Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Eve Traditions

One thing that helps to create unity and closeness in a family is the observance of fun family traditions and customs, topped off by a few crazy inside jokes!  :)   These familiar activities create a sense of security and belonging and help to instill a strong sense of family identity.




Most families have traditions, especially around the holidays.  Sometimes these traditions just sort of evolve unintentionally; other times, they are created purposefully and maintained through planning.


Growing up, we always had a party supper of hors d'oeuvres on Christmas Eve.   That is a tradition we have continued with our family.  It makes Christmas Eve feel special when we serve fun, party food!







This has the potential of becoming a new Christmas Eve tradition -- Peppermint Punch




Another tradition we had growing up was to drive around and look at the Christmas lights on Christmas Eve.  Now days, we usually do that one or more nights in December, but not necessarily on Christmas Eve, which tends to get quite full.


Celebrating Advent is a tradition that we initiated for our family many years ago, and we always look forward to the exciting conclusion of our advent storybook on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day!




One tradition that has evolved for us is to end the day by watching a holiday movie on Christmas Eve, with various family members falling asleep all over the family room!  It used to always be "It's a Wonderful Life," but then we switched to "White Christmas" or "Holiday Inn."   Our movie choices may continue to evolve, but I think this is a tradition we are likely to keep.


A couple years ago the older boys bought Santa hats to wear on Christmas Eve (along with their tacky Christmas sweaters!)  This quickly became the "hot fashion" for Christmas Eve attire!   This seems to be one of those random acts that is becoming a family tradition.





My older sons started another tradition, too.  They now attempt to pull off an all-nighter every Christmas Eve.  Not sure this is my favorite one, but they think it is "legit!"


The most favorite tradition and highlight of the evening is always the annual Sibling Gift Exchange.  The children all draw names some time in November or December and then eagerly shop for "their person!"  They try to keep it a secret, and sometimes go to great lengths to throw someone off the trail!  I think the part they enjoy most on Christmas Eve is just finding out who had whom!!!  :)


We always start with the youngest person . . . . Chris had Bethany's name this year.


Hannah had Matt:



Bethany had Luke:






Luke had Hannah:



Matt had Chris:



Josh drew Joe's name:




Ashlyn had Josh -- for the 4th year in a row!!!





Tiffany's person was Taylor:



Joe shopped for Ashlyn:



And Taylor had Tiffany!! 




What a FUN night!


1 comment:

Rebecca's Refining said...

What a fun night you had! I wish I had kept up with the Christmas Eve party food buffet like mom....only to a smaller scale! I may try it again next year, as I really miss that tradition. It was always so much fun!

We like to drive around and look at the lights too, though we really didn't make any "special" trips this year to do so....high gas prices I guess, or just too busy!

I love the idea of sibling gifts. I think they help foster a spirit of giving, as well as love and unity. It looks like you had some really fun gifts this year! :)

I love the pics of the family! Everyone is changing so much, and getting so much older!

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