One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is how everyone gathers. It’s such a great time to spend time together and create more and more memories.
I asked followers their favorite Christmas traditions a few days ago. I love how easy it is to share great ideas with each other! These shared traditions will make it easy to add one or two to your list.
They covered many categories that were all based on family time of course, but there were many that were service oriented as well. Such an amazing way to light the world and bring comfort to o78thers. We all want to feel special this time of year. I’m excited to have new ways to help others feel that.
12 Days of Christmas
I know I’m a little late for this one, but always good for next year, or could the ideas could easily be adapted for Christmas Eve or day.
I actually overheard an idea from one of my students where in their family they draw a name of a family member and each day of the 12 days they find a way to serve that person. Make their bed, help clean a room, leave a kind note, etc. Keeping all their surprises anonymous. They never end up telling each other who they had so the service goes without credit.
A family I adore shared how they use the 12 days of Christmas to serve OTHER families. They deliver little gifts or treats to families or people who might need a little extra cheer during the season. The kids will go shopping and pick out the gifts. Then they use the 12 days to deliver all the way up the Christmas.
Erich and I are clearly selfish people compared to these families! Because we used the 12 days to spoil each other with little gifts instead of waiting until Christmas Day to open our gifts for each other. It has been so much fun though! On each day we wrote a little reason why we love each other, or something we are proud of that was accomplished throughout the year. It’s been sweet to have little reminders every day.
Probably where most my family traditions happen since the next day was always spent with extended family. So many fun memories of these traditions.
One of my favorite traditions growing up, and one I’ve made sure we keep every year is going to the local lights. I grew up close to Lake Washington in Seattle area and they have a dock that loops out on the water around the shore. They string lights along the whole dock and then put up many different light structures. Including clams!! Seems random, but there is a local restaurant Ivar’s, that is known for its clam chowder. So after a fun walk with the family, we warm up with bowls of chowder. My mom called it, “A feast for the stomach, and the eyes.”
Not too many years ago, there were what seemed to be a few of us home for Christmas, and we decided to start a new tradition. A sheet fort! What kid didn’t love making these growing up? We will build the fort and then watch a movie altogether and spend the night there. No parents allowed either! It’s been a fun way to remember the childhood spirit of the holiday. Christmas Eve is also when we get to open our sibling gifts for each other.
A college friend shared how her mom would make pies and then they would deliver the pies to people who have to work on Christmas Eve. How sweet is that?! She said, “The surprise on their faces is worth it every time!”
My family can get a little competitive with games so it was fun to hear others shared traditions for this one!
Decorating gingerbread houses, but making it a competition! I can only imagine the creativity that must come out with this one.
My cousins family will do a plastic wrap ball game. You wrap cash, gift cards, and candy in a big ball of plastic wrap. You pass the ball around the circle while the person to the left is rolling dice. One they roll doubles the ball has to be passed and you try to uncover as much as you can before the next person can roll doubles. Whatever you uncover you get to keep!
Something I do remember doing is making Christmas Bark with my mom to be delivered to families we were grateful for. She also would get us a new ornament for the tree every year. Usually, it was something that represented a memory or event that happened that year. I’ll never forget the year my mom was so excited to get me a football because I played on a comp league flag football team during college so she could “claim she had a college football player.” Which is funny since I’m the only girl in the family.
I hope this helped spark some new ideas for you and your families, no matter how big or small. If you want to add to our shared traditions comment below! Because we all know sharing is caring.
The Confidently Speaking