What are your favorite family holiday traditions? You’ll probably get asked that question a million times over the next few weeks, and each time, we’re betting you’ll eagerly rattle off five or six of them with the biggest smile on your face. And why? Because holiday traditions — especially those that involve your kids, parents, and grandparents — are the best! They never get old, no matter how young or old you are, and the good news is that everyone’s got them. Whether it’s waking up early on Christmas morning with the family dressed in matching pajamas or building a ginger bread house every Christmas Eve, they’re the sort of thing you live for. They connect us and help us celebrate this special time of year. So in the spirit of the holiday season, your friends at Murray Media Group wanted to share our favorite holiday traditions.
KELLY AND SCOTT MURRAY,
Owners & Publishers
At our house, new Christmas pajamas were always a big hit and signified that Santa was on his way. When the kids were little, we thought it would be cute to dress them in matching PJs or in the always funny onesies! Now they are older and we still do the onesies. The outfits are not as cute as they use to be, but it sure is funny and reminds us of years past.
My favorite holiday tradition is simple: a phone call to a family member on the morning of Christmas Eve. The first person to call (no texting) a family member and say, “Christmas Eve Gift!” wins bragging rights for the day and lots of laughs.
It all started with my Grandfather’s family. They would call their brothers and sisters and say, “CHRISTMAS EVE GIFT!” Back then, calls were very expensive, especially long-distance calls, as they all lived in different states. Calls like that were very special. My father and his siblings, my brothers and I, and now with our children, have all carried on the tradition.
Writer and Editor
As far back as I can remember, my parents always allowed my brother and me to open one gift each on Christmas Eve, all with the promise that we’d go to bed afterward so that Santa could get to our house on time to drop off the rest of the presents. Now that I’m grown, I carried that tradition over for my kids — and it never gets old seeing them react the same way we did. We also look forward to our parents’ Christmas party every year, where we get to spend time with cousins we don’t see that often.
My older sister, Elizabeth, and I had a fun childhood tradition that I still try keep today. On Christmas Eve, we would try every year to stay up all night to catch Santa. While we stayed up, we watched the 24-hour marathon of A Christmas Story that played on TBS. We, of course, as little kids never were able to stay up to catch dear Santa, but as we got older we still tried to stay up all night watching the marathon. To this day, even as we’ve moved out, had families of our own, and now live in different states, we call each other to make sure that we watch A Christmas Story.
My favorite holiday traditions that my family has takes place on Christmas Eve. The first thing we do for it is pull names out of a Santa hat, then we go to a store, normally Target, and we have about $50 and an hour to buy a gift for the person’s name we pulled out. Once we get to a location, we split up into groups. The best part of this is running through the store grabbing random things to make the other group think you are going to buy them a toilet seat or something silly like that, while also spying on them trying to figure out what they might get you. It is a tradition all about laughing and messing around as a family.
Social Media Manager
As a child, it was an unwritten rule that my sisters and I had to be up and ready by 9 a.m. on Christmas Morning. Now that we’re older, we all meet at my parents’ house at 9 a.m. wearing our Christmas pajamas. My mom cooks breakfast, and after we eat, we drink hot chocolate while we open presents. My mom has a rule that only one person can open a present at a time, so we can all see their reaction. I didn’t get it as a child, but now I understand that’s actually the best part.
SEO & Web Development Manager
Every Christmas Eve, the whole family (uncles, aunts, and cousins) would get together to disperse presents amongst everyone. At the stroke of midnight, we would all open our presents at the same time and get surprised by Santa Claus coming through the door giving the younger kids even more presents. Of course, the gifts weren’t much, but it provided a time for all of us to get together even if it was just for a couple of hours to live our perfect little Christmas.
Every Christmas Eve growing up, my brother and I decorated cookies for Santa and were allowed to open one present. I have fond memories of those traditions. As an adult, we have started a new tradition with my husband’s family. Every year, we all meet up right before Christmas; aunts, grandparents, cousins, brothers, sisters, spouses, and all the children (about 30 of us) and we walk around Grapevine Main Street. We have dinner at Esparzas, and we end the night at The Palace Theatre to watch It’s a Wonderful Life. I look forward to this every year!