Christmas Traditions to Start with Your Family

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Combining Christmas Traditions for New Couples

Even though Scott and I were dating last Christmas, but I went to Winnipeg to visit family and he stayed in Edmonton. Which means this is the first year we are actually spending Christmas together! So, since we can’t have any indoor or outdoor gatherings over the holidays, it’s JUST us (and Malcolm). Which means this year we are going to try to combine our own Christmas traditions, and create some new ones for our little family. A tricky balance. For months I have been searching Pinterest and asking around everyone’s Christmas traditions trying to get inspiration and here are some of the ideas I’ve collected or come up with on my own.

Leading up to Christmas

Baking

I always do lots of Christmas baking. This year I am going to try a few new things:

Plus the traditional sugar cookies, gingerbread, and shortbread!

BONUS: We are going to do a little Treat Train and drop off baskets of baked goods to friends doorsteps to spread the Christmas Cheer a little more!

2. Crafts and DIYs

I really love making a new ornament each year! This year we tried DIY HONEYCOMB ORNAMENTS

3. Decorating

The day after Remembrance Day the tree goes up! I will admit, it’s not as much décor as I would like, but I made a promise to myself to not buy Christmas décor at full price (because seriously some of it is waaaaay overpriced). So as much as I might see something I love at Home Sense or wherever, I make myself wait until it’s on sale (usually after Christmas). It can be added to my collection next year. My aesthetic is usually white, gold, woodland, nature themes. Things like trees, deer, knitted textures, burlap, and sprinkles of gold are my go to!

Christmas Eve Traditions:

My family usually goes to church, has a big home cooked dinner, then we each get to open one present (and wrap any last minute gifts) and finishes the night with cookies, eggnog, and a movie.

Scott’s family usually orders a pizza, or home makes pizza and a family puzzle.

I think we’ll do a good combination of these. Pizza because it’s easy and there’s very little point to a whole big meal for just us. We’ll each open a gift and watch a movie.

I love the idea of a Christmas Eve box as the present that contains Christmas PJs, a book, a movie, hot chocolate, and some snacks. But I just don’t think I can wait, I want to enjoy Christmas PJs and books and movies all month long!

Christmas Day Traditions:

1. Brunch

My family is up fairly early for brunch. My mom only ever makes cinnamon buns once a year, on Christmas morning- which I will be re-creating. Along with mimosas and (I saw this on Pinterest) a “gingerbread house” made from waffles, so cute!

2. Gifts

Obviously gift giving is a huge part of Christmas Traditions! Most of my gifts are already bought and wrapped (trying to beat the shipping delays and store lockdowns). Instead of just getting gifts for Scott, I decided I wanted to spread it out “Advent” style. He gets one gift a day every day in December. This works out great, because I hate keeping secrets, and he gets things he can actually use throughout the month.

More Fun Gift Ideas:
  • Christmas present scavenger hunt
    • Hide the gifts around the house the morning of and put the first clue in the stocking. With each gift they find attached is the next clue!
  • Different Wrapping Paper
    • Don’t put names on presents, just wrap each person’s in a different wrapping paper and only reveal it on Christmas morning by putting a piece of their wrapping paper in their stocking!
  • Gift Exchange Dice /Spinner Game
    • If you’re doing a gift exchange like Pass the Present, instead of a story saying ‘left/right/across’ spice it up by rolling dice to determine where to pass the present next or a spinning wheel (like twister). If you want to spice it up even more (and it’s adults only) add on options like “Take a shot” in addition to “Swap with the person on your left”.
  • Saran Wrap Game
    • Wrap 2-3 rolls of saran wrap around itself in a ball while hiding lots of little presents in the layers of wrap. Have kids take turns trying to unwrap the ball to find the presents. Make it harder by forcing them to wear gloves/oven mitts while they do it. Add a speed element by having timed turns or having the next person roll doubles on a pair of die in order to get their turn.
  • Wrap Everything in Wrapping Paper
    • Gift wrap the outside of their bedroom door. The kids will wake up in the morning and crash through the paper barrier to start the Christmas Chaos!
    • Wrap random things for the kids as things ramp up- their lunch in the lunch box, their clothes for the day, their toothpaste. Basically it’s less about what’s inside and more about the carnage of ripping the paper.
3. Games

Every year my family does some Christmas trivia games or Christmas themed Family Feud. This year we’re also going to play Christmas Charades.

  • A Fun Twist to Charades
    • Set up a game of charades the same way you normally would- Everyone should write down some ideas that people have to act out on pieces of paper (in our case, Christmas themed ideas!). Put those ideas in a hat.
    • In the first round, play charades as you normally would- The actor is allowed to speak (No Names, Rhyming, or Spelling!) and act
      • Separate the group into two teams. Each team takes turns sending up one member to act out as many of the ideas as possible in 1 minute. Count the points for each idea that the team is able to guess correctly. Once all the ideas have been acted out, begin round 2!
    • In the second round, you use the same ideas again, except this time the actor is not allowed to speak, just act. Once all the ideas have been acted out again, begin round three.
    • In the third round, the actor is not allowed to act and is only allowed 1 word to describe the idea.
      • The great part of this game is the guessing team can remember the ideas that have already been used. They have enough of an idea to guess even when the acting becomes more difficult with each round!
4. Family Photo

Whether you like doing matching PJS, ugly Christmas sweaters, or just standing in front of the tree, a family photo (including the cats!) is a MUST DO!

Any other ideas/traditions that your family does?


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