The Holidays and Christmas is a great time of year to spend with family and loved ones and to join in with the traditions of the season.
Whether you’re looking to start some traditions of you own or are thinking of adding to your family’s festive activities, this list of 5 Family Traditions for a Memorable Christmas Eve should give you some inspiration!
The Christmas Pickle
Have you heard of the Christmas Pickle? Years ago when my mother was Christmas shopping she found a neat little glass pickle ornament in a small shop back home. It had a tag that explained that it was an old German tradition to hang a glass pickle ornament on the tree on Christmas Eve after the children had fallen asleep. The pickle is supposed to be well hidden on the tree and in the morning when the children wake up whoever is first to spot the ornament receives a little prize!
Ever since my mother found the glass pickle we’ve been doing this every year! Since I now have a family of my own one year my sister gave us our very own Christmas pickle as a gift. It might seem silly but this has become tradition for us. 🙂 On a side note this could also be done with any special ornament!
Don’t Forget Rudolf!
Many people have the tradition of leaving a plate of cookies and a glass of milk out for Santa on Christmas Eve. I can remember ever since I was a little girl our family has been leaving carrots out for the reindeer. Santa’s quite the large man so it should go without saying that the reindeer might need a little snack to have enough energy to keep pulling the sleigh the rest of the night!
I remember waking up on Christmas day and one of the first things I saw was Santa’s plate of cookies with only a few crumbs left behind and right next to it a carrot top that looked like it had been munched on by a reindeer!
Make Popcorn and Cranberry Garlands
Making garlands from popcorn and cranberries is an old-timey tradition for some families and I remember doing this during the holiday season at my grandparent’s house as a kid. It’s so simple to make these garlands and they actually can look quite lovely. For this I would recommend using a thick strong sewing needle and some strong thread. You can make the garlands as long as you like and string them up on the tree or elsewhere in the house. If you’re doing this activity with kids just make sure they’re old enough to use the needle and thread without poking themselves.
See the Holiday Lights
After dinner it might be a nice idea to go for a short drive or walk (if it’s not too cold!) in the neighborhood to look at all the Christmas lights and decorations. I remember how exciting it used to be as a kid pressing my face against the glass of the car windows to see the lights a well as possible! lol
Christmas Eve Tree Trimming
When my mother was a child my grandparents would wait until Christmas Eve after the children had all gone to bed to put up the tree and all the trimmings. My mother always talks about this memory as being so special to her as it was almost like magic when they woke up in the morning and everything was so beautiful and bright. The excitement on Christmas morning wasn’t just the gifts that they might receive but was also the whole experience of waking up to everything that very morning. The anticipation of what would be there in the morning made it even more special! 🙂
One more thing that my mother noted about her Christmas mornings as a child was that she and her siblings had to wait until they heard the wood furnace turn on in the morning before they could come downstairs and see all the ‘magic’!
Whatever you do as a family on Christmas Eve or over the holidays is special in an of itself because of the quality of the time spent together. Just remember that you don’t have to do something over the top or expensive to make lasting Christmas memories.