Christmas is a time of traditions. Putting up lights. Baking cookies. Watching Die Hard. Looking up to see a miniature sleigh and… Eddie, with a man in his pajamas and a dog chain tied to his wrists and ankles.
(If you don’t get that last one, then you need to expand your Christmas movie repertoire. If you don’t think Die Hard is a Christmas movie, then you need to expand your Christmas movie repertoire.)
Some traditions are very traditional. Other traditions are, well, not. We’ll have more classic recommendations for you next week. But amid the holiday flurry and the mad rush to finish work and get everything ready before the big day, we thought it might be nice to have a little fun and offer some outside-the-box activities, gifts, and more for you to consider this Christmas season.
Whatever traditions you already have or new traditions you plan to start, what matters most is not what they are, but that you enjoy them with the ones you love.
The Better Alternative
The Gift of Adventure: What if Christmas came without ribbons, came without tags, came without packages, boxes, or bags? When people look back at their best memories in life, it’s not the bike they rode or the video game they played. They think about the places they visited with people they loved, so try something different and give the gift of a memorable trip this year. Announce at Christmas that you’re taking your family to Ruby Falls or a national park, or even bring them to an Old Time Christmas celebration at Silver Dollar City. Find an adventure near or far, and go make some memories.
Fun and Games: Do you hear what I hear? No, we’re not talking about the catchy song, but the popular kids game from Bible Games Central. This largely free resource is chock full of Christmas themed games and crafts for kids, adults, or the whole family. Discover the right one, and you could find your family wanting to play again every year.
Ugly Sweater Alternatives: We’re not ones to begrudge an ugly sweater party, and we don’t think you have to watch Kris Kringle fall off the roof to justify putting on a Santa suit (we’re looking at you, Tim Allen). That being said, sometimes you just want to wear some holiday cheer without a red yarn ball Rudolf nose protruding from your chest. That’s why you should check out Authentically American, a great homegrown company that has some fun Christmas-themed t-shirts, socks, and sweaters. If you’re looking for shirts less to rep the season and more to give as a gift that can be worn year round, Hope Outfitters has great options as well.
Last-Minute Advent: Yes, Advent is almost over and there’s only so much time left to commemorate this anticipatory season. But maybe you want to honor Christmas in your heart and try to keep it all the year… or maybe you just want to buy some Advent items now to have on hand knowing that you’ll undoubtedly forget by the time Thanksgiving comes around next year. Regardless, we recommend you get Advent Blocks. Little kiddos love the blocks, and bigger kiddos love the story that traces the whole ark of the Bible right up to Christmas. And the whole family will appreciate a great way to get into the true Christmas spirit.
Local Love: You know what they say: there’s no place like home for the holidays. If you’re looking for ideas for Christmas fun, go to your home church or another local church for a Christmas concert or play. If there isn’t one, be the change you want to see and spearhead the effort next year. You may not be able to get the children’s choir to sing the Hallelujah chorus, but we guarantee you’ll make hearts melt if you get a bunch of kindergarteners to act like farm animals in a manger.
The best way to spread Christmas cheer may be singing loud for all to hear. But wearing matching Christmas pajamas is a close second. Shop the Christmas Collection from Holy Pals for delightful Christmas onesies and pajamas with sizes for the whole family. This family-owned company also carries fun PJs for kids featuring other Bible stories like David and Goliath and Jonah and the whale.
Consider making your family pajamas a package deal by making them part of a fun stocking stuffer collection. Add in a special treat from Auntie K Candy, the Prepare Him Room Advent Devotional for next year, and some Warmies to go with their new pajamas.
The Bigger Picture
Hungry for more family-style content? Prominent twitter commentator, American Mind columnist, and all around pseudonymous superhero Peachy Keenan is authoring New Founding’s latest newsletter, Align Family.
Every week Peachy will share helpful tips for parents and discuss how we can courageously defend or reclaim our families from the insanity of modern culture. Sign up here!