Fuzzy socks and warm pajamas are the definitions of warm and fuzzy, so turn it into a cozy Christmas Eve tradition, like the Medau family, of Houston, Texas. “We started by doing the ‘open one gift on Christmas eve’ tradition but I made it our own. Instead of letting the kids choose a gift from under the tree, I give them a gift basket that includes PJs, movies, snacks, and their favorite drink. Then we all put on our Christmas jammies, turn on a movie, and snuggle on the couch together. It’s such a fun, low-stress way to enjoy Christmas Eve,” says mom Amanda. Here’s the history behind some of our favorite Christmas traditions.
Adopt a charity
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One of the best parts of the holiday season is how it encourages us to look outward. To help those less fortunate and make someone else’s season a little brighter, the Patnode family, of Lakeville, Minnesota, established a giving tradition that’s been going on for three generations. “Every December, my parents give each grandchild a set amount of money that they are to do something charitable with, and on Christmas Day they each say how they chose to use that money,” mom Tracy says. “The best part is the kids chose very different charities every year, and learning about each one has helped us really feel a part of our community and see the needs around us. My kids’ favorites (so far) include a charity that puts on birthday parties for kids when their families have fallen on hard times, a shelter for women and children, Feed My Starving Children (a group that prepares and ships meals to third-world countries), an organization that supplies people with clothing for job interviews, a mitten tree at our church, the food shelf in my daughter’s high school, and an adopt-a-family program. It’s been such a blessing for our whole family.” (Need some ideas? Try these nine service ideas are perfect for families.)