What do you look forward to doing at Christmas? Do you go caroling? Make cookies? Read Twas the Night Before Christmas?
I can admit that I’m a sucker for holiday traditions—I have a list of things I want to do every year—but they aren’t all “traditional” traditions. We do, of course, put up lights and a tree and our nativity, but who doesn’t? Before I tell you about my favorite traditions, let me tell you about some of the things that I don’t do.
- Cookies. I enjoy holiday treats, and I’ve been known to occasionally bake cookies with others, but don’t expect to get decorated sugar cookie cut outs from me. I can appreciate the time and energy that goes into making them, I’m just not willing to do it myself.
- Classic Christmas cartoons. I’ve never been a fan of any of the Charlie Brown movies (will someone PLEASE stand up for that kid!), the Grinch scared me from an early age, and for some reason stop-animation makes me homesick (don’t ask me to explain it—I can’t). Don’t wait for me to watch Rudolph or Frosty with you. You go ahead. I’ll catch up later.
- Christmas Eve service. It’s not that I have anything against it, but my church doesn’t have one. Our pastors split their time between Michigan and Indiana, but their family is in Indiana. That’s where you’ll find them on Christmas Eve. Keep reading to find out where you’ll find me.
- One-piece pajamas. Thumbs up to those of you who like the Christmas onesie, but at some point I’ll need to use the bathroom, and Decembers in Michigan are too cold for that kind of nonsense (even if it does look cute in a photo).
Am I starting to sound like the Grinch yet? I promise you, that’s not me! In fact, my tree has been up since November 2! I just celebrate a little differently. Here are my favorite annual Christmas traditions:
- Chex Mix. But not just original flavor! Buffalo and Taco Chex Mix are popular around here, as are Snickerdoodle, Caramel, and—of course—Puppy Chow.
- Egg Nog. Yes, this is traditional, and I love it! I couldn’t stand the smell of it for years, but it’s been a necessity at our house ever since I got married.
- Christmas movies. There are the obvious choices: The Holiday, The Santa Clause (I-III), and Elf.There are also the non-traditional choices: While You Were Sleeping, Little Women, and Die Hard (I & II). I love these films!
- Classic Christmas movies. It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas,and Holiday Inn. Sigh. Yes, please.
- Buffalo Wild Wings. The Christmas dinner is always yummy—roasted veggies, turkey or ham, potatoes,pie—but whew! It’s a lot of hard work. That’s why we go simple for Christmas Eve: BWW, chocolate malts, and a movie. It’s one of my favorite nights of the year.
What do you do around your house? Which tradition do you dread the most? Which one do you love the most?
And if I don’t see you before then, have a safe and blessed Christmas!
My debut novel—Summer Plans and Other Disasters—is now available on Amazon! Signup for my monthly newsletter and you’ll receive the unpublished prologue: find out what inspired Calista Stephens to make those summer plans. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for writing tips, updates on Guiding Light, and more!