Your Guide to a Traditional Christmas

Getting back to basics? Here's everything you need for a traditional Christmas.

There's just something about a traditional Christmas. Depending on your nationality, a traditional Christmas might mean different things. For many people, though, the thought of traditional Christmases brings to mind the classic Victorian or colonial Christmas -- something simpler, more focused on family and less on presents.

Having a traditional Christmas is a lot easier than you might think, even in these commercial and busy days. With a few carols, activities, and traditional Christmas recipes, you can have the perfect Christmas day.

Traditional Christmas dinner

Of course, the centerpiece of a traditional holiday is your traditional Christmas dinner. It's not hard to find recipes for traditional Christmas foods online, but there's a more fun (and more authentic) way to get them: browse traditional Christmas recipes from your own family! Talk to parents and grandparents, look through recipe books, and find out what your parents remember fondly from their childhood days.

If you have family photos from traditional dinners, try making placemats: just paste them on construction paper and use clear sticky plastic to waterproof them. Add some Christmas embellishments and you're done! Between the traditional Christmas foods and the good ol' fashioned homemade placemats, it's a dinner to remember.

Traditional Christmas activities

So what do you do if you want a traditional Christmas spent with the family? Well, for one thing, turn off the TV! Sure, there might be certain movies like It's a Wonderful Life or The Grinch that have nostalgic value, and by all means watch them. But don't let anyone slump in a chair watching a football game.

Instead, plan family activities that everyone can enjoy. That might mean singing a traditional Christmas song, doing crafts together, wrapping presents as a family, volunteering, roasting marshmallows, or going sledding. There are all kinds of fun activities you can do together that evoke memories of days gone by.

Traditional Christmas Gift Giving

Let's face it: the kids expect presents. But don't let Christmas become a commercial holiday at your house. Buy the kids one or two nice storebought gifts and a few stocking stuffers and from there, let creativity take over. Encourage the entire family to learn about what types of gifts people gave before the 24 hour shopping mall, and get them involved in making homemade gifts themselves.

A traditional Christmas gift is one you'll treasure because of who gave it and what it represents rather than what it is. Sure, it's nice to get big ticket items -- but in the end, it's Grandma's handknit scarf you tend to wear with love.

Many people have complained about the holidays in our modern times, so good for you if you've decided to take action. Make sure that your family enjoys a warm sense of togetherness this Christmas season and get them involved in planning your traditional Christmas together.

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