Looking for a fun family Christmas eve tradition? Our family does the same thing every Christmas eve and it works for all ages!
[Stephanie’s note: If the voice sounds different it’s because this post was written by Tyler, my husband, and originally published on Kidsloveboardgames.com which is now defunct!]
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Why Start Family Traditions?
I have to give credit to my wife for getting us aboard the ‘Family Traditions’ train. When our oldest was a baby she sent me an article about the importance of family traditions. If you’re like me and have a tendency to just skim detailed articles, I’ll give you my quick take and why family traditions are so important:
Kids need steady and consistent things in their lives, and traditions are the perfect fit to fill that need. Kids lives are constantly changing. They are always learning new things and facing new challenges. As adults we’ve been through it, so its easy for us to overlook just how stressful that can be for the kids. Having regular traditions is something consistent in kids lives that is fun and stress free.
The other aspect of traditions that has been really powerful in our house is their ability to build trust and strengthen our relationships. Everyone’s lives get hectic and crazy from time to time with plans changing last minute. Things being up in the air and fluid is normal for us, but to a kid, this can be a major stressor. Having traditions that you stick to are something kids can expect and trust will happen when they expect and how they expect it. Traditions are a great way to show them the importance of doing what you say you’ll do.
But…what’s this Awesome Christmas Tradition?
Ok, you get that I think family traditions are a powerful tool in the family playbook, now I want to share with you an awesome Christmas tradition that we started in our house. Board games have been a big part of our lives and so have traditions, but a few years ago we realized we really don’t have any board game traditions. We were playing them regularly and having fun with them, but there was really no consistency and anticipation around playing board games. So my wife and I started brainstorming, and she (naturally) came up with a great idea, a Christmas Board Game Tradition!
Every year on Christmas Eve everyone in the family gets to open one present, a new board game! We then spend that day lounging as a family and playing our new board games, as well as some family favorites.
Why we LOVE this Tradition
This tradition has been great for our family in multiple ways. The most obvious, it’s fun. Every year we have a blast having a board game focused, family day. There are a few others benefits we’ve seen:
Fostering a Love of Board Games
As a family we’ve seen loads of benefits to playing family board games, so we’ve been really diligent about making board games a regular part of our lives. I think kids naturally have a love for games, but having positive board gaming experiences can grow that exponentially. This tradition has been fun for everyone each year, and we continue to see our kids asking to play board games more often. Check this post out if you’re looking for other tips to help your kids have great board game experiences.
Lighten the Christmas Edge
With kids riding the emotional roller coaster of ripping open presents, family expecting the perfect reaction to their gift, Christmas morning is fun but also very INTENSE for kids and adults alike. This tradition makes Christmas Eve the opposite of that. A chill day where kids know exactly what to expect. It gives them a great opportunity to relax and get ready for Christmas.
What are you waiting for?
This is a fantastic, easy family tradition, I hope you’ll start THIS Christmas! Try one of these board games for all ages if you’re not sure where to start!
We also love to give board games as stocking stuffers in our house, check out our favorite board game stocking stuffer ideas!