I have talked at length about our Christmas Eve celebrations, games, food, and tradition. One newer tradition that we began a few years ago with all of our olders (who are now all olders!) is the Pass and “Steal” Grab Bags.
One of the most popular classic Christmas stories that we have read and/or listened to as a family quite often through the years is O.Henry’s Gift of the Magi. In this story, a young, poverty stricken married couple give up each one’s greatest possession in order to get the other person a Christmas gift. It is heart-warming and embraces the true meaning of sacrificial giving.
One of our favorite Christmas traditions is reading aloud from Christmas stories.
We have done this for so many years that we have a handful of them that we try to read whenever some of the grown kids are over during December–and especially on our family Christmas decorating night and Christmas Eve. (Many of our favorites are in Joe Wheeler’s “Christmas Stories From the Heart” books.)
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 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.