Merry Christmas: Gifts to the Family

Family holiday traditions are the best. Anytime you hear yourself or others saying “we always…” you know you’ve got a tradition. Because really, we always eat shrimp or we always woke Mom and Dad up at 5 am or we always went to some location, actually means you did it, not every day of every year, or even every year at a certain time, but certainly with sufficient consistency and memorably enough to cement the experience as tradition.

In my husband’s family, we always give “gifts to the family”, some kind of simple, shareable moment/experience/activity (a poem, a special snack, a beloved children’s book from back in the day, a song, fun drinks, a game, a craft). It’s a blast, and fills Christmas Day (or whichever day we celebrate) with fun-filled, memory-making moments.

Here’s a classic:


Jonathan dumped out a box of yellow LEGO, only plates (flat pieces), with the assignment: build a Christmas tree topper. The winner gets the place of honor: our very-bare-top tree. Eddie and Xander “helped” spread them out, and we all dug in.


As I may have mentioned before, building with LEGO is such an ageless activity. Some of us may be better at it than others, but everybody can do something. Some of us (*ahem* me) may even have surprised ourselves.


What made it extra fun was the time limit! We were given 15 minutes, which may sound long, but hunting for pieces, choosing a design, redesigning…it sucks you in!


Eddie was our judge, just to keep things interesting. The star on the right in the picture above was deemed the winner and soon took it’s place on top of the tree.


Later that evening it was Eddie’s turn to give his gift to the family. He’s just arriving at an understanding  of what it means and, like any preschool age child, was thrilled to dictate what everyone would participate in. His idea: build a gingerbread house, all together, and as we enjoyed the fruits of our labor and each had a piece, join together in singing “Jingle Bells”. It was, hilarious. “Oh, what fun!”

Yay, for family traditions! Have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season everyone!

2 thoughts on “Merry Christmas: Gifts to the Family

  1. I love this tradition in your family! I may have to steal it with our girls . . . when they’re little and can’t “buy” things seems like a perfect time to start.


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