Christmas traditions are about more than just celebrating a season. They are about celebrating family and keeping the magic of Christmas alive for generations to come.
Christmas is my favorite time of year, and though my family gets busier and busier, our traditions bring us together and keep us close. We always make a big deal out of Christmas. However, the gifts are not the main focus of the holidays for my family. Keeping the magic of the season alive is the most important thing.
Today, I am sharing a few of my most precious Christmas traditions. These traditions truly make this the most wonderful time of the year.
- During the Great Depression, money was tight. That didn’t stop my mother’s side of the family from giving the gift of love. On Christmas Eve, and again on Christmas Day, the family members would hug each other and say, “Christmas Eve Gift” or “Christmas Gift.” In fact, it became a game to see who would be the first to offer their Christmas Eve or Christmas “gift.” The tradition has evolved over time, and now we race to be the first one in the family to greet someone with Christmas Eve Gift or Christmas Gift. We even wake people up at midnight with the greeting, just to win the game.
- Christmas isn’t just about gifts in my family. We celebrate the true meaning of Christmas by helping others. We all try and help others all year round, but at Christmas, we try and make it extra special. We want our children to be grateful for what they have and to always have a giving heart. With that said, every year, we, along with the Texas High School Tigersharks, adopt a family for Christmas. We all buy gifts for the children and adults alike and provide them with a full Christmas dinner. If the children we adopt are young enough, my dad even volunteers to play Santa and pays a visit to the children personally.
- My family and I get a real Chrismas tree from Evergreen Christmas Tree Farm. This tradition started about 5 years ago because my husband was frustrated trying to put up our fake tree. We drove out to the lot, picked a tree, and watched as they cut it down and shook all the lose needles out of the tree. The kids LOVED it. We drink cocoa with the family that owns the tree farm and huddle by the wood burning fire inside the barn. But the most special part of this tradition is finding random golf balls, from the nearby golf course, throughout the farm. Each year, we bring home a golf ball and write the year on it and hang it from our tree.
- This tradition is very messy, and not for the faint of heart. Every year, we buy each person in our family a package of tinsel. But before we put it on the tree as decoration, we have our annual icicle fight. We run around the house, jumping over dogs, furniture, and occasionally each other, throwing tinsel at each other, like snowballs. It is not uncommon to find tinsel buried in the couch in February.
- Christmas Eve night, we make cookies for Santa and reindeer food to scatter outside for Rudolph and the gang. Here is the recipe I use for reindeer food.
6. During the day on Christmas Eve, my sister and I “plant” individually wrapped peppermints in a soil-filled small pot, with my three-year-old nephew. When wakes Christmas morning, the peppermints have magically grown into candy canes.
7. Lastly, on Christmas Eve night, the kids are allowed to open one gift each. Each of them gets new pajamas, house shoes, and a coffee mug. After they open the gifts, I make homemade hot chocolate, while they change into their new pajamas and we all sit down to watch a Christmas movie before bed.
These are just a few things that make Christmas extra special for my family. I hope the traditions are passed on when my kids have children of their own. What are your favorite Christmas traditions?