Christmas Traditions

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10 Christmas Traditions for Normal People

Last year Stephanie shared some of her Christmas traditions and this year I’m giving you mine!

My parents divorced when I was a kid so I don’t have many traditions that were the same year after year. As the years have gone on, new traditions have started and some old ones have fallen away- the great thing about traditions is you can start new ones whenever and if one just isn’t working for you, drop it.

I’m not a huge fan of intense, borderline crazy, sorts of traditions. Like, Elf of the Shelf will never be my jam. If you love spending 30 nights of your year cooking up all that insanity, bless your heart. I like not doing that. So get ready for some totally normal ideas for Christmas traditions that are manageable and probably won’t give you creepy little side-eyes nightmares.

1. Polar Express Party

A few years ago we started inviting our local family over for a really low-key holiday party. We do a pot-luck breakfast with casseroles, sweet rolls, fruit, milk and juices. The rule is EVERYONE has to wear jammies and bring pillows and blankets. After brinner (breakfast for dinner) we watch Polar Express and I make a big batch of homemade hot cocoa. It isn’t anything big but we love getting all the little kiddos together and spending a night in, celebrating with people we love!

Christmas Traditions

2. Helping a Family in Need

This is one of our FAVORITE traditions, especially the kids! Around Thanksgiving I start a discussion up with the kids about all the things we have- warm beds, a home, cars that work well, stable employment, good teachers, nice neighbors, etc. We also talk about how some families don’t have all the things we do and that the holidays can be a sad time because they don’t have extra money for gifts or a nice dinner. Then we find an angel tree and each of the kids picks out a child or two to shop for. When we go shopping we don’t mix in our other holiday shopping. We focus just on the names and what they would like. The kids really get into shopping for their child, taking time to choose the perfect gift. I love seeing them light up as they serve another person.

Several years ago, probably 5 or so, Noa chose a boy named “JoJo” from a tree. He wanted a red fire truck. Noa often brings him up during the holidays, wondering about him and hoping that he is having a good Christmas this year. These are sweet memories he will always have and I hope it has helped him learn more about being kind.

3. Holiday Movie Nights

We LOVE to cuddle up on the couches and watch all our favorite holiday movies. If it’s Friday or Saturday night and we don’t have to be anywhere you can bet we are all in our jammies, snuggled up together watching one of our favorite holiday movies:

Home Alone + Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
A Christmas Story
Polar Express
The Holiday
The Santa Clause
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Frosty the Snowman
Christmas with the Kranks
Just Friends

4. Not Mailing Christmas Cards

Every year. I print the pictures, buy the cards, address them, even, and I never get around to mailing them. I have now given up. Mama wants an assistant for Christmas.

5. Decorating the Tree

We usually put up our tree a few days after Thanksgiving. We turn on our DVD of a fire + Christmas Music, make homemade hot cocoa, and get our tree looking good! We have a huge collection of Hallmark ornaments from Luke’s mom and grandma that date back to the year he was born and the kids get them every year, too! It’s so fun to pull them out!

Christmas Traditions

6. Reading Luke 2

I hear Linus every time we read it but I love the message and it’s another way to be reminded that Christmas isn’t consumerism.

7. A Fancy Dinner

Luke and I love to cook. Our Christmas dinner is usually a prime rib and all sorts of yummy sides to go with it! There is just something so warm and cozy about spending a few hours in the kitchen together while the kids play with their new gifts. Eating the dinner is pretty freaking awesome, too!

Christmas Traditions

8. Going to the Movies

We rarely see full-priced movies at the theater but we like to splurge at Christmas-time and go to a movie the kids are dying to see.

9. Seeing a Live Performance

We don’t do this one every year but we love introducing the kids to a play or other holiday themed performance during the holidays. If you live anywhere near Salt Lake City, Utah, or are visiting family or going skiing, you should check out Hale Center Theater’s A Christmas Carol. You won’t be disappointed!!

10. Holiday Shopping/Christmas Lights

In Utah we loved to go see the Lights at Temple Square and do some shopping at City Creek. The Salt Lake Temple has an amazing display of lights and nativities. If you go on a night with warmer than normal temperatures be prepared for a CROWD!

This year we are excited to attend the Festival of Lights at the Washington, D.C. Temple. There are also a few other displays I’ve heard of that I’m excited to try!

Christmas Traditions

What are some of YOUR favorite holiday traditions?

Rad Mom Cool Kid

Rad Mom Cool Kid