Before we sign off for a week of cozy family fun, I wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas! This is just the best time of the year. We have a number of family traditions that I love to enjoy surrounding Christmas and New Years. One of my favorite questions to ask people at holiday parties is what their family traditions are. It is always so interesting the different and creative experiences that develop in families over time.
I asked a few favorite online & offline friends what types of traditions their families keep and the responses are really creative and awesome. I’m sharing some of my favorites below. Do you do any of these or something else really fun? I’d love to know.
However you celebrate this season… I hope it is filled with a magical and most wonderful subtle revelry…
On Christmas Eve we make snowballs (vanilla ice cream rolled in coconut), stick a candle in them and sing Happy birthday to Jesus. – Here’s a great snowball ice cream recipe.
– Cassie O’Loony
One of my most favorite traditions is turning on the Christmas music and decorating holiday cookies with the little ones! They get SO excited! If you have not started this tradition, it’s time to put this one on your calendar STAT! It’s the best.
– Melissa Johnson of Best Friends For Frosting
We keep a big glass change jar next to our backdoor–it looks like an old apple cider bottle. We all empty our change into it throughout the year and on Christmas Eve, we drive to the local grocery store with the change counter machine to have it counted and to exchange it for bills. Of course, on the way we all guess how much we’ve collected.
Once we have the cash in hand, we go to Waffle House, we eat our waffles and hot chocolate and then pay for our meal and leave the tip with the change money. The bill is usually less than $20 but our change money is usually over $100 which is so fun. The great thing about Waffle House is that it’s got HUGE windows and of course it never closes so it’s always open on Christmas Eve. So we leave the restaurant before the server gets the money/tip, but we can always see their reaction through the window as we sit in the car–they think we’ve already left so it’s SUCH fun to watch what they do and then we drive away. It’s a tiny way to give and include our teenage boys and it’s become a Christmas Eve tradition over the years.
– Myquillyn Smith of the The Nesting place
Every Christmas Eve we have a huge fondue feast with all the family. Melty cheese, hot broth for cooking meat & veggies, tempura shrimp and chocolate dessert. It’s a fun hands on meal and so yummy. It’s my favorite meal of the year! Here are a few great tips for throwing your own.
–Heather Siri – The ASR crafting ninja
My favorite tradition is doorbell ditching during the holidays. Some years it’s been more elaborate where there’s been a full 12 days of presents for the same family, and some years it’s just one night of delivering treats in secret to neighbors. I still get excited being the one to drop them off or driving the getaway car. And my kids think it’s such a thrill.
Baby’s first Christmas tree! It’s a Souder Tradition to buy a live tree with the root ball still attached and plant it on the property after the holiday. We have some Christmas trees on the land that are over 70 years old from when Matt’s Dad was a baby. It’s something we are eager to pass down to our kids and can’t wait to experience over the coming years.
We each write 1-2 gifts of service for each family member and put in their stocking: ” I’ll do your chores for a week” type thing. This is such a great idea to stuff our favorite homemade stockings with.
– Melissa Hall
We buy a lego set or lego figure, break it up into 24 days and every day the boys get some Lego pieces (and instructions for those pieces), and they construct it a little every day and they don’t know what it is until the last day when they’ve fully completed it.
We make a handprint tree skirt and add to it every year to watch how the hand prints grow.
On the night of December 5, St Nicholas Day (Nikolaustag in German), is celebrated by having kids put their shoes outside the door. Legend has it that the spirit of St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children, will go from house to house carrying a book of sins in which all the actions of all kids are written.
Good little boys and girls will have their shoes filled with tasty treats while naughty kids will have twigs in their shoes. Being the candy loving kid that I was (and still am!), I naturally rooted in my closet for my tallest pair of boots expecting them to be overflowing with candy. My sister and I put our boots outside our bedroom doors (wouldn’t want any racoons absconding with even one bite of our treats!) and fell asleep dreaming of sugar plums (and Skittles, Snickers and Starburst).
Lo and behold, St. Nicholas obviously confused us with two other little girls because we found lots of yummy surprises the next morning! This is a such a fun tradition and a great way to kick start the holiday season!
Have a wonderful Christmas! xoxo