Unique Christmas and Holiday Traditions: Special Family Memories
Decorating for Christmas and other holidays is a crucial part of making the holidays special. For Christmas, outshine your neighbors by putting out an awesome, beautiful display of lights on the outside of your house.
If you have a beautiful, colorful yard, don't forget to add a nativity scene. Bring the holiday spirit to your neighbors with the joy of remembering why we celebrate Chistmas.
Add a small Christmas tree decorated in different themes in each additional room. Pick silver and purple ornaments, tinsel, beads, bows, and a silver star on a little tree to make your "purple and silver" Christmas tree. Buy blue little ornament balls, gold tinsel, gold beads, blue ornaments, and a golden angel for a "gold and blue" Christmas tree. It may be a lot of work to buy, decorate, and store three feet tall trees for each room, but when the holiday comes around, the beauty of it all will be worth it.
In the living room, have a tree that almost touches the ceiling. Decorate it with memorable decorations from your children. Put shiny Christmas balls and ornaments on it. Add bows, tinsel, beads, and an angel or star on top of the tree. Make it beautiful to you. Decorate it so well that every time you walk by it, you have to stop, stare and smile.
Ordinate your Christmas tree with ribbon. Take your time, and think about how department stores decorate their stores’ trees. Match the colors of the ribbons, ornaments, tinsel, beads, etc. Outdo the department stores!
Decorate your home with at least one or more nativity scenes. Do the same with a Christmas village. Each year buy a new piece to go with your village, and make it a tradition to do so.
Hang a special stocking for each member of the family. Make sure they know who gets which stocking if they do not already have names on them. Fill them with candy, small toys, gum, apples, oranges, nuts, lip gloss and other kinds of make-up, yo-yo's, and anything else that is inexpensive but will fit in that tiny space.
For birthday parties, consider doing “theme” parties. If the family member is a doctor, have everyone wear scrubs, decorate the plates and cups with medical themes, play music from a medical show in the back ground, decorate the table with a stethoscope or a blood pressure cup, and put a needle on the birthday cake. If your family member is a photographer, have each person take pictures with disposable cameras. Decorate the table with little cameras and photos of the family. Have the baker put a camera or a picture of the individual on the birthday cake.
Preparing for the Holiday
For Christmas if you have a very large family, it may be best for everyone to only buy presents for the children aged ten and under. This will greatly save on Christmas shopping, considering most people still at least have to buy for their immediate family.
Another way to save money with a large family is to draw names. Have all the girls draw girl names and the boys draw boy names. Have each family draw a name from the opposite family involved in the celebration. Do this around Thanksgiving, and set a spending limit of around $25.00. This will give each person time to shop.
Also, drawing names may leave family members with a blank head, not knowing what to buy the other person. This could be true for your immediate family too. Therefore, it’s a great idea to make shopping lists or want lists. List a few reasonably priced items that you want for Christmas, and give it to the people who are buying gifts for you. They will appreciate it, because not only do they have to rack their brains trying to figure out what to get you, but they will also know they bought you something you actually wanted for Christmas.
Some grandmothers or mothers do not want their children or grandchildren to know which gifts under the tree are theirs. They don’t want a child to know what size present they are getting or who is getting what gift. They don’t want anyone guessing their gifts ahead of time.
Some people wrap each individual’s gift in different wrapping paper. Then, the “boss” writes the person’s name and the design of the wrapping paper on a list. During gift opening time, the “boss” uses the list to hand out gifts to the proper person.
A similar trick can work with a treat like a wooden ornament, like a horse, snowman, Santa, or Christmas tree. If you have approximately 8 horses, 8 snowmen, etc., you can attach them to the gifts. In this case, one particular gift receiver gets all of his or her gifts decorated with Christmas trees. This would follow the same for each of the ornaments. Each year swap out who gets what ornament. Make it so the children do not know which ornament is there; thus, making it so the children do not know which gifts are theirs. Again, the “boss” needs to write down the name of each receiver and the ornament each receiver is assigned to. This way during gift opening time, only the “boss” knows who gets which presents and can hand them out appropriately.
Santa is a special gift for children. As proof that he came on Christmas eve, the “big” Santa gifts aren’t under the tree until Christmas morning. All of the children should have to go into the living room at the same time to see the treats Santa brought. The cookies and milk they left for him the night before should be touched. A bite out of a cookie and a few drinks of milk are proof that he enjoyed his treats.
To make Christmas last longer and to ensure that each person’s gift is seen by all of the other members of the family, gifts should be opened in a circle. Each person should open a gift one at a time. After one person opens his or her gift and shows it off to everyone, the next person in the circle can then do the same.
The Joy of the Day
Enjoy a special traditional breakfast every Christmas morning. If there is snow, enjoy making snow angels, snow men, and throwing snow balls.
Buy a Gingerbread house kit, and make an awesome yummy Gingerbread house. Play some fun board games, or play with all the toys Santa graced you with. If you got clothes for Christmas, model them for the family. If you got your favorite book, find a quiet spot, and start reading. If you got a fun video game system or another electronic system, put it together as a family, and enjoy it as a family.
If you got an age-appropriate movie for Christmas, watch it together as a family, or watch some of the great Christmas movies, Christmas parades, or sports events that come on the television on Christmas day. Sing some great Christmas carols together. Here are the most popular Christmas carols:
The Top Christmas Songs
I'll Be Home for Christmas
Angels We Have Heard on High
It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
The 12 Days of Christmas
Jingle Bell Rock
Rockin Around the Christmas Tree
O Holy Night
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Creating Your Own Christmas Traditions
These are all just suggestions. You can make your own Christmas traditions based on the ages of the members in the family, the sexes of the individuals in the family, and the habits of the family. For example, depending on the weather, the men may want to go hunting. The women may want to go shopping. Typically, malls are open on Christmas day, and the family can go as a group to an age-appropriate movie together. Go all out. Buy popcorn, candy, and soda. Talk about the movie afterwards.
Drive around, and look at the impressive light displays at different people’s homes or at universities. Some places are famous for their Christmas light displays, showing tons of Christmas scenes lit up with beautiful lights. Take the whole family, bundle up if it’s cold, and enjoy walking around the Christmas light display a time or two. If there is a place to ice skate, rent some skates, and enjoy the sport as a family.
The Country's Top Christmas Events
Phone: 479-521-5776; www.experiencefayetteville.com/historicalAttractions.php Sparkling wonderland, Santa, Carriage rides on horses, Christmas music.
www.visitingdc.com/neighbor/national-christmas-tree-lighting.htm. The president makes formal remarks about the ceremony as he lights the evergreen.
A guided tour of private homes and public buildings decorated for the holidays.
www.coeurdalene.org. 1.5 Million lights. Lake cruises, North Pole Workshop, a Musical show, and festive boat rides.
www.cityofchicago.org/specialevents. Musical performances, holiday music, tree lighting, and a visit from Santa.
www.lawrencechristmasparade.org. Hot cocoa. Watch dozens of beautiful horses and wagons adorned with garland and bells.
www.ococean.com. Display of lights, performing song and dance, a visit from Santa, and free train rides.
www.macysholidazzle.com. Floats, Christmas music, celebrities, and Santa.
Holiday marketplace, handmade works, live Christmas music, and yummy food. Location: 645 E. First St, Bethlehem, PA, 18015
Gospel choirs, tours of the historical society, holiday celebrations, craft fair, wassail cafe, parade, readings, lightings, theater, and church.
Find something that everyone will enjoy, and go for it! If too many ideas get thrown in the idea pot, write them down on paper, put them in a hat, mix them up, and draw one idea. If you finish that idea in time, you could even draw a second idea, and fill up the day. Many people are so exhausted from cooking, cleaning, wrapping gifts, getting up so early, etc., that just chilling out, and taking a nap sounds very appealing to them.
The Country's Best Light Displays
Again, you must think of the ages of the individuals in the family. Some people may not feel up to a movie, because they are older and need more rest. Other people may be ill or somewhat ill and just need to rest and get to feeling better. Every situation is different. Christmas is a magical time of year. Make it magical for you by creating your own special family traditions!
The Country's Best Christmas Stores