I'll be honest: I've been a little pouty this year about our lack of Christmas traditions. For some reason, I convinced myself that if we didn't start the tradition with the first child's first Christmas, there was no point starting it at all. But that is so silly! Traditions can start any year, and to be honest, there might be some traditions we do for awhile but that fall by the wayside as our kids grow or circumstances change. And that's okay!
We won't be home for Christmas this year, and we've been dealing with weeks of sickness, so we really don't have many traditions going on this time around. Plus, as much as I want to do ALL of the things, Xavier is still so young and he won't even remember this Christmas. Which is to say, if you're feeling pressure to make it super special or meaningful and you find yourself coming up short - take a breather. It's okay. There is so much time. If you ARE doing all of the things and starting all of the traditions and doing it with ease, I salute you. If it fires you up, keep at it, sister.
So although we don't necessarily have a ton of traditions started yet, here are several that I would love to start (and a couple we're already doing) as our kids get older and our family grows. I certainly don't think we'll do all of these every year, but they are things that have stuck out to me from my own family, as well as various books and blogs and envisioned what I want our holiday to look like as a family.
CHRISTMAS TRADITION IDEAS
- Making + decorating ornaments
- Celebrating St. Nicholas' feastday
- Building gingerbread houses on the feast of St. Barbara, patroness of architects
- Watching a Christmas movie while drinking hot cocoa
- Matching Christmas pjs, to be opened on Thanksgiving night
- "Christmas Eve box"
- Leaving goodies for the postman, or delivering them to our local post office
- Delivering goodies to the police station
- Visiting Santa
- Dressing to the nines for Christmas Mass
- Seafood dinner on Christmas Eve
- Making peanut butter balls (also known as "buckeye candy")
- Choosing four gifts for each child: something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read
- Filling Baby Jesus' manger with straw from doing random acts of kindness
- Serving as a family at a food pantry during the month of December
- Giving gifts to those in need
- Tipping a waiter extra generously (someone gave me a $100 tip once when I was a waitress, the week before Christmas. It always stuck out to me as such a generous thing to do during the Christmas season!)
- Decorating the house while listening to old Christmas music (like Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra)
- Writing a letter to Santa
- Driving through a Christmas light display
- Leaving cookies and milk for Santa
- Unwrapping a Christmas book each day of December leading up to Christmas, to read that night. Or maybe just keeping all the Christmas books out in a basket, and choosing a new one to read each night.
- Placing the three wise men far away from the nativity set, and moving them closer each day, until they finally arrive on Epiphany (January 6th). I also love the idea of keeping Baby Jesus out of the nativity scene until Christmas, as a reminder that Advent is a season of waiting.
- Having the kids choose enough toys to fill a sack, to be donated to kids in need
- Baking a cake and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus
- Advent calendar
Do you have any family traditions, whether you're single, married or have kids? I always love to hear what other families do, and especially how families incorporate liturgical living into their Christmas celebrations! Leave a comment or send me a note; I'd love to hear about it! XO!