Happy Christmas everyone!
So I have compiled some Christmas Eve (and general Christmas/holiday) traditions, both from my family as well as some of yours!
See the bottom of this post for a note on Blogmas.
Opening One Present on Christmas Eve
This was one of the most common traditions and it was interesting to learn many people did this other than my family. Usually for the kids, on Christmas Eve each kid is allowed to open one present. When the kiddos head to bed more presents are put out from parents/santa for them to open in the morning. Many people also have pajamas as their one present for them to wear Christmas Eve night. My family has done this before and my siblings and I usually get matching pajamas. Now, every year we also get matching sibling shirts for the holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas).
Christmas Eve Games
Many of you have traditions that revolve around games, both kid-friendly and not-so-much. One friend said when the kids are awake, they play kid-friendly games or have kid-friendly activities. When the kids go to bed, that’s when they break out the adult games–think Cards Against Humanity or other games that aren’t appropriate for the eyes/ears of little ones! Another friend plays a dice game with small gift items that is similar to the larger-scale White Elephant, but with a mix of gifts and items.
This is a fun one that I likely could not participate in (I honestly struggle to make it past 9 PM). From one lovely lady, “We have a family sleep over and stay up all night playing games, watching movies, baking cookies and enjoying each other’s company! Its the freaking best!” YES GIRL — I love your enthusiasm! Many families throw on a marathon of Christmas Movies and stay up into the wee hours of the night celebrating the time together as a family.
Special Christmas Eve Dinner Menus
I found a large variety of types of dinners are served on Christmas Eve. While many families have a big dinner on Christmas Day, some either opt-out or have a special dinner the night before, in addition to Christmas Day.
Here are just a few:
Chinese (very popular option)
Thanksgiving-type dinner–Turkey/Ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, etc.
Decorate Something Other Than a Tree
While some decorate a tree for Christmas, either one from a tree farm, one you cut down yourself or a lovely fake tree, others get a little more creative! For example: A fellow badass Mountain Chick, Janean, evolved from a decorating trees to wooden ladders, which is think is awesome and very clever! Not to mention the clean-up and/or storage is much easier!
Feed the Homeless – or any Act of Service
My mom has done this for a few years now. Usually she would bake a bunch of cookies or something and hand those out on her own. Now, she works with the Hope Crew, a homeless outreach team under the nonprofit organization Hope Soldiers. From their website; “We strive to help meet the basic needs of individuals struggling with homelessness and/or substance use/mental health disorders, as well as provide tools and resources for health insurance, substance use treatment, mental health treatment, housing, and more. Above all, we aim to provide unconditional love and support.” I unfortunately did not participate because I was sick but I did help put together the 40-some sandwiches (don’t worry, I wore gloves!).
Christmas 2X… or 3X or 4X.
Many people travel all over on Christmas Eve and day and celebrate multiple Christmases and gift openings with different parts of their family. This year we had four separate Christmas get-togethers. On Christmas Eve many families will open one set of gifts and then travel somewhere else for the night and open gifts in the morning. From one person; “We go to my grandma’s Christmas eve and typically sing carols, grandma reads the Christmas story from the bible and then presents.”
What About the Pets?
So I know for a fact that most families have stockings for their pets and/or have wrapped presents under the tree for them. Cats and puppies love to play in all of the wrapping when you are finished opening gifts (or like our cat, will eat wrapping/ribbon and puke it up before you even open presents). Dogs will munch on their bones or travel from person to person getting hundreds of pets and enjoying the full house.
I know there are many many traditions that I haven’t mentioned on this post so please feel free to comment below with your traditions! I know we would all love to see more!
Note: Yes, I did not get all 25 of the blogmas posts finished. Things got very busy for my job and then everyone in my house got sick with some cold/flu and then Christmas…needless to say things were pretty crazy for the past two weeks. I will probably do a couple post-christmas posts for blogmas BUT I also want to reflect on 2017 and start looking forward to 2018 (so be on the lookout for those posts as well). I hope you enjoyed the blogmas posts I did finish! I really enjoyed planning for and writing those posts but I think next year I might just do a ’12 Days of Christmas’ — type theme.