However, in our fast times, it can be a challenge just to get everyone in the same room for Christmas dinner. You may find yourself feeling cheated of traditions. Images of caroling, cookies swaps, sledding parties and craft nights are all well and good, but for many folks these events never get past the imagining stage. Why? Well, because some of our more traditional Christmas activities require an outlay of time, organization, and/or money, three things which often seem to be in short supply as the year marches to a close.
The good news is, you can have traditions of your own, customs that will come to mean as much to you as carrying a flaming brandied pudding to the holiday table meant to your great-grandmother. And great news - you can do it without losing your mind, too! Using the KISS approach (Keep It Simple, Silly...I know, it's usually stupid, but I don't like to call people stupid), here are some ideas to get you started:
- My cousin Valerie used to buy her children new Christmas colouring books and crayons for Christmas Eve, when they would all sit down and colour together before heading to bed to wait for Santa. She said it was a great way to get everyone calmed down.
- Family board game night. I know, it's kind of cliche, but it's FUN!!
- My mother's Christmas Eve tradition was to buy my sisters and I new Christmas pajamas and a new Christmas book. Much like the colouring, it calmed us down and got us off to bed to read. She continued this right until we left home, and I have a nice collection of Christmas novels that I pack away with my decorations and am excited to rediscover each year.
- Another thing Mom did with us was to take us with her to get the Christmas grocery order. On her first vacation day, we would get up early to beat the crowds and have a blast running around the store picking out our family's holiday favorites. Afterward, we went out for lunch, usually to The Swiss Chalet for, what else? The Festive Special. What was so great about this (besides the fact we were spending time together) was that Mom turned something that could be considered a chore into a fun outing.
- As part of her "Journal Your Christmas" series, my cousin Ainsley at Pattycake Manners shared a list of her traditions old and new. I absolutely loved the ones about Pillsbury and the picnic! See, KISS!!!!