Our homes are decorated, our gifts are wrapped, and Christmas Eve has arrived quickly yet again this year! With all the rushing around, it is good to take time to remember traditions, and the things that matter most to creating lasting memories. While discussing our plans for the holidays, each of us at Clayton Gray Home learned something new to try this year! We are very excited to share these ideas with you to possibly try with your families this holiday season…
1. White Elephant — when a guest RSVP’s to join you for Christmas Eve, ask them to bring a secret gift of a specific denomination (this does not have to be a high amount, or it can be something they would like to re-gift). This year, we chose $25. How it works: you pile all of the gifts on a table and then choose the youngest or oldest person to start by selecting one present. After opening, the next person picks a mysterious unwrapped gift from the pile or a gift that has already been unwrapped by a previous person. The funnier the gift, the better! However, it is better to go towards the end of the game because then you get to see more unwrapped and there is less of a chance of someone taking your gift!
2. Downsize Christmas Eve Dinner — don’t burn yourself out on the dinner before the Christmas Day feast! Make it a Do-It-Yourself pizza night with rolled out dough and toppings galore! Or a one meal Crockpot dish you won’t need to slave over the stove preparing. Depending on the size of your gathering — which “the more the merrier” definitely applies — ask each person to bring a potluck dish for an appetizer, side dish, dessert, or beverage. This is very important to delegate so you don’t end up with a feast of only pies and green beans… it could happen!
3. Christmas Lights — after eating to exhaustion, go for a nice post-dinner walk through your neighborhood or load up the SUV’s to caravan down the twinkling streets.
4. Light ‘Em Up — be an elf for the day and pay it forward by offering a charitable gesture or lending hand to someone in need. Donating money to charities and the homeless is always something rewarding for all, sometimes just writing a simple “Have a great day” in chalk on each of your neighbors driveway will ‘Light ‘Em Up!’ Stop by a local restaurant and anonymously purchase a family’s meal on Christmas Eve and then watch their faces light up with joy from the act of kindness from a stranger. Here is the list from lillightomine.com for more ideas:
5. Jammin’ Christmas Jammies - common tradition for many, but there are ways to make it more fun (or embarrassing) for some: *onesies *matching *give girls the boys pajamas and boys the girls pajamas *give basic Hanes Tees with flannel bottoms and then have a t-shirt decorating contest. ***In case you have not yet seen this very entertaining home video: #XMASJAMMIES video: 2013 Merry Christmas from the Holderness Family
6. Performances + Interactive Games — Memories made of sweet comical mishaps, impromptu dancing, and singing are the ones that last forever. Create new ones every year with: Christmas themed charades, Christmas Carole Karaoke, or a Nativity Play. Caution: beware of cell phone videos and cameras!
7. New Year Goals Time Capsule - ask each child, mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandparent and friend to write their goals for the coming year on a piece of paper and then lock them all up together in a safe place not to be read until Christmas Eve of the next year. It is fascinating to see your accomplishments!
8. Bake — make cookies and have a decorating party to have all ready for Christmas Day Dessert and Santa’s Reindeers!
9. Christmas Movie — Wind down in your new PJ’s with a good Christmas movie and a glass of eggnog (or baileys). Our favorite classics are: Home Alone (I & II), Elf, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Scrooged, The Polar Express, Four Christmases, Miracle on 34th Street, and of course… A Christmas Story.
10. Christmas Book — if you have kids who are too tired to sleep because Santa is coming, let them open one present: A BOOK for you to snuggle and read with them by the Christmas Tree glow!
We always enjoy hearing from you! Share with us your traditions below.
~ Merry Christmas Eve ~