It is always interesting to me what different holiday traditions families do each year. The matching pajama one is huge (and one I definitely love and plan to adopt once I have children), but there are simply things that I think are so wonderful that keep families unified and together each year.
My own family’s tradition was that we would go to Japanese food and a movie the day after Christmas, just me, my mom, my dad and sister. Since we are Italian, pastas, ravioli, lasagnas (as well as prime rib, honey baked ham, big salads, and potatoes) usually were on the menu on Christmas. I think once my mom made her amazing, famed enchiladas, but we never do the turkey route twice. (I actually didn’t even know Thanksgiving dinner part 2 was what people even did until recently).
However, we are not authentic Asian recipe cookers but we all love Japanese food so having a switch up on the type of meal after indulging on our traditional holiday food was always something we looked forward to. Obviously since my sister has gotten married and has two kids, we try to do this whenever we can, but it has adjusted. Though, we did go to Japanese food the day after Thanksgiving this year so that was nice!
Other than that, I would say for us, Italian food on Christmas is a thing! We also play this fun game called Left, Right, Center for a little money when the extended family is together and it was always a blast. When my grandparents were still around they LOVED it and were super competitive. (They played cards every Saturday with their friends up until they passed). So now when we play, it feels like we have a little piece of them with us.
Another tradition: I always watch Love Actually and The Holiday. Those two feel-good movies always do the trick and I adore them so I save them for this happy time of year! Oh and we opened one present on Christmas Eve too, other than that, Christmas morning was always filled with gift exchanging, jammies, the Christmas parade, cinnamon rolls, coffee, cocoa, and Santa…. with a finale of one of my mom’s delicious breakfasts! (And the first ornament on my tree is ALWAYS my Harry Potter ornament my Nana gave me).
As I start my own family with Jason, I know that we will adopt some things. He’s not a big pajama guy, but he may just have to accept the matching jams once we have kids… but there’s a few years for that so he’s in the clear for a while. I also know he will be ALL ABOUT including the ravioli and Italian food on Christmas Day. Also, his family makes Vietnamese Spring Rolls some holidays which are DELICIOUS and a lot of work but I’m definitely willing to adopt that from his side. (He’s 1/4 Asian so, I like the combining of the heritages via food!)
Here are some other great traditions I love that I have either done a couple times or have heard of people doing:
I’d love to hear more so feel free to share! And Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!