It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and while it may look different from years past, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy some of your favorite Christmas traditions. I love the warmth and happiness that the little things can bring during this season, and most of all, spending it with my family. So in no particular order, I want to share my favorite Christmas traditions that my family and I do every year.
1. Christmas crafts
My mom is an elementary teacher, so every year, she creates crafts for her students during the school day around the holiday season. Acting as guinea pigs, my sister and I put together some crafts before she takes them to school. I love arts and crafts on a regular basis, but the fact that these are Christmas themed crafts makes them even better. It’s so much fun making Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer out of red Christmas light bulbs or Santa Clauses out of fishing bobbers. Crafts are one of the best and simple ways to spend time doing an activity with your loved ones. Add some Christmas music or a movie in the background, and that’s a perfect winter night in.
2. Christmas decorations at the Disney World Parks and Resorts
Living in Central Florida, I have always grown up surrounded by everything Disney and going to the Disney parks. So, when Christmas rolls around each year, my family and I would always love seeing all of the decorations and Christmas trees they would put up at the parks and the resorts. When I say that these decorations are magical, I mean magical. We could make a whole night of it as we would ride the monorail to the different resorts and spend time looking at the decorations. There are also gingerbread houses that the resorts make every year, and we’re not talking the type you get from the craft store. Everything is big and magical at Disney, so why wouldn’t their gingerbread houses be the same? I’m more than a little sad that we won’t be able to do that tradition again this year, but I’m all the more excited for next year!
3. The Epcot Candlelight Processional
This tradition earns its own section as it is my most favorite part of the holiday season at the Disney World Parks. Growing up, my family would attend these shows multiple times. For others, it was the celebrity narrators that had them coming back year after year, but for me, it was the candlelight choir. The choir that was filled with golden robed high school choir kids, the green-robed Cast Members and the Voices of Liberty are Dickensian clothes, all singing along with a full orchestra. This production glows with Disney magic and the Christmas spirit. When I got into high school, I knew that I had to be a part of that magic somehow. Lucky for me, my choir had the opportunity to perform with Disney each year of my high school career. I was in complete and utter bliss during those moments on that stage at Epcot. I’m not afraid to say that that was my peak; nothing can top my time in those golden robes. Until it is safe again for the show to be put back on, you can find me watching the YouTube recordings of the show.
4. Watching White Christmas on Christmas Eve night
This is a tradition that started a few years back by my mom and me. We both love the Bing Crosby movie, White Christmas. When I say that we love this film, I mean that we love this film. I believe that it is genuinely the best Christmas movie ever. The music, the costumes, the aesthetic, the story, the holiday cheer…need I go on? It has the best Christmas song (“White Christmas”) sung by Bing Crosby, one of the most beautiful vocalists in music history. I honestly could talk about this movie forever. Every Christmas Eve night before everyone goes to bed, we will sit down with hot chocolate wearing our new Christmas pajamas and watch this movie. When you turn the lights off and sit in the glow of your Christmas tree with your loved ones, it’s a really special time. It’s also a lot of fun annoying your family with full-on performances of each song and dance throughout the film, but that’s just my opinion.
5. The Christmas Story
This has been a tradition every year since my siblings and I were little. Before opening presents on Christmas morning, my dad will read the Christmas story from the Bible. It gives us a moment to focus on the real reason for the season and allows us to acknowledge the blessings we have received over the past year. Even though this year has been a rough one all around, I can say this year I will be thankful for the health of my family, friends and the joy that this first semester at Florida State has brought into my life. All of which is due to the grace of God.
Whatever your traditions are, I hope that you and your family have a very merry Christmas!