It’s that time of year when we’re busy shopping, baking, working, decorating, and partying for the holidays! It is always challenging to get it all done but somehow we do! One thing I find interesting is that many families have their own traditions, and the holiday season means different things to everyone. If you’re spiritual then it’s a special time of year to celebrate with church and family.
We all have our own “family traditions” and sometimes they can be old classics, fun new things, or even a bit quirky. It’s funny how we grow up with certain traditions and then they spill into our own families. At some point in our family we decided it would be fun to open a present on Christmas Eve. That tradition carries on every year, and even the pets are involved! My lab will sit by the tree patiently until he’s told it’s ok to open!
Christmas morning is about waking up to the smell of fresh coffee with my daughter handing out the gifts after we have each opened our stocking. The “stocking” is always the main event and I always look forward to it. As my daughter has gotten older it’s now less about her excitement in the morning and more about me sending the dogs upstairs to get her up! Well at least someone is happy to be up and opening presents! We go around the room taking turns opening our gifts. After everything is open, the living room floor is covered in wrapping paper and boxes, and the dogs have attacked the empty boxes, it’s time for my husband to make us breakfast. He enjoys cooking either pancakes or french toast, complete with crispy bacon, and fresh NY maple syrup.
The rest of the day is spent watching movies, figuring out new the “toys” and reading directions. We either play board games or Mexican dominos, a family favorite.
I’m always curious how other families are spending their holiday together this time of year. I miss the ones that are no longer with us, and cherish the memories of past Christmas’. It’s not the same without them but we honor them in our own way. My mother loved butterflies, every time I saw her she had some sort of butterfly jewelry on. For her, I’ve added pretty butterflies to my Christmas tree and I feel her presence.
It’s never too late to start traditions. As I was skimming articles and looking for ideas for this blog I came across some fun family traditions that you may already be doing or might want try as your family grows. I’ve added a few of my own!
Fun Family Traditions
You can adapt any of them as you consider your family’s needs, preferences, and boundaries. But most of all, be sure to have fun!
- Eggnog French Toast – Use any kind of bread you like, Challah or sourdough is good, two cups of eggnog, one egg, and cinnamon to taste! Mix, dip, and cook until browned (you can also add bananas) Here’s a recipe!
- Advent Calendar – An advent calendar is basically a countdown until Christmas. There are many to choose from and it’s fun for the kids to “open the doors” each morning to reveal what’s inside the window.
- Kind Elf on the Shelf – This wasn’t around when I was a kid, and I’ve seen some adults get pretty creative with it. Instead of a naughty elf destroying parts of the home during the night to get a chuckle out of your children, promote the kindness elf who does nice things for others!
- Bucket List – Make a list of all the things you want to do with the family during the month of December or in the new year. Sort of a “to-do hit list”. Then put it up on the frig. and start doing things from the list! It will give you a sense of accomplishment and help keep the family on track.
- Movie Night Gift Box – Prior to Christmas, stuff a box full of cookies, a set of pajamas, and a few Christmas classic movies. Wrap up the box and present it as a pre-Christmas gift. This doesn’t have to be just for kids, it would be fun to give it to your spouse and have a movie night in. If you’re short on time, On The Go Concierge can make one and deliver it for you!
- Christmas Photo Shoot – You can wrap the family up in lights, all get ugly sweaters, or recreate an old family picture. Each year try and outdo the previous family Christmas photo. Include the pets!
- Hot Cocoa Bar – Hot chocolate is a must have during Christmas, spruce it up with candy cane chips, cinnamon, mini marshmallows, caramel, flavored whipped cream or for the adults add some Baileys or Coffee liqueur.
- Thankfulness Wreath – Use gift tags to hang on a wreath and have everyone in your family write on it what they are thankful for.
- Organize a Drive – Invite your family to organize a jacket or canned food for those in need. You can even make flyers and make it a community event.
- Grandma’s Recipe – Invite Grandma over to share with the children a family recipe. Allow the kids to help her cook in the kitchen and build up those cooking skills. Then WRITE IT DOWN. After a few years you’ll have a nice little holiday recipe book!
- Bless The Moms – Ask your children to join you in blessing other moms you know. Take time to brainstorm if you will bake cookies, make ornaments.
- Neighbor Doggie Treats – Perfect time of year to either make or buy doggie treats, wrap them in cellophane with a festive bow and give to your neighbors.
If you’re curious as to what other countries do for Christmas here’s an interesting article on how others celebrate the holidays and some of their culture and traditions.
If you need help with your holiday shopping, errands, or are in need of a gift, consider calling On The Go Concierge to help take some of your stress away! We’re offering Gourmet Gift Baskets and you can choose from Little Italy, Chocolate Lover, or Sunday Brunch. Our baskets include some local items. We’ll deliver locally or ship it in the United States. Inventory is limited!