One of our favorite parts of the holiday season is the holiday traditions! It is fun to hear about others’ family traditions and, of course, partake in our own! We have noticed that as our own family has grown older and larger that some traditions have stood strong while also enjoying new traditions. We thought it would be fun to share some of the traditions that we follow, we even asked some of our Healing Hippy community members to share theirs. We have traditions that span the entire season, from holiday preparation to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, what a joyous time of the year.
When our family was younger, and all the children still lived at home we would attend an event in our small Idaho town called “The Christmas Tree Fantasy”. The event kicked off the week after Thanksgiving, every organization in town would decorate a Christmas tree to display and then auction off for local charity. Every school had a tree, so the kid’s ornaments would be there, local choirs would provide a holiday concert. There was a craft sale, and lunch was served, but our favorite part was the giving tree. On the tree there were Christmas wishes from families in need. We would choose tickets for children of similar ages to our own so we could give to someone else. It was a tradition that faded away as everyone moved away, but the memory will remain.
New traditions have replaced that one based on time and space. Our Junior Chief Hippy has started a new tradition with her SO, after picking out their Christmas tree, they spend an evening making ornaments. Everything is handmade, two to three different crafts are made while watching holiday movies and drinking hot chocolate.
Christmas Eve & Christmas Day
As traditions change, one has held fast, just been passed down to the next generation. Christmas pajamas. Always the only present opened on Christmas Eve, a new set of pj’s makes the night special. The Chief Hippy also started a new tradition with her grandchildren, each day of December, a new book is opened in the family, it’s sort of like an advent calendar of books, ending on Christmas Eve with a holiday themed book.
We asked a couple of our community members what their favorite traditions were.
“My favorite family tradition is getting together on Christmas Eve for appetizers, games and carols. We stay up late eating an amazing spread of meats and cheeses, shrimp cocktail and potato soup. All while putting together a big puzzle, playing Scrabble and singing songs from my grandparent’s old music books. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”
“We celebrate Christmas with brunch, an open invitation to everyone in the family to come by and enjoy a bite to eat and connect with family.”
- Trisha (Arizona)
In our house on Christmas day the children were not allowed to wake us until 8 in the morning, calls would go out to the grandparents to tell them to come over. The kids felt as though that was agony to have to wait so long to open presents, they were allowed to retrieve their stockings but couldn’t touch their gifts.
We also had snoopers in our family who would like to shake the presents and always figured out what they were getting before Christmas day, so we stopped putting names on the presents and began wrapping them in specific wrapping paper. On Christmas morning, a scrap of wrapping paper would be in the bottom of each stocking. That’s when they finally knew what was theirs.
We thought this tradition was fun.
“Each tag doesn’t say exactly who it’s for, instead, to make the unwrapping last longer, a secret name related to the gift. For example, a book related to World War II, would read “To: Eisenhower, From: Churchill”. The entire family guesses who the gift is for and what the gift is. The best part is that at least once a year the giver of the gift forgets what they wrote and who the gift is for, so the wrong person opens it.”
- Craig (Minnesota)
Sometimes following a tradition can seem like a lot to handle. It is okay to let go of the ones that are too much and begin new ones. The purpose is to make memories with our loved ones and spend time together. We wish everybody a very Happy Holiday.