Day 7: Christmas Eve Traditions

Christmas Eve Traditions

My family is pretty serious about Christmas Eve. I love that we have this evening of fun, and then we sleep late-ish and relax in front of the fire on Christmas. My dad has 4 siblings, so as many as are nearby try to make it over to celebrate with grandma. Lately, the group has been smaller with everyone moving away and making their own family traditions. It’s all good, but I can’t picture Christmas Eve any other way, and I love my childhood memories of the holiday.

If your family doesn’t have too many traditions, I highly recommend making some around a favorite holiday. There’s something about those things you do each year that helps you remember the past better and look forward to new memories each year. For example, our cousins have started having children of their own, and I can’t wait to see how these little kiddos grow up in our fun traditions and how the holidays change.

Of course, our holidays involve a lot of food — usually a Beef Wellington or Prime Rib —  with an entire table of desserts.

Since we’re all pretty musical, we give a little concert for grandma and the family. Stef and I always play the Sleigh Ride piano duet (we actually practice this year, so it should be better than usual), and one year we pulled together a quartet. 

I can always count on my aunt’s yummy shortbread cookies, too.

When we were young, we had a tradition where the “adults” play grabbag while the kids would watch a movie. We were pretty envious of the adults because our family is pretty loud and silly. There was always a lot of laughter and joking coming from the living room while we sat in another room watching The Santa Clause. Not complaining though, because that movie is a true 90s classic. Now we’re all adults… and we all participate!

We took really silly, unflattering photos back then… so I’m only posting the silly one of me, and a nice one of Stef.

It’s essentially white elephant, but with nice gifts under $25. So a combination of gift exchange and white elephant….

What nice gifts can you buy for under $25?? Well, that’s what I’m here to share with you!

White Elephant Gift Exchange Ideas

  1. Gift Cards: This is a go-to for an obvious reason, and let me tell you those amazon gift cards get stolen and move around…. so these may seem like a boring option, but are really awesome
  2. Books: If you’re the literary person in the group (almost everyone in my family reads a decent amount), then put a book in the gift exchange! Choose a bestseller from the year, and I’m sure everyone will be pleasantly surprised.
  3. Visit Home Goods: One year, I was buying gifts the morning of Christmas Eve. I ran into Home Goods, picked up a pretty journal and a box of chocolates, and called it done. Who doesn’t want yummy chocolates?! And they always have one of those Godiva hot chocolate gift baskets…. so great!
  4. Board Games: I really love giving board games… If you visit Target or walmart, you’ll definitely find a game within your budget. You can pick up a classic in a fun theme (like Star Wars Monopoly), or something totally new. Then after the grab bag, you can figure out the new game with your family!

PSA – board games are a great way to get out of awkward conversations with family members. If you think about it, you can’t have deep conversations while playing a board game. Just throwing this out there in case you need to diffuse a situation 🙂

What Christmas Eve traditions do you have?