Christmas Traditions

Since D and I both live away from our families, our Christmas is very different to how we both remember it. I’ve found Christmas to be a stressful time of the year because it is a season that really highlights our lack of extended family here in NZ. In order to stave off the lonely feelings as a result, the last few years I have busied myself with hosting a Christmas lunch at our place with other friends who also don’t have family here. I remember Christmas’ past and try to recreate the specialness of those days for the sake of my own children. In my mind it has to be perfect, and with that expectation comes the stress.  The day usually turns out fine and everyone seems to have a good time.

But, I still feel that’s something’s missing. It’s missing our own family traditions. I want to have some meaningful traditions that capture what is important to us about Christmas and that make Christmas a special time of the year for our children. It’s time for making our own way.

Some ideas so far:

  • New PJ’s to open on Christmas Eve for nice present opening pictures.
  • Christmas stories starting on the 1st December
  • Nativity scene
  • Christmas tree putting up as a family and annual photo
  • Chrsitmas music – especially favourite carols like Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Away in a Manger, O Come All Ye Faithful
  • Christmas baking
  • Christmas Eve Drinks (for grownups) eggnog, mulled wine  (or this one)
  • Giving to needy
  • Some sort of coutntdown adventy thing but not a cardboard calendar that has chocolate inside
  • Making stuff together….decorations, gifts whatever.

What are your favourite Christmas traditions? How do you celebrate? What do you remember most about Christmas as a child?


8 thoughts on “Christmas Traditions

  1. Oh, I so hear you on this one Erin.

    Here’s some I remember from my childhood as well as some we have started as our own family…(I was desperate to start our own as well)

    1. Watching Carols by Candlelight on the TV with each of us children being allowed to have our very own candle…(obviously we were a little older).

    2. New PJ’s (I love that you thought of that one too).

    3. Children’s Christmas movie on Christmas Eve with popcorn. The children get to choose (after Mum and Dad have pre-selected a hand full first).

    4. Home-made Nativity scene with a photo of the children next to it. Great way to look back and see how their creative abilities have grown from the previous year.

    5. Pre-Christams bedroom tidy-up, donating the unplayed items to charity….or garage selling them for financial help with the typical expenses that Christmas brings.

    6. A special outfit for the children for Christmas day. I like to splurge on 2 very nice (may even be “brand-name” outfits during the year – birthday and Christmas). If money permits I’ll do an outfit for myself as well.

    7. A birthday cake where we all sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus”.

    8. Christmas music played througout the home.

    9. Christmas drinks and dessert (something simple, but nice) for our closer friends. We start this a few weeks before so we can get through everyone….one couple a week for example.

    10. Home-made Christmas gifts for the children’s Grand-parents. Helps with the distance and both parties enjoy it!!

    I’ll probably think of more. I Will let you know. I love that you are sharing your ideas. There are many of us out there in the same boat.

  2. oh gosh, ours have metamorphosised (is that a word?? it is now) throughout the years. tree, stories, chats, songs, food, pressies, stories, chats, songs….
    home made stuff. and me trying not to become more and more cynical about the whole marketing exercise of christmas.
    hate that X

  3. Thanks for the ideas Tamara…love all of them and will steal some of your ideas. I especially like the idea of the Christmas drinks….I’m hoping to try mulled wine and egg nog this year, as well as the Christmas Eve movie.
    Kate….don’t be cynical….get those Carols playing!
    Hope you’re settled after the move Jen. What do you have planned for Christmas?

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