Christmas Tree Night is the best thing! Yep, as the name suggests, the night is dedicated to unboxing and decorating our Christmas tree. For us it pretty much marks the start of the festive season and, because of that (and mainly because I’m a loony toon), I kinda made a whole event out of it. Whaaat, tis the season to be extra, fa la la la laaa la la la laaaaa! *cough* Right, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, allow me to share all the deets of a typical “Christmas Tree Night” ‘round about these parts. I mean, one does not simply just set up a Christmas tree. There has to be festivities, food and flair! We are making memories, with our kids, after all! Here’s how it all goes down in our neck of the woods:
Timing is everything! I usually wait until mid-November to set up the tree because one needs atleast a full 30 days with ones Christmas tree. Right? Anyways, I often get a few new ornaments to add to our growing collection of Christmas tree trinkets. Some of our ornaments holds a special memory, like the red beaded cross Chris and I bought while on honeymoon. We sometimes get really into it and hand craft a fresh batch of ornaments (and by sometimes I’m actually talking about literally one time). If you’re that kind of mom (I’m not that kind of mom), you could make it a tradish: each member of the family could create one new tree ornament to add to the tree each year. Such a cool way to create memories.
So you must know that when I unleash my inner jingle, I jingle all the way, baby! Christmas Tree Night is usually my way of letting the family know that, yep, it’s Christmas carols time! I have quite a collection of Christmas CD’s (totally unashamed about it) and I’m totally convinced that my collection of Christmas music can turn even the Scroogiest of Scrooges into a festive fairy! As you can imagine, Christmas Tree Night is not complete without some of our favorite carols playing in the background.
You guys, Christmas Tree Night wouldn’t be complete without snacks. (But, I mean, is anything complete without snacks? Rhetorical question, the answer is no.) We keep it light and easy because we cannot share our Christmas tree decorating time with food preparation time. Some of our Christmas Tree Night staples include a bunch of family faves that have been passed down from previous Christmas Tree Nights. And that is how tradition is birthed you guys. Our staples include:
Loaded hot dogs. These are the same as normal hot dogs, except we only have it with freshly made relish (well, its tinned tomato and onion, don’t look at me like that Susan) instead of tomato sauce. I call it “loaded” because you can add a bunch of things to the relish and make it as festive as you want. Go wild with the green peppers, bacon bits and fresh garnish. I usually top it all off with cheese.
Fancy crackers and toppings. The kids love this because it makes them feel all special and grown up-y It’s basically Salticracks with adult-y toppings, you guys. Things like muscles and oysters, cream cheeses and tuna mayo.
Cream buns. As you can tell, the trend, for Christmas Tree Night is to make the food as quickly as possible because I don’t want to be slaving away in the kitchen when everyone else is having fun setting up the tree. So guess what, you guys, I feed my kids store bought cream buns and I feel not one ounce of guilt at doing that. Theresit.
Christmas milk. So I came up with this drink and I know it probably won’t, like, win me an award or anything. I call it “Christmas milk” and it’s literally a mix of custard and normal milk, topped with cinnamon. This is my alternative to eggnog and can be served hot or cold. You are literally going to make your custard as normal, but instead of a thicker consistency, keep it as runny and milky as possible without losing the flavor. Top it up with cinnamon and vanilla sticks and ta da. (Yes, I literally just told you how to make drinking custard. Whatevs. It’s Christmas Milk, okay?)
When Chris and I started dating, and it was just four of us, we started this little tradition, where we would each make a paper ornament to hang on the tree. Each of us could cut out our own shape and decorate it with glitters and colors. This ornament was special because you had to write down how God had blessed you over the past year, and some of the things you were thankful for. I’ve managed to keep most of these paper ornaments but I’m so terrified that I will lose them!
And that is how the Christmas memory book was birthed. This memory book will only come out on Christmas Tree Night and each person will get a chance to write down their thoughts, or draw a pic, detailing their past year. (No peeping!) The book is then packed away until next year Christmas when we would all take turns to page through the book before adding our new ones.
Christmas Tree Night is the perfect time to start a new tradition with your kids. How about creating your own ornaments or hanging up special baubles, that represent each member of the family. There are so many fabulous ideas online! Find a few that works for you and your family.
I love, love, love the concept of Christmas inspired pajamas, you guys! In fact, I’m totally eyeing some pajamas that I had spotted over on The Milk Memoirs. Christmas Tree Night is a great time to give your kids brand new jammies… I don’t know, wearing something new just increases the excitement somehow. And, I mean, who doesn’t love a cute pair of festive themed pajamas? But hey, if you’re a spreadsheet brain (like me) and you have a lot of children to clothe (also like me), don’t feel bad if you’d rather get, you know, normal pajamas instead. (And by “normal” I mean, jammies that are inexpensive and not themed, so they get more wear out of it.) For my kids, just the whole concept of new jammies is enough exhilaration for them! It’s one of the things that I’m adding to my Christmas Tree Night box, for sure! Btw, Santa hats are a must!
So you want to be taking all the pics and all the videos, to document all these great memories that you’re making with your family. But, truth be told you guys, I tried to find some decent pics of our previous Christmas Tree Nights and the ones I could find were either too blurry or too dark. When it comes to Christmas Tree Night, we just don’t have time to take pics and videos – there is too much going on! But, still, try to do it, you guys. I promise I’ll try too.
So once you’ve snacked and set up the tree and done all of your traditions, a great way to end the night is with some family games. Games like charades is a really fun and easy way to get some laughs going and you don’t need a board. If games are not your family’s thing, how about ending the night off with a Christmas movie. To be honest, chances are your little ones will be so exhausted after all the fun and excitement that they won’t make it through the movie. (Thank you and you’re welcome).
So tell me, friends, do you also have a Christmas Tree Night? What are some of your traditions?