T’was the Night Before Christmas: 9 Ideas for Creating December 24 Traditions

Jan Scott November 28, 2016

Do you have a Christmas Eve tradition? We never celebrate December 24 the same way’€”sometimes it’€™s just us, sitting by the fire, and other years we go out to someone else’€™s home. However, regardless of what we do and where we go, the one thing that’€™s always the same is the food. Once a year, on Christmas Eve, we indulge in copious amount of tourtiere, even if we’€™re going to another person’€™s place. Thick-cut slices are served slathered with ketchup, mustard or chutney, and it’€™s a must-eat holiday food that we look forward to all year.

Our evening is always simple and cozy regardless of where we are, and after a few years of repetitive food I can officially say that we have an established tradition. We put a lot of stock in the idea that we can create meaning for our family by having rituals, and the holidays are the best example of how we demonstrate this, simply because we don’€™t really try to do anything different.

If you’€™re looking for inspiration for creating your own family traditions for the holidays, specifically Christmas Eve, I’€™ve compiled a few ideas that will hopefully get you started:

  • Make traditional food from your cultural background, or just something that your family really loves to eat and serve it every December 24.
  • Make a gingerbread house with the family while listening to favourite holiday songs.
  • Gather a handful of friends, family, and/or neighbours and go caroling. Finish off the outing with hot chocolate and homemade cookies.
  • Organize a game of all-ages shinny at an outdoor rink with friends and family members.
  • Watch the same holiday movie every year on Christmas Eve.
  • Read holiday-themed books before bed. The Polar Express and How the Grinch Stole Christmas are perfect for younger kids, while older children will likely enjoy The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
  • Track Santa’€™s path on NORAD to see where in the world he is. Have fun estimating what time he’€™ll arrive at your home.
  • Have a Skype chat with family members who live far away.
  • Invite family, friends and neighbours over for a games night.

I’€™d love to know: does your family have a Christmas Eve tradition? How do you celebrate December 24?

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