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Unique Christmas and Holiday Traditions: Special Family Memories

Updated on May 16, 2015

Decorating

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.

You can make a beautiful home just by decorating your home outside with simple lights and decorations.
You can make a beautiful home just by decorating your home outside with simple lights and decorations.
Some homes are so expensive and beautiful that just simple lights on the outside can make it look extraordinary!
Some homes are so expensive and beautiful that just simple lights on the outside can make it look extraordinary!
Outshine your neighbors by sparkling your home with beautiful holiday items decorated in bright, colorful lights.
Outshine your neighbors by sparkling your home with beautiful holiday items decorated in bright, colorful lights.
Go all out! Make your home one that makes people from all over the city want to come visit, and even show their friends how impressed they are.
Go all out! Make your home one that makes people from all over the city want to come visit, and even show their friends how impressed they are.

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.

This beautiful house decided to focus on the nativity scene as their decoration. It's gorgeous!
This beautiful house decided to focus on the nativity scene as their decoration. It's gorgeous!

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.

This tree beautifully compliments itself, because it is made up of two colors, gold and white. The white especially shines because of the solid white objects on the fireplace mantel.
This tree beautifully compliments itself, because it is made up of two colors, gold and white. The white especially shines because of the solid white objects on the fireplace mantel.
Often, using a variety of colors on a Christmas tree can make it look cluttered and unorganized. However, this tree, along with the greenery around the fireplace, looks gorgeous. It really brings out the Christmas spirit.
Often, using a variety of colors on a Christmas tree can make it look cluttered and unorganized. However, this tree, along with the greenery around the fireplace, looks gorgeous. It really brings out the Christmas spirit.

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.

These stockings are beautiful, but if you cannot fit names on stockings, consider finding stockings with different designs on the front. This way each person will know what design his or her stocking is and can easily locate it.
These stockings are beautiful, but if you cannot fit names on stockings, consider finding stockings with different designs on the front. This way each person will know what design his or her stocking is and can easily locate it.

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.

Here is an example of a theme party for a child. This child's theme birthday party is for a princess. Theme parties do not have to be for children only though. Adults can enjoy them too.
Here is an example of a theme party for a child. This child's theme birthday party is for a princess. Theme parties do not have to be for children only though. Adults can enjoy them too.
What a cool and trendy cake for a girl turning 30....that scary age! Make the holidays special! There's only a few a year after all.
What a cool and trendy cake for a girl turning 30....that scary age! Make the holidays special! There's only a few a year after all.

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.

Wrapping in different colors for different people ensures that no one knows which gifts are theirs..
Wrapping in different colors for different people ensures that no one knows which gifts are theirs..

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.

Special wooden ornaments, possibly homemade by the family, are another way to ensure children do not know which gifts are theirs.
Special wooden ornaments, possibly homemade by the family, are another way to ensure children do not know which gifts are theirs.

Santa

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.

Traditions

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

 
 
 
White Christmas
Winter Wonderland
I'll Be Home for Christmas
Angels We Have Heard on High
Sleigh Ride
It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas
Silver Bells
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

show route and directions
A markerFayetteville Downtown Square -
Fayetteville, AR
get directions

Phone: 479-521-5776; www.experiencefayetteville.com/historicalAttractions.php Sparkling wonderland, Santa, Carriage rides on horses, Christmas music.

B markerNational Christmas Tree Lighting and Pageant of Peace -
Washington, DC, USA
get directions

www.visitingdc.com/neighbor/national-christmas-tree-lighting.htm. The president makes formal remarks about the ceremony as he lights the evergreen.

C markerChristmas in Odessa -
Delaware, USA
get directions

A guided tour of private homes and public buildings decorated for the holidays.

D markerCoeur d'Alene Resort Holiday Light Show -
Coeur d'Alene, ID, USA
get directions

www.coeurdalene.org. 1.5 Million lights. Lake cruises, North Pole Workshop, a Musical show, and festive boat rides.

E markerAnnual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony -
Chicago, IL, USA
get directions

www.cityofchicago.org/specialevents. Musical performances, holiday music, tree lighting, and a visit from Santa.

F markerDowntown Lawrence Old Fashioned Christmas Parade -
Lawrence, KS, USA
get directions

www.lawrencechristmasparade.org. Hot cocoa. Watch dozens of beautiful horses and wagons adorned with garland and bells.

G markerWinterfest of Lights -
Ocean City, MD, USA
get directions

www.ococean.com. Display of lights, performing song and dance, a visit from Santa, and free train rides.

H markerHolidazzle Parades -
Minneapolis, MN, USA
get directions

www.macysholidazzle.com. Floats, Christmas music, celebrities, and Santa.

I markerChristkindlmarkt -
Bethlehem, PA, USA
get directions

Holiday marketplace, handmade works, live Christmas music, and yummy food. Location: 645 E. First St, Bethlehem, PA, 18015

J markerWassail Weekend -
Woodstock, VT, USA
get directions

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

show route and directions
A markerMagical Nights of Lights -
Georgia, USA
get directions

B markerOglebay's Winter Festival of Lights -
Wheeling, WV, USA
get directions

C markerMiracle on 34th Street -
Baltimore, MD, USA
get directions

D markerShadrack's Christmas Wonderland -
Knoxville, TN, USA
get directions

E markerRockefeller Center -
New York, NY, USA
get directions

F markerNew York, New York -
New York, NY, USA
get directions

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

show route and directions
A markerBronner's - World's Largest Store -
Frankenmuth, MI, USA
get directions

www.bronnors.com

B markerThe Incredible Christmas Place -
Pigeon Forge, TN, USA
get directions

www.christmasplace.com

C markerAlways Christmas in Canterbury Village -
Lake Orion, Orion Township, MI 48362, USA
get directions

www.canterburyvillage.com

D markerChristmas Loft -
Shelburne, VT, USA
get directions

www.stnicks.com

Comments

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  • Vacation Trip profile image

    Susan 3 years ago from India

    Wow. Amazing hub. Feeling like christmas has arrived. All the pics are awesome. Thank you for sharing. Voted up.

  • misslong123 profile image
    Author

    Michele Kelsey 3 years ago from Edmond, Oklahoma

    Thank you both! I love birthdays and all, but Christmas is my favorite time of year. And my family does so many unique things that I've never heard of anyone doing. I thought I would share them, so that a new family might start some great traditions of their own. :) Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Christine Ballano profile image

    Christine 3 years ago from New Port Richey, Florida

    Wow. I like how you expanded on the Various Traditions. There are some i forgot about. It's nice to know there more Christmas lovers out there!

  • misslong123 profile image
    Author

    Michele Kelsey 3 years ago from Edmond, Oklahoma

    I'm glad you enjoyed it. We just did our Christmas decorating and had so much fun! I love this season.

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