Family Holiday Traditions

Family Holiday Traditions

Grace Roberts

Most of us have some sort of holiday tradition specific to us. Some people have games, foods, or gatherings unique to them and their families. These traditions reflect the true meaning of the holidays; spending time with the ones we care about and appreciate each others’ company. While they do differ, some can overlap between families. My family has small traditions that some could consider different.

Firstly, we have our Christmas dinner the night before the actual holiday, usually having turkey or ham. We host the gathering and have our extended family visit to enjoy the company of those we care about. Christmas Eve is when we have a lot of our traditions. Rather than the day of, on Christmas Eve, my siblings and I wake up to open our stockings, relax, and help prepare for company. That night after our guests leave, we spend the night in the living room and watch Christmas movies before falling asleep. My parents regularly wake up insanely early, so the whole family is up between 4 and 5 a.m. We open our presents early, exchanging gifts before most of us swiftly fall back asleep a few hours later. The actual day of Christmas is very calm for my family. Besides opening presents, we watch movies together and eat leftovers from the previous night. We’ve made a habit of watching A Christmas Story annually either Christmas Eve night or the next morning. My favorite holiday movie ever since I was little is Home Alone.

The tradition of our big family dinner passed through my mom’s side. She said that as a child, her grandparents would host their families on the eve of Christmas so that each family could still celebrate Christmas at their own home with their children. As for the kids sleeping in the living room by the tree the night before, it started when my oldest sister was little and did the same at my grandparents’ house one year. We just started doing it annually until it turned into a tradition. 

Many of us have some small things we do differently in our families than others, especially when it comes to special celebrations. These habits usually have some place of origin even, if it is just our parents deciding some things are more convenient ways to celebrate. This holiday season, don’t get wrapped up in the details of it all. Spend time with those you value and celebrate in whatever way you prefer.