Your Traditions (In Motion)
In the last article, we provided questions and a worksheet to spark discussion between you and your spouse. The challenge was to come up with new holiday traditions of your own.
So… Did you do that? If not, use this handy activity sheet we made:
If so, we hope your conversations led to fruitful results! If not, don’t worry! These conversations don’t happen overnight, and honestly, they shouldn’t.
Either way, we had a blast putting together this article to provide you with some fun, out-of-the-box ideas for the Christmas season to help get you started.
Ideas for you as a couple:
Arguably the biggest challenge with making plans around the holidays is the finite amount of time that you actually have. In fact, we’re convinced that time somehow moves faster during the holidays!
The good news is that our suggestions might actually help you feel like you can slow down just a bit amidst the hustle and bustle.
The Mystery Christmas Movie Randomizer
This one’s a whole ton of fun!
All you need to do is wrap your Christmas movies in Christmas wrapping paper, and each night that you can dedicate to a movie night, unwrap a movie, grab some popcorn or other snacks, and cozy up on the couch together.
The best part about it is, even though you know your library of movies, it will still be a surprise for every movie night!
If you are digital-only folks, you can still make this work! Simply write down the movies you own or can rent digitally on pieces of paper. Pop them into a holiday vase or bowl, and draw one on movie night.
Quick side note from the folks on our team: the guys tend to think that Die Hard absolutely counts as a Christmas movie…probably the best Christmas movie ever made, BUT, the gals around here disagree. Their favorite: Elf.
Make Christmas Cards
This one isn’t a “new” idea by any means, but making Christmas cards together is always a good time. Get creative! Design your own, or buy cards and personalize them with a scripture that means something special.
Many nonprofits collect cards during the holidays for senior citizens, youth aging out of foster care, or inmates in correction facilities. This could be an opportunity to share cards with an organization as an act of mercy or service to those in need of hope.
No matter what you choose to do, your card-making venture can provide a fun and inexpensive activity and bless others. Take it from the grandmas we know: a hand-written notes from a loved one wins every time!
Attend Mass Together
If attending the Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day Mass hasn’t been a tradition of yours, we highly encourage it.
Even though you may be faithful members and attendees of your local parish, there is just something special about joining your brothers and sisters to observe and celebrate the beauty and holiness that the holiday season brings.
Your parish bulletin or website should provide dates and times for regular and special services, and you may be able to find special candle light or midnight masses on Christmas Eve at nearby churches if yours doesn’t have one.
In the digital age, some churches also offer mass via livestream. This would give you the opportunity to participate virtually from the comfort of your own home. A simple web search will let you know what’s available in your area, but here’s an option from a parish near us: https://shrinechurch.com/
Ideas for celebrating with your new family:
Now that you’re married, your family becomes your spouse’s family and vice versa. Assuming you both have good relationships with your families, it can be fun to blend some Christmas traditions between both families or create new ones.
Hot Chocolate Bar and Game Nights
If you really want to surprise your parents and in-laws, schedule a fun hot cocoa and game night on a day that isn’t the expected family Christmas party. This shows them you’re intentional about getting to know them better, and it will help your in-laws and parents get to know each other better as well.
Set up all the ingredients for hot cocoa, and go crazy with the toppings! Marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate shavings, sprinkles, and crushed candy pieces all taste great in hot cocoa. Gather a bunch of board games that work well for getting to know new people. If you really want to see everyone’s true colors, crack open Monopoly and let the good times roll. 😉
Attend Mass Together, as a Family
As we mentioned before, if this hasn’t been a tradition of yours, or your family of origin’s, we highly recommend it.
Even if your in-laws or your own parents aren’t necessarily churchgoers, they may be more likely to accept an invitation to mass around the holidays.
Many people return to past traditions or are open to exploring religion during the holidays. It never hurts to ask!
Most of all… be present.
The holidays can become so filled with activity that we lose sight of the important things. “Trying” to be present with family and friends becomes a paradox in and of itself. The only advice we can give is to see each moment for what it is — temporary.
That’s what makes a moment special.
If it could last forever, it would become boring.
When you can, stop. Breathe. Take a look around.
There is so much beauty in the simple things.
We pray that God will bless you and keep you as you celebrate together.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous New Year.