I don’t recall ever eating a traditional Christmas Eve dinner.
Out of the fish dish, potato salad, sauerkraut soup with sausages and meat, I only really like the potato salad and meat, and I save these for Christmas Day because I like how my grandma makes them (and also because she makes a lot of it so I can enjoy it to the fullest – literally).
I don’t make much out of Christmas Eve in general; it’s just a regular evening, with regular food, but with fancy dress and a Christmassy laid out table. I don’t even unpack my presents on Christmas Eve; like a “wanna-be American”, I leave it for the following morning.
Growing up, though, I remember envying people who celebrated things traditionally, mainly because I like relating to a group of people and talking to them about our shared experiences.
But it’s different these days. The older I get, the more I appreciate the presence of people rather than pay attention to the particularities of what we eat or don’t eat. Thankfully I’ve learned to move past all of that, and am now simply grateful for having any food at all and being surrounded by the people I love.
Nonetheless, I must say I also started valuing the unconventionality of my Christmastime. This Christmas I strive to be innovative and drive my Christmas as far from “normal” as possible – to challenge myself, but also to embrace potentially new, fun traditions.
If you would like to join me on this journey, here are some fun and creative ways to celebrate Christmas differently this year:
- Who said summer was ever really over?
Yes, Christmas is traditionally associated with snow, cold weather, and long winter nights. However, what if you switched things up a bit this year and celebrated Christmas pretending it was summer?
Given that it’s the dead of winter, you’ll have to turn the heating up anyway. Who is to stop you from pretending that you are in some exotic resort?
Replay those Summer 2021 Hits, get those BBQs, sandals, shorts and bikinis out! For those of you celebrating Christmas during summer, dress up nice and warm… if you dare.
- Beauty is subjective
Traditionally, it’s not Christmas without a Christmas tree. I’m not going to tell you not to get a Christmas tree (it’s too much of a fun part of Christmas to let slip away), but I’m going to invite you to decorate it in the most creative way you can.
Stick a bunch of random objects on it (Christmas crackers, maybe?); wrap a ton of cheap tinsel around it, each in a different colour to really make it pop; turn your friend into the tree, or turn the tree into a beloved fictional character – like in this picture!
This article shows a lot of other quirky, funny Christmas trees that may inspire you.
- The Great British Bake Off: Family Edition
Whether in-person or virtually, challenge your family to a bake-off this Christmas! Not only is this a fun, light-hearted bonding activity, but you’ll also get to enjoy the fruits of your labour later on.
The best thing about this activity is that anyone can take part – young or old, everyone is bound to design and bake some fantastic Christmas goods.
- If it doesn’t spark joy for you, it might spark joy for someone else
Do you ever look around your room, let your eyes roam through your closet or through your cupboards, and realise that maybe – just maybe – you might be a hoarder? (And then don’t do anything about it?)
There are so many things that could be used for literally anything but are instead just lying there – unloved, uncared for, forgotten about.
Christmas is usually associated with giving to those we love and care for, so what if this year you actually went through all the items that you know you will never use again and donated them to a charity, or perhaps visited a homeless shelter and gave homeless people your gifts in person?
Coats, scarves, books, even freshly-baked cookies.
One thing that should stay the same each Christmas is making others feel loved.
Considering that last year Christmas wasn’t according to tradition for everyone, and this year it’s likely to be like that again for some, let’s embrace the unconventionality of it all (that’s the best we can do at the end of the day, right?). Whether you are with your family, friends, or even alone – I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Featured Image Credit: Loudwire.com