Christmas is my favorite time of the year and a time I look forward to all year round. It may have to do with the fact that I was born in December, when everyone was beaming with the Christmas spirit, and even though we were poor and didn’t enjoy any luxuries, Christmas eve was always a day of abundance of food and we got to wear brand new clothes on Christmas day – which was such a blessing after a whole year of hand-me-downs. I would always dream of having a green Christmas tree. Each year, we would hunt down the perfect dry branch, plant it in an old tin can with gravel, top it with cement, and then paint it white or silver. In anticipation for Christmas, we already had a collection of bright and shiny chocolate candy wrappers and egg shells to decorate our branch. We also used cotton to make little Santa Claus heads with the shells, not because we believed he would bring us anything, but because we saw the rich people who traveled had Santa Claus-inspired decorations in their block-and-concrete houses and it was something to aspire. Sometimes we had Christmas lights on the “tree” and sometimes we didn’t, but our Christmas tree was always cherished as a beautiful tradition we all worked very hard to maintain.
Nowadays, we have very different traditions (although I am feeling nostalgic and now want to do the silver branch again!), but we still love Christmas. Since we don’t celebrate Halloween or eat turkey, we start Christmas probably before everyone else in the world. This year, we put up our Christmas tree and decorations up in early October! Even I thought it was a little extreme, but hey, my kids wanted to do it and it made them happy, so why not?
Being multicultural is quite an opportunity because we get to choose “the best of both worlds,” as they say, and celebrate Christmas with old and new traditions. I would love to hear your traditions and see if we can adopt one of them, but here are some of ours that you may find fun:
Nativities. Since Santa Claus has never been part of my tradition and in our culture, we celebrate El Dia de Reyes Magos, instead, I decided to collect nativities, so each Christmas, I get a new nativity (or two!) to help us remember the Reason for the Season. We wrap Baby Jesus up and don’t uncover him until Christmas morning… and we don’t exchange presents unless they are homemade. This year we moved into a new house and we don’t have a fireplace anymore, so I think the three wise men are going to leave little gifts the night of January 5th on their beds and not in the stocking as we’ve been doing for years. It’s usually an individual ornament that I picked up on sale the day after Christmas 🙂
Caroling the neighborhood. I do NOT have a good singing voice but I know the lyrics to every Christmas carol there is – in both Spanish and English. Thankfully, my daughters are trained singers and cover up my lack of talent as we go serenade our neighbors and read Luke 2. Since we live in Texas, it’s rarely too cold to go out and people are mostly friendly, even when they seem to celebrate a different winter holiday. My daughters also like to sing as part of our church’s Christmas party and any choir presentation there is, and they usually have a Christmas piano recital, too. I play no instruments whatsoever!
Christmas pajamas. Did you know that wearing pajamas to bed actually has health benefits? They keep you warm, they promote hygiene, and even prevent you from catching a cold. These are reasons to gift pajamas for Christmas, but let’s also talk about the adorableness factor! When you get matching (or somewhat matching) pajamas for the whole family, there’s a feeling of togetherness in the air and it makes for a great social media photo or Christmas card.
I was so excited when I received the invitation to partner with Kohl’s this year to update my daughter’s pajamas with America’s Favorite Jammies!
We had so much fun choosing from a variety of fabrics, styles, and details that are all safe and cute out of Destination Dreamland, Carter’s holiday sleepwear collection with new color schemes and holiday themes! There were so many jammies in Baby, Toddler and Little Kids sizes, all in cotton, polyester and fleece options.
Eliana has never had footed jammies before and she adores them! She was jumping up and down saying these were her favorites! With non-skid soles, safety tab keeps the zipper in place on one-piece fleece pajamas and elastic back heels keep footies on.
My personal favorite is the plaid nightgown with a matching doll gown! These nightgown sets are all so sweet and make me nostalgic now that Elisha and Elyssa are in their teenage years and not playing with dolls like they used to. Waah!
When you pick the right pajamas, you set yourself up to get the best night’s sleep. When we went to Canada for my keynote at Blog Jam, we were surprised at how much Eliana slept in her snuggly new jammies. Her cozy new pajamas created the right sleep environment for a full night of ZZZZZs even away from home.
I know there are different ways to do the Christmas jammies tradition. We wear our Christmas pajamas before Christmas LOL and some of my friends actually turn their old pajamas into a craft or keepsake of some kind. I’ve been trying to get my family on board with wearing pajamas everywhere but I haven’t succeeded yet. LOL
Volunteering. No one in my home gets “new toys” on Christmas day. We like to focus on giving back and being Christlike. Whether it is going to a soup kitchen or an elderly care home or adopting a family in need, we like to help others feel loved and cared for. Ever since we moved to the Dallas Metroplex, we have been going to the Soup Mobile celebration in which we give a donation, bring toys, and then line up to greet a lot of our homeless brothers and sisters in the area as they stroll through a red carpet and into a fancy sit down lunch at a hotel. It has been such a meaningful experience and a great joy for us to be a part of. I think you can combine the pajamas tradition with this one and adopt some families to give matching pajamas to… wouldn’t that be neat?
Show Business and Hot Chocolate. Every Christmas day we listen to Christmas music and every night at Christmastime, we watch a Christmas movie and drink vegan hot chocolate. We also read lots of Christmas books and act together in a play of the First Christmas. On Christmas Day, the girls put together a Christmas program, showcasing their talents and entertaining the family at home, but also those who tune-in live on social media. Maybe this year they will agree to broadcast their show wearing pajamas (since I’m always wearing mine). Wish me luck on that one!
Traditions are important, even essential. Traditions are special, sacred, and sentimental, and they fill our hearts with joy!
What are your favorite Christmas traditions? Do you include jammies in your holiday traditions? What are your pajama preferences? I am looking forward to being inspired by yours!
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