Making New Christmas Traditions



Until recently, my family has been the modern day equivalent of gypsies. We were academics, moving from grad school to post doc research to research facility, caravanning across America in the search of truth, justice and an even better research grant.  Rarely setting down roots for more than a few years, we were proud of the fact that we could pack a house, load a U-haul and unpack the essentials at the other end in under 72 hours not including travel time.

Now though, my hubby—we’ll call him the Doctor (he really is one so this in no way connects to my fetish with all things Doctor Who. Although I will admit the fez has a million possibilities)—has found his dream job and we’ve done something I never thought would happen. We’ve settled. Like settled settled. Like plans to make improvements to the house and do stuff to the yard at some later date settled. This is (OMG) permanent settled.

That’s when Oldest (we’ll refer to her as the Doctor-To-Be and BTW how cool would a female Doctor Who be?) said “Oh goody, we can get some of those Christmas Tradition things that all the other kids talk about? I mean really I’m sure my life isn’t complete without them.”

I think she was being sarcastic. That’s not going to stop me though. Because she’s right. We’re settled now. We have a house. And space. Way too much space most of the time. I can buy knick knacks to decorate because we won’t have to box them up and move them across the country soon. We can own a tree that doesn’t look like it came from a pile that said “Rejected by Charlie Brown Please Take For Free”. I can make the children carol. Even if they don’t want to.

So this year, right after Thanksgiving I sat the family down and said “let’s come up with Christmas Traditions!” Once they were done laughing at me we started thinking of some. We don’t have many yet. Most of them are general Christmas related rules. But they’re ours. So let me know what you think.

1.)    Christmas does not begin in our house until December 8th. Oldest has the right to a birthday that hasn’t been taken over by Christmas. (December 7th)

2.)    Zoolights at the National Zoo has now become a part of our Christmas. This year we had to go early (Oldest has a swim meet the Saturday after her birthday) but according to the kids Zoolights is a must from now on. A nonnegotiable must. There will be trouble if they don’t get their zoolights.

3.)    Christmas Decorating Sunday (Dec. 9th this year) will take a whole day. It will involve the following: trees, Christmas carols blaring over the computer speakers (but not the sucky old ones Mom), decorations and most importantly cookies. Lots of cookies. Most of them chocolate.

4.)    The first Christmas movie of the season will be done on Christmas Decorating Day and not a day before. We’re still working out what it will be this year—my vote is Muppet Christmas Carol, the Doctor hasn’t stated, Doctor-to-be is pushing for Elf and Baby Doctor-to-be wants the one with the reindeer and the nose (Rudolf).

5.)    Christmas Eve shall now be known as Doctor Who Christmas Special Marathon Day. We’re munching frozen pizza, eating cookies, and watching the Christmas Specials so that the next day we can feel thankful that if an alien disaster comes it’s hitting Britain first.

I have a few more things in mind for the actual day but I want to keep those a secret for now. So, what about you? Any Christmas traditions you can’t do without? Any you think I should adopt?

Tell me about one of your Christmas Traditions in the comments below and I’ll pick one commenter by random number generator and provide you with an e-copy of my debut novel Luck of the Devil in the format of your choice. Contest open internationally, no purchase necessary, blah de blah de blah.



Don’t forget to check out what the other authors participating in the hop  are giving away!

32 thoughts on “Making New Christmas Traditions

  1. OMG I love, love, love your Christmas eve tradition!! I would so do that except every year we all pile into the car and drive 700 miles to South Carolina to stay at my parents for a week and Christmas eve is taken up with making the Yule log dessert for Christmas day, last minute wrapping calamities, assembling the Christmas morning baked french toast and possibly going to the candlelight service.

    This year there may be a stealthy exodus from hanging around the table for hours after Christmas dinner to watch the new Doctor Who Christmas special. I’m dvr-ing it just in case I can’t sneak out since I’m the responsible child. Sigh.

  2. Watching Christmas in Connecticut on Christmas Eve with my mom — we watch it late after everyone goes to sleep and it’s the best!

  3. My favorite is putting up the Christmas tree and opening presents.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

    • You have more discipline than I do. PResents are like pringles. You can’t just do one.

  4. und Thanksgiving the adults draw names from whatever we can find to put them in. We all s till get for the kids, and Mom and Dad as well as my Honey . Then we get together sometimes Christmas Eve sometimes sooner and open those presents, the kids open from the aunts and uncles and grandparents. We have dinner then either watch Christmas movies or some of the family play bingo.

    Christmas Day is reserved for the immediate family, my son is older now so he doesn’t get up at the crack of dawn anymore , I have to sometimes wake him up now LOL. Open presents then have dinner and chill the rest of the day.


  5. My favourite Christmas tradition used to be making gingerbread houses. Now that I’ve read your Christmas Eve Doctor Who marathon idea, I think I’m going to adopt that as my new favourite tradition!

    • It’s a good time for all. Unless you live in London. Then well I’m pretty sure you know Stephen Moffat is planning your demise.

  6. Pretty much putting all the decorations, the tree and all we do it all together so it’s really fun!

  7. Even though the kids are in college, my husband still writes letters from Santa detailing their naughty or nice deeds for the year. They love reading them!

    • I may have to adopt that one. Unfortunately mine are not in college and they have long naughty lists.

  8. My absolute favorite Christmas tradition actually happens the day after Thanksgiving. We get the tree out and decorate it and the house. Once this is done, we gather around and watch White Christmas. And depending on how much holiday cheer we have had, we will sing and dance along with the movie. It is great fun, year after year.

    You could probably adjust this to fit in whatever day you put your tree up. White Christmas became “our” movie because myself and my 2 sisters would sing the “Sisters” song and do the dance during the movie. My grandparents thought it was so funny, we had to do it every year. Now it is tradition and until we get more girls in the next generation to sing and dance the “Sisters” routine, we are still expected to perform. *g*

    Merry Christmas and thanks for the blog stop.

    Bookworm (dot) judy (at) gmail (dot) com

    • Judy,
      that sounds a lot like what we did yesterday except that our family movie is Muppet Christmas Carol because all of us are huge Muppets fans.

    • That was planned for yesterday but then we got rain. Lots and lots of rain. So guess what hubby is doing next weekend. The good thing is, the people we bough the house from were apparently decorating nuts and so when they built the house they ran electric out to the trees in the front, we have electric outlets with surge protectors on the porch, it’s got timers on it that we can set. some of the trees still have the lights up.

    • That was planned for yesterday but then we got rain. Lots and lots of rain. So guess what hubby is doing next weekend.

  9. I loved reading about your new traditions that you are creating! I think it is great for families to have traditions. One of our traditions that we started a few years ago is that my sister, SIL and I get all of our 8 kids (ranging in age now from 14 to 4) together and make Christmas ornaments. We all live within 50 miles of each other so they kids love to get together as often as possible for any reason. On Christmas Eve, we always go the Christmas Eve service at church and then come home and let the kids open one present, which is new pajamas for the them to wear to bed. The next morning we get up and open presents at home and then go out to my mom and dad’s house and eat breakfast and open presents out there. Then we hang out and play games and stuff with the kids and watch movies and then eat an early Christmas dinner. Thanks for the giveaway. Merry Christmas and I hope you have coming up with new traditions.
    What movie did y’all decide to watch for decorating day?

  10. Me and my sister always share a room on christmas eve and stay up really late watching christmas movies. And even though I’m in my twenties now, I’m still not allowed in the living room until I’ve woken my mum up with a cup of coffee haha. We then gather all the extended family together on boxing day :)

  11. Cookies, we make cookies by the dozen. Last year it was over 50 dozen cookies. You can never have too many cookies.
    planterofhope at aol dot com

  12. I love decorating the tree every year. *Not too much into putting it all away though* We put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving. Our son visits to help his old parents with the huge awkward heavy tree box. We also get help from our kitty. We spend the day together and just having fun is great.

  13. I love doing the advent calendars. We have 2 that we use every year. One counts down with an electric candle. The other is a wall quilt my mother made. Every day we add another ornament on the quilted Christmas tree, saving Santa for Christmas eve and the angel for the top on Christmas day.

    Thanks for the giveaway. It was nice to hear you speak about being a writing mom at the Book Festival in Mt Vernon, too.

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