5 Festive Ways That We Celebrate Christmas

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Campbell's Soup. I received compensation but all opinions are solely my own.

I love the holiday season. I know many people say this, but if it became socially acceptable to leave copious amounts of twinkle lights up, and adorn yourself in ugly Christmas sweaters all year long, I would be the first in line to sign up. Christmas carols? Turn up the volume. Egg Nog? Another glass please. Holiday feasts? I'll deep fry the turkey for every single party. Because it is always better to give than receive, I thought I would pass on some holiday ideas from my own family.

Because of my undying affection for all of the season's merriment, I also love hearing about what other families do to celebrate. It helps give me ideas for how to take my family's yuletide joy to previously unknown heights. Tell me in the comments below how you celebrate the holidays and remember to share your pictures and stories on social media using #realreallife! 

1. We unapologetically celebrate the genius that is A Christmas Story.
I recently read about a backlash against this holiday movie treasure. I couldn't disagree more. My kid's actually begged to watch it last night, so we did. Guess what? If they ask again tonight, my answer is yes, yes, a thousand times yes! For me it brings back the childhood wonder of Christmas and everything surrounding it. Every year we actually set up a legit A Christmas Story lighted village in our house. It is the centerpiece of our decorating. And yes, being the Lunchbox Dad I have even made my kids A Christmas Story lunch. Besides, what's Christmas at school without a pink bunny suit and leg lamp?

2. We encourage our kids to give back.
We want our kids to realize that even though they don't have everything that they want, there are other kids who don't have everything that they need. If my kids can learn to see
beyond themselves during the holidays, it can hopefully help them look for ways to help others throughout the year. In our community there is a local church that collects toys for kids in need, and puts on a breakfast to raise money for families that could use some extra help. Not only do we involve our children in picking toys to donate, but we serve at the event as well. Hopefully, as parents, we can model to our kids that you can show love to others by giving items, your time, or both. Plus, it's loads of fun to volunteer together as a family!

3. We also introduce a non-Christmas themed idea into the holidays.
Usually my kids, and sometimes their parents, get really into an event, character, movie, TV show, or other pop culture icon. We think it's fun to introduce this into our holiday time as well. For example, you might have heard of a little independent science fiction film getting a limited release in a few theatres this month. It's called Star Wars. My family is beyond excited. We gave my son an early Christmas present of new Star Wars sheets, have already bought our movie tickets, and we also picked up some ornaments for the tree. When it comes to food, I have made my kids a BB-8 droid lunch and we found some really tasty Campbell's Chicken Soup with Star Wars shaped pasta. The special edition cans feature detailed shapes of classic Star Wars characters like Yoda, R2D2, C3PO, Darth Vader, and Stormtroopers. 

4. We always drag the decorations out the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Our philosophy of decorating is if you don't keep them up for as long as possible then you are doing Christmas wrong. I do however believe it should be illegal to drape your house with lights and beautifully obnoxious inflatable lawn ornaments until the day after Thanksgiving. Now that's a reform policy I can get behind. For our family, we always decorate two days after Thanksgiving and leave them up until New Year's Day. It's just the right thing to do. Pro-tip: Let your kids help decorate the tree (take a close look at the picture above) it can provide some unintentional Christmas laughter throughout the month. 

5. We believe eggnog is the most revered drink of the season.
The nog is frequently misunderstood in contemporary holiday tradition. Admittedly, this is more of a personal opinion and doesn't necessarily reflect my family as a whole. However, if you disagree with me you probably also think that Scrooge had some wonderfully progressive views on how society should spend the holidays. I love eggnog warm with espresso, or chilled straight up. Christmas without eggnog is not a world I want to be a part of.

Have a wonderful holiday season and I am excited to hear about what your traditions are in your home. Get more holiday ideas by searching #realreallife on all your social media channels!


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