Decorating the Christmas tree, driving around neighborhoods to view light shows, and watching classic movies with a mug of hot chocolate are great ways to spend the final weeks of the year, but there are more fun ideas you can include. Whether you’re looking for unique customs or more activities for the family, below are 5 Christmas traditions to begin at home this year.
Skip the Stocking, Fill a Shoe
This easy tradition requires coins or baked goodies to be placed in your children’s shoes in the night, whether it’s the night before Christmas or early December. (We suggest a clean, mostly odorless pair.) Fill with traditional cookies or yummy muffins to tide everyone over until breakfast.
Search for the Christmas Pickle
A glass ornament in the shape of a pickle is hidden on a Christmas tree, with the first person to find it Christmas morning receiving either a reward or good fortune for the following year. It’s harder than it sounds, as the small green decoration easily blends into the tree. This tradition is commonly believed to come from Germany, but it’s likely that the pickle ornament was marketed in the 1890s as part of the importation of glass ornaments from Germany, causing confusion amongst consumers.
String a Garland
With more time at home, bring the family together to create some Christmas decorations. Forming a garland one evening is a great activity to keep hands busy while watching classic holiday movies. Will you pick paper, popcorn, or dried berries? (If you choose the latter, just make sure not to eat your supplies!)
Sip on Eggnog
Coming to America during colonization, eggnog is traditionally made with milk, cream, sugar, and eggs, served with cinnamon or nutmeg. It’s a holiday classic that many families skip due to the acquired taste it requires. It can be a decisive drink, so give this drink a homemade twist that will make it more appetizing to your family. Add extra flavoring for a more warming sip or try this eggless version if you avoid it because of texture.
Slice Up a Twelfth Night Cake
The song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” recounts an extended celebration of the holiday season, with Christmas festivities ending January 6. To celebrate, a special cake that has hidden gifts or a plastic baby is served. (Yep, this is a King Cake in disguise for Mardi Gras lovers.)
Which of these traditions will you try?