One of the best things about the holidays is getting to experience all of my favorite traditions with my loved ones. My family traditions aren’t all “traditional,” though. While some are likely a lot like the ones your family does, others are… not. Here are the five traditions I’m most looking forward to this year.
Christmas Eve South of the Border Style
Many years ago my grandma decided that, since she was going to cook an epic meal on Christmas Day, she didn’t want to cook on Christmas Eve. Instead, she suggested that we all go out for Mexican food. We did, and had an incredible time eating enchiladas and drinking margaritas (well, grandma drank the margaritas… I was twelve). We’ve done it every year since, and though my grandma is no longer with us, our Mexican dinner on Christmas Eve always makes me think of her and smile.
Holiday Movie Marathon
My favorite Christmas movie is Elf, Mike’s favorite is Christmas Vacation, and my mom’s favorite is The Bishop’s Wife. And “A Christmas Story?” It’s the favorite of just about everyone else in our family. So, in order to make no one’s favorite goes unseen, we have a movie marathon every year on the last Saturday before Christmas with lots of candy canes, eggnog, and Christmas cookies. This year we plan to stream our favorites on our Xbox 360, which will make things go a lot smoother (not to mention save us the trouble of having to dig out our old, scratchy DVDs).
Every year my mother buys a new ornament that is representative of the year that we just lived. For example, the year we took our first family trip to Hawaii she picked up a pineapple ornament. She’s been doing this for over thirty years, and today I can relive my family’s entire life together just by looking at her tree. I started doing the same tradition the year I moved in with my husband, Mike, and we now have eight ornaments reflecting, among other experiences, the years our daughters were born and the year we bought our first home.
Pre-Christmas with Friends
I’m lucky to have lived my whole life in the same neighborhood as two of my best friends, Tara and Diane. We always saw each other around the holidays back in the day (usually to show each other what Santa brought us), and now we have a tradition of getting our families together for a pre-Christmas celebration. We have dinner, exchange gifts, and catch up. Last year things got a little out of control with all of the little ones running around (six in total), but this year the kids are chomping at the bit to play “Just Dace 4” on our Xbox 360 + Kinect, so I expect things will be a little less crazy!
This is a tradition I’d like to start with my family, but I’m not sure going door-to-door singing “Frosty the Snowman” will appeal to the rest of my family. I always loved caroling in my neighborhood, and I think it would be an incredible experience for my daughter. She might be a bit too young this year, but if I can convince her I’m going to make it happen!
What are your favorite holiday traditions?