Christmas Traditions – try something new

Christmas is a wonderful time of year – family, friends, food and festivities (yes, it really is wonderful). But sometimes it’s fun to mix things up.

At RedBalloon, we’re all about changing Christmas traditions. The traditional Christmas package is replaced with a shiny red voucher under the tree, a traditional gift of socks or a tie becomes a flying trapeze lesson or jet boat adventure.

And as Australians, we are also used to giving Christmas traditions an overhaul. Christmas in a warm climate means ditching a steaming hot dinner for seafood and salads. And we won’t find ourselves up to the knees in snow, more likely up to our knees in seawater at the beach.

People like new experiences, so why not change the way you celebrate? How can you do something differently this year?

Here are some festive traditions from around the world. They’re family-friendly and will freshen up the silly season like a pack of Wrigley’s Extra.

Christmas on the 5th
In the Netherlands, Sinterklaas brings presents on the eve of December 5th, leaving the 25th for feasting. Pros – not having to wait the extra 20 days. Cons – feeling left out when everyone else gets presents on the 25th.

Eight days of presents
Borrow from the Jewish holiday Hanukkah and give presents over eight days. Spreads out the excitement, it’s not all over at once and you won’t lose the kids in a mountain of wrapping paper.

Three Kings Day
January 6th, Three Kings Day, is widely celebrated in Puerto Rico. Gifts are given, and people leave straw out for the kings’ camels. Straw for camels isn’t so practical unless you’re living in central Australia where feral camels run wild, but you can’t dispute the present thing. Even after the Christmas hype has worn down, you’ve still got something to look forward to.

Midnight Feast
In the Philippines, the traditional Christmas eve feast is eaten after midnight mass. Being a big fan of midnight snacks, I’m going to suggest my family has a midnight feast this year. A late night means you get to sleep in longer on Christmas Day, too.

In a recent newsletter, two RedBallooners share their favourite family Christmas traditions. There’s lots of space for comments below – what are some of yours?

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One Comment

  1. Posted December 17, 2009 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    Also in the Philippines, they celebrate Christmas like Halloween’s “Trick or Treat”. Kids went from house to house to ask for gifts or money as Christmas give away. But no tricks involved like the Halloween tradition.

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