Message Boards


  • Please be sure posts are category appropriate.
  • No off-topic or off-color postings.
  • Postings may be deleted at the discretion of HGTV Moderators.
  • No advertising is allowed.
  • Be Nice. No name calling, personal attacks or flaming.
  • Certain words will trigger moderation of the post. These words mostly cover political and religious topics, which are OFF the topics covered by HGTV.
  • For general message board help, click the tab labeled "Tools," and choose "Help" from the dropdown menu.
Full Guidelines
  HGTV Message Boards
Hop To Forum Categories   At Home
Hop To Forums   Holidays
  Help me liven up Christmas & Thanksgiving
Help me liven up Christmas & Thanksgiving Sign In/Join 
My sister was really big on tradition and Christmas was her favorite time of year. We had Xmas at my sister's for 22 years! This will be our third Xmas without her and we have been struggling to create some new traditions and have a new fun Xmas routine. What does your family do on Thanksgiving or Christmas to celebrate and to create an atmosphere of togetherness with your family? Any fun traditions? Do you all sit at the table together to eat? Do you play games? Do you get drunk and sing carols? haha I would love to hear what YOU do on Christmas day with your family. And for those families who have multiple celebrations to attend on the same day - is there anything special you or your family do to make this more fun and survivable for those who may have to leave early or stay a short time?
Posts: 95 | Location: Illinois | Registered: Aug 29, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of cocok
posted Hide Post
Christmas eve chili dinner and telling the Christmas story and caroling at one Aunt's house. Christmas lunch of sandwiches and finger food at the inlaws - a quick pass through, Christmas big dinner and games at another Aunt's. We live close so traveling between events is no problem.

The things I have learned about making the holidays fun is to let every one participate, and to do things that most in the group see as fun.

If you try to cook the entire fabulous Christmas dinner yourself it will feel like no one can appreciate it enough, because they can't. There is no way to possibly express appreciation for that much work. Better to assign out parts of the meal so that everyone contributes. People are much more invested in a holiday if they help make it happen.

Then on doing fun things - my family loves to play loud crazy games, and scream and shout and hoot and hollar. Pictionary in teams is a favorite, also a card game called 31. We only play things that all ages can participate in so that we can include everyone, even the little kids. Anything that gets people interacting and up off the sofa instead of laying around like boring lumps watching something on tv, is good in our family.
Posts: 7249 | Registered: Apr 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Pebbles03b
posted Hide Post
You are so right cocking about letting everyone help. My sil almost did it all & shes burnt out.I don't know what we will do this year??? I provided all the cookies.
We always take a drive around the neighborhood to see all the lights. Enjoy the holidays with family!
Posts: 1314 | Location: IN, USA | Registered: Dec 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of trish212
posted Hide Post
I can tell who the bakers are in the stores, they've been stockpiling the supplies a few weeks ago. Many are willing to talk about their baking they do for their families. Baking for these holidays doesn't start the night before. There's a lot of work involved in this. They appreciate being acknowledged .... even by strangers in stores....for what they do. Smile My BIL thanks me for the baking I do for their family. My sis has a FULL schedule that baking can't be fit in. So, my treats are appreciated.

How many variety of cookies do YOU prepare for sharing with others?
Posts: 5233 | Registered: Jan 23, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Bobbier, My family has a great Christmas tradition, But I must sadly say it was started after we lost my oldest sister back in 1995. Before that we were all so busy with our own families and never made the time to come together as a family during the holidays. It was xmas of 1994 my sister was quite ill and declining fast, Yet she insisted on having a family gathering at moms house and we all pulled names for gifts. Needless to say it was her last xmas. Our tradition has gotten bigger and better every year. Before the xmas carols and gift exchanges Theres always a special tribute to our dearly departed.
Posts: 26 | Registered: Feb 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
In my husband's family we used to get together for Christmas Eve dinner with the kids exchanging gifts. The tradition became meaningless after several families involved refused to put any thought or effort into the evening. The SIL who hosted the event resented having everyone for dinner. So we stopped for a year and it was really a relief. The brother who used to host the event had a grandchild and they go visit her now. The rest of us gather early in the afternoon for appetizers and desserts at another brother's home. They really enjoy having everyone over and we now have a great time. Last year we added a new tradition of bringing an inexpensive gift--names are drawn and you can "steal" someone's gift or take one from the pile. It was fun for everyone. Now we all go home in the early evening after an afternoon of food and fun--everyone feels good.
Posts: 3228 | Location: Ohio | Registered: Feb 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
We don't have T-Giving, or Christmas, at the same house every year. I think that helps with things. Plus everyone brings a dish, so it's not taxing on the host. No resentment. No pressure. We set the food up in the kitchen buffet style, everyone fixes their own plate. We use disposable dishes and utensils. Makes clean up easier.

As far as fun, we may play games, color with the kids, or whatever. A lot of the time we just sit around and talk. It really depends on who is there. Something we started a couple of years ago at Christmas was to draw names for gifts. It was getting to the point where we were basically trading gift cards. I buy what I need/want, when I need or want it. In addition to the drawing of names, we also bring a $5 wrapped gift, not labeled, and make a game out of that. The first year, we just put them on a table and would go pick one at random. The next person could steal from someone before them, or choose from the table. I think we let people have the opportunity to steal twice. Last year, we did a Christmas version of the "Left, Right" game and then everyone had the opportunity to steal once we opened what we ended up with. It was fun. No idea what we'll do this year.
Posts: 616 | Location: Indianapolis | Registered: Nov 03, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata    HGTV Message Boards  Hop To Forum Categories  At Home  Hop To Forums  Holidays    Help me liven up Christmas & Thanksgiving