So, I’m writing this post waaaay in advance, because I’m taking the week off from writing blogs to spend time with my family for the holiday. I thought it would be fun to share my family’s Christmas Eve Traditions with you guys in honor of today being just that! I’m sure a lot of people share some of the same traditions, but if not, maybe these can give you some ideas for next year!
This year for Christmas, we’re going to my parent’s house 7 hours away from home, and I am sooo excited! I haven’t spent any holidays with my side of the family in a few years, so I’m really excited to this year! I know probably a few of these traditions won’t necessarily carry on to my own little family over the next few years, but I hope a majority of them do!
Let’s get started, shall we?
Homemade chicken noodle soup
For as long as I can remember, my mom would slave away in the kitchen making her amazing homemade chicken noodle soup on Christmas Eve. It’s one of my absolute favorite foods she makes, and now that I’m not eating a vegetarian diet anymore, I’ll be able to once again, enjoy the deliciousness! I think the longest part of making the soup is forming the noodles because they are also homemade – so worth it though! I cannot wait to dip a nice big hunk of buttered sourdough into this soup – I’ve been thinking about it for weeks!
One year, as she was dishing out the last bowl of soup before we all sat down to eat, there was a spider dangling above the pot, and she squished it, and it fell right into the soup, making it ‘Spider Soup’ for the years following. This always makes me laugh to think about, because she ate the soup anyway, and now we talk about it every year, and it’s still just as funny.
Opening a gift
I’m sure a lot of families do this, but every year we get to open one gift before going to bed. We always joke about “oh, I wonder what it could possibly be this year?” because there’s never been a year that it wasn’t pajamas. In fact, last year my parents mailed us gifts, and we opened our Christmas Eve present to find pajamas!
One year, we were all sitting around the living room after opening our Christmas Eve gifts, and my parents gave each other this look, and then my dad was like “do you guys wanna open the rest of them now?” and us being kids were like “uh, duh!” so we did. I think they thought that would stop us from waking up at the butt crack of dawn the next morning, but joke’s on them, cause we still woke up super early, we just slept less than usual from being up late the night before.
Putting out cookies and milk for Santa
Usually, about a week before Christmas, we make a ton of festive desserts including sugar cookies. I’ve never really been a fan of sugar cookies, or really just sweets in general, but I still always liked decorating them. Anyway, we’d always make a HUGE batch of cookies, I mean they were supposed to last a family of 7, plus go to a couple of neighbors, for close to a week, so I’m sure you can imagine the ginormous pile of cookies.
When my youngest brother Finn was about 3 or 4, he got done ‘decorating’ a cookie, then ate all of it except maybe a bite, put more frosting on it, slobbered a bit more on it, then proudly said “this one’s for Santa” and I don’t think I’ll ever forget how funny we all thought that was! We’d usually leave a cookie or two plus a glass of milk out, and find a couple bites missing along with a good amount of the milk gone when we woke up in the morning.
I think this is more of a recent one now that we’re all older, but after dinner and opening our Christmas jammies, we all gather in the kitchen to play a board game or two. If you know my family, you know that this is generally complete chaos! Everyone is loud and everyone wants to either win, or be on the winning team. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m pumped for it this year!
Everyone sleeping in one room
I definitely wasn’t a fan of this the last few years that we did it, but every year, all five of us kids would cram into one bedroom on Christmas Eve. One person in each bunk-bed, and the other three on the floor. Now that I think about it, this was one of my favorite things we would do. All five of us jammed into one small room, constantly shushing each other so Santa would come, or so we would actually get a little sleep before the crazy day to come. A few times, a couple of us would sneak out into the living room to take a little sneak peak to see what Santa brought or if he had come yet – sorry mom! I doubt we’ll be taking part in this one this year now that we have Basil, but it’s definitely one I want my kids to do too!
BONUS: Present peeking with my sister
So this one was never on Christmas Eve, but as the tree got more and more presents underneath it, my sister and I would wake up extra early in the mornings to sneak out to try to guess what each present was. We’d always rearrange them under the tree too to try to make it look better for some reason. This is another favorite of mine because we just had so much fun doing this. We weren’t doing anything wrong necessarily, but we still sneaked around like we were and I think that little “thrill” of one of our parents coming out and asking what we were doing was part of what made it so fun for us.
So, my family is a lot closer, I’m realizing, than a lot of families, but that’s what I love about us. I really hope my kids will be close and have fun little traditions like these as they grow up.
Thanks for reading!