like a giant puzzle we’re trying to put together, but we make it work.
When asking around, I’ve heard some pretty great ideas of things to incorporate into a new tradition. I’ll share some of my favourites, in case your family is looking to add something to your current tradition, or in case you have moved or grown as a family and just need to start something new.
1) Christmas Eve Box: new Christmas PJ’s, a snack, a Christmas movie and a book. You can relax before the fun of Christmas morning and enjoy a Christmas movie, snacks and quiet family time. I also love the idea of incorporating reindeer food* into this box. Before bed head outside to sprinkle the reindeer food on the snow (or lawn) to keep the magic alive.
2) I’ve heard of adopting or carrying out the tradition of a special Christmas story read as a family on Christmas Eve. A friend talked of reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” a tradition carried on from when she was a little girl, on Christmas Eve with her grandma as the reader. No matter what the gesture, a little something carried on that you did as a child is sure to be a moment remembered for years to come.
3) I love traditions with lots of food, some people have a huge feast Christmas Eve followed by opening presents together as an extended family, while leaving presents from Santa for the morning. This leads to a more relaxed Christmas morning and a jam packed Christmas Eve.
4) Singing Christmas Carols: Getting together on Christmas or Christmas Eve and amongst all the chatting, present giving/opening singing some beautiful Christmas caroling. I love Christmas songs, and love the tradition of singing together, and if you’re lucky there’s a piano, guitar or other instrument thrown in there too.

5) I’ve heard of a family putting hot chocolate in thermos cups and heading out to take a drive and admire Christmas lights, this is a sweet, simple, relaxing way to enjoy some down time together. And who doesn’t love Christmas lights?
6) Making new Christmas ornaments: perhaps some of the day can be spent creating some new ornament to treasure for years to come. Ornaments are so simple and easy to make for little ones and so inexpensive. They also make for a wonderful gift for little ones to give.
7) Making Christmas cookies: we started making sugar cookies on Christmas Eve to leave for Santa. We take out the sprinkles and go to town being creative.

There are so many wonderful ideas out there, and of course the ones you do yearly are tried and true for you. This year I hope to incorporate something new into our tradition! However you celebrate, enjoy to the fullest.

*Reindeer Food Recipe:

  • ½ cup uncooked oatmeal
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup red or green crystal sprinkles (some call for glitter but this may harm birds)
    Sprinkle on the lawn at night. The moon will make it sparkle bright.
    As Santa’s reindeer fly and roam. This will guide them to their home.
    Merry Christmas!


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