Holiday traditions are definitely one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season. From building our gingerbread house to decorating the tree and eating cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning, my family has plenty of traditions that we use to celebrate the season and make memories together.
Traditions are extraordinary. They give us something to look forward to as the holidays grow near and offer an opportunity to share something sentimental with our loved ones. The best part? Traditions can be anything we want them to be, which means you’re free to create traditions that are meaningful to you and your family.
If you’re looking for a new tradition or two to incorporate into your family’s Christmas Eve plans but aren’t sure where to start, consider some of these fun options:
VIDEO CHAT WITH RELATIVES WHO LIVE FAR AWAY.
It’s important to stay connected with family, especially if many of your relatives don’t live close by. With video chat options like FaceTime, Skype, and Google Hangouts, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch, but it can be tough to sync up when you’re balancing busy schedules on two different time zones.
Instead of stressing about scheduling a video call on Christmas morning, make plans to call up far-away family members the evening before. It’ll give everyone the perfect excuse to slow down, snuggle up on the couch, and share their excitement about the holiday ahead, and it’ll allow you to keep each other in your lives without having to travel across the country.
COOK SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR DINNER…
For many families, Christmas Eve is a time to feast. Some families, especially those of Italian-American heritage, prepare a Feast of Seven Fishes to enjoy the night before Christmas. Others prefer a ham, a roast, or another impressive centerpiece surrounded by seasonal sides. It’s easy to take whatever food your family enjoys most, elevate it, and serve it up for dinner – and make that a tradition to look forward to each and every holiday season.
…OR SPLURGE ON YOUR FAVORITE TAKEOUT!
After all, you’ve been hard at work making Christmas magic happen for days, if not weeks. If you aren’t quite looking forward to cooking Christmas dinner, give yourself a break and order takeout or delivery. Most places do close early on Christmas Eve, so you’ll want to plan ahead and call around to make sure you can find an option that can accommodate your schedule.
BAKE AND DECORATE COOKIES FOR SANTA.
This one makes the perfect after-dinner activity! If you’re going to leave milk and cookies out for Santa Claus before your family goes to bed, you can make the experience even more special by making and decorating the cookies together beforehand. Put on your favorite Christmas playlist and whip up your favorite sugar cookie recipe (or just use pre-made cookie dough from the grocery store). Then, set up a table with some frosting, icing, sprinkles and other treats and invite everyone to help decorate.
UNWRAP A NEW BOARD GAME.
Many families embrace the tradition of opening one present on Christmas Eve. A great way to make that tradition a bigger part of your Christmas Eve experience is to let your kids unwrap a brand new board game. There are tons of different games out there, from strategy games to card games and games that invite you to sing, dance, and act, so with a little effort, you should be able to choose something that’ll excite the whole family. Play a round or two before sending the little ones off to bed and calling it a night.
There are quite a few ways you can incorporate traditions into your Christmas Eve plans to make the holiday more meaningful, convenient, or fun. Consider what types of traditions your family might appreciate, and see how you establish one or two to enjoy for years to come.