Dear Mrs. Fields,
My small family recently made a cross-country move for a new job and we are spending our first Christmas far from family, friends, and the holiday traditions we’ve always known. Before we moved, Christmas Eve was always spent feasting and partying with parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. While we’re excited for our new opportunities, we’re battling a bit of homesickness and not quite sure how to make it feel like Christmas when everything is so different. Any ideas?
This is a great question and one that many people will relate. My advice is to make the most of things by sitting down together as a couple or a family and creating your own new Christmas Eve traditions. Most people have traditions handed down to them, but few people get to tailor-make their own! If you need some inspiration, here are some ideas to jump start your planning:
- Family Game Night. Wrap up a few favorite (old or new) board or video games to play. Unwrap and play them one at a time. Think of creative ways to mix things up, like silly prizes or treats for the winners.
- Pajama Night. Everybody can always use a new pair of pajamas. Wrap up a new set for each person, then pose for pictures, read favorite storybooks, watch movies, or play games.
- Christmas Scavenger Hunt. Grab the family and a list of holiday items (Christmas lights, Santa suit, candy canes, manger scenes, reindeer, etc.) and snap photos of your group with each item. You’ll have fun hunting down each item, and you’ll have a photo history of your fun night.
- Karaoke Night. A simple microphone, speaker, and your favorite holiday music turns your home into a fabulous karaoke lounge. Most of us know all the words to holiday music anyway, so it’s especially easy for everyone to participate!
- Progressive Dinner. You can do this one of two ways. Join up with new friends to host a progressive dinner (appetizer, entreé, and dessert) at three different houses. Or, if you’re solo, pick three favorite restaurants and have each course of dinner at a different spot.
- Christmas Lights Tour. Most local newspapers feature the best holiday light displays in the area. Look it up and buckle up the family for a tour of the garish displays.
- Egg Nog Taste Test. Purchase 4 or 5 brands of egg nog and have a blind taste test to determine which is the best. You can do this with practically anything, such as fudge brownies, potato chips, or any favorite snack or treat.
- Soup Kitchen Service. Sometimes the best way to beat the blues is to do something nice for someone else. Contact a local soup kitchen or shelter and help serve a meal. It’s a guaranteed feel-good moment.
Any other ideas for Lucy? What are your favorite Christmas Eve traditions? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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