What is Your Favorite Christmas Tradition?

If you celebrate Christmas, chances are that you have some sort of tradition. The holiday season comes with a number of things that many of us have enjoyed since we were kids.

I enjoy the tradition of sending Christmas cards. I think it offers a personal connection with friends and family, and I regret that it’s something that’s dying off. It’s also one of those traditions that I’m very conflicted about. Paper cards (I try to use those made from recycled materials) aren’t exactly the best thing for the environment. But it’s such a nice tradition.

It’s also fun to put up the tree and other decorations, and spend time listening to holiday music. But on Christmas Day itself, my favorite tradition is one that grew out of my husband’s desire for privacy and to enjoy Christmas on his own terms.

Our Stay-at-Home Christmas

We always have a stay-at-home Christmas. My family has had 11 Christmases together (our anniversary happens after Christmas and our son was born 11 months after we married), and all of them have been at home. We don’t travel anywhere for Christmas — even though we usually go somewhere a couple of days after.

Since both of us had childhoods that involved frantically opening gifts and then going to see relatives, we thought it would be nice to just stay at home on Christmas. No stress, no fuss. And it really has evolved into a stress-free day. We get up when we feel like it and exchange presents. Since our son has been raised this way, he’s all for it, too. He often doesn’t even get up until 7:30 or 8:00 am, and when he is up before us, he is content to enjoy the one or two presents he is allowed to open on Christmas Eve, so it keeps him busy.

After presents, we all do what we want. For me, it means sitting on the couch with a book (or, in recent years, with my Kindle). We don’t worry about making meals — there are plenty of fruit and veggies about to munch on — and we don’t worry about cleaning anything up.

This has become one of my favorite things about Christmas. The tradition of just enjoying a quiet day with no demands is great. Every year, I’m surprised to realize how much I have pulling on me every day. Christmas, with the absence of any obligations at all, is a contrast to everything else. It’s a needed break.

Of course, this doesn’t mean we’re always alone. We often have people stay with us for Christmas (not this year, though). When people do come to stay, they usually enjoy the whole thing. They can watch what they want, go back to bed if they prefer, or join me in silent reading. It’s very laid back, and we receive compliments on the way we do things.

This isn’t for everyone, though. Many people like the bustle of engagements and family activities on Christmas. I think it’s important to figure out what works for you, though, and then do that.

What do you do on Christmas? If you celebrate, what’s your favorite tradition?

About the Author

Miranda writes about financial topics for several web sites. Her blog is Planting Money Seeds, and her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger, is available on Amazon.