One of the ways that we make our Christmas Eve super special is through special gifts and games (besides the traditions from long ago of singing carols, reading Christmas stories, and having the sibling gift exchange). Our Christmas Eve is a full evening of food, fun, fellowship, worship, reflecting, reminiscing, and play!
In the past few years as our family has grown, we could no longer fit around the table for Uno, Kemps, or Pit, so Ray did some research on group games and discovered something called “Minute to Win It” (we have been without television for years…and only in the past few with Netflix and Hulu do we know what’s out there! LOL). Anyway, he found things online, our daughter found some things for him on Pinterest, and he was off with new Christmas Eve traditions—Minute to Win It games.
One of the things that I love about our adult children having such close relationships is when they ask for group gifts (still!).
It is not uncommon for them to ask for things like these:
1. Restaurant gift cards to a place that they all want to go to together but that the college kids couldn’t afford without a gift card.
Christmas with college and adult kids can easily turn into a fiasco if family members are not careful to put other people first. Selflessness is the key to family harmony at all ages—but especially with college and adult kids simply because when someone has a bad attitude or is selfish, parents really have no recourse with grown kids. (It’s not like you’re going to send a twenty-four year old to his room!)
My advice for this is not going to be the most helpful for families with grown kids THIS Christmas. But families with younger children really need to grasp the idea that whatever is happening in your home among siblings now is likely not going to magically go away when they are adults.
My husband loves to do clever things all the time—pranks on the kids, jokes, etc. He also likes to do special things for the kids—and let them know that he was thinking of them. (Not just that Mom thought of a special thing and had him “sign on” for it!) I love this about him, and it makes our kids feel so well-parented by BOTH parents.
One thing that draws high school and college kids like nothing else is food. Seriously. Food. Especially boys.
As I’ve already mentioned, preparing and/or buying kids’ favorite foods and treats is a great way to their hearts. Smile (See Kids’ Faves worksheets available here for free!)
And, as I’ve already mentioned in our “Continue With Earlier Traditions,” we always invite all of the kids over for our decorating night Thanksgiving weekend.
Here are some tips from our decorating night:
Christmas story read aloud was truly one of the highlights of our year. I collected beautiful, amazing picture books that we read out of each afternoon during story time. Then as the kids got older, I began collecting story “collections” or “anthologies” to read short stories aloud at the dinner table, during unit studies, before bed, and while traveling by car. Still today we read aloud at least one Christmas story on family decorating night and one story on our family Christmas even—with all fifteen of us gathered around. We never tire of the same heart-warming stories year after year (though when the kids were younger and still at home, we did many, many different stories).