Un-Christmas Traditions | by Lauren Cop

I’ll be frank – unlike my fellow bloggers, I’m not a big fan of Christmas – at all. If it were up to me, we would skip the whole month of December and move right into New Years. I think that Lauren James and Mae Mae must have received all of my potential holiday joy – because I KNOW it is their ultimate favorite time of year. However, I realize this is my personal problem and I do not expect anyone else to share my sentiment on this holiday. So go ahead sing your Christmas music that makes me twitch. Decorate your house in abundance. Buy an excessive amount of gifts and give me your unreasonable gift list. I will do my best to participate with a polite smile and minimal snarky comments (a very difficult task for me). I will decorate my house for my family – with tacky Christmas lights which I love. We can listen to Nat King Cole Christmas music – really the only decent Christmas music there is… ok and that one Mariah Carey album. I will buy some gifts for my family as well and try to do it without stressing over the amount and cost. I will go to your Christmas party and participate in your whacky gift exchange (I take no prisoners). But I will especially enjoy participating in our Un-Christmas Christmas traditions. My family has done several over the years that are so fun and are now one of the few things I look forward to during the season. Here is a short list of some of my favorites!

Every family has their holiday movie that they watch – The Grinch, White Christmas, Christmas Carole, Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, Jingle All the Way, The Santa Claus, Scrooge, The Christmas Story, etc… However there are some un-Christmas Christmas movies that people watch as well. The first of which is Die Hard which takes place during a Christmas party. I have heard of many families that watch this movie who have older children or boys. My family always watched Hook. Yes – the Peter Pan themed movie with Robin Williams. Truthfully, the movie has very little to do with Christmas – other than that is how Peter’s family ends up back in England. I am not sure how this became our family tradition – but we have literally watched this move every Christmas for the last two and a half decades. I think the main reason we love this movie is because there is action, adult and child humor, and ends with the importance of being a part of a family. Plus watching Dustin Hoffman play Captain Hook and Robin Williams play Peter Pan is just magical. It also occupies the amount of time it takes my parents to make Christmas waffles for my three brothers and I. J You don’t even have to watch the movie at home there are always great movies in the theaters over the holiday season! Also the theaters are usually not too crowded like they can be on a weekend.


Although a possibly German Christmas tradition – it is generally not a Christmassy item – is the pickle. Yes that’s right a Christmas pickle. There is some controversy about the history of this tradition. I think it is a fun tradition to share with your family. Basically the pickle is the last ornament placed on the tree. The first person to find the pickle then opens the first gift/receives a special present on Christmas morning. My brother Brandon was the king of finding the pickle. He would lay under the tree for hours until he found it. My parents would take delight if it took him the afternoon to find! It is not necessary religious, Christian, or even ‘traditional’ in nature, but the Christmas pickle is a fun tradition in our family.


Although not necessarily new to dress with ridiculous attire on Christmas – ok that wasn’t very nice I apologize – our family has adopted a recent tradition of wearing crowns and mustaches on Christmas. This is clearly not normal Christmas attire but does have Christmas traditions. The crowns and mustaches come in a Christmas cracker. This is a British tradition where everyone takes a popper (as I call them) and opens their present. Inside there is traditionally a paper crown, joke and small gift. My family did them when I was a younger and my in-laws have started to do them too. It is so fun to see everyone in their silly paper crowns and to take pictures. This is a great tradition for everyone at any age!


{ Pic by LAC }

Sometimes our loved ones cannot make it to the Christmas celebrations so our family has adopted a fun way to keep those missed included in the tradition. It’s (person’s name) on a stick. Its super easy to create and fun to do. This way those not ‘present’ can participate in family dinner, gift opening, family pictures and all the fun! Plus, it will keep the kids entertained for a while coming up with different scenarios that they need to be in. You can even extend this person on a stick to other times of the year. This tradition was even extended to my wedding when a friend of ours was unable to attend because he was stationed in Afghanistan. Our friend Jonas went everywhere including Clemson tailgates carried by his best friend Crayton. So have some fun with the great tradition that is sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face!


{ Pic by Eliu Mancia }

Although several of these have basis in the holiday spirit – they are generally not Christmassy in nature. These traditions bring joy and closeness of family. They are carefree, generally not expensive, and can really be done at any time. What makes them special is the communion with family. Christmas has its perks – my favorite is the gathering of family and the food (of course). Memorable moments make this holiday so special – I get that. The smell of fresh snow, pine, and wood burning. The warmness in your heart and the coolness of your skin. It is a wonderful season and I hope yours is merry and bright! Merry merry everyone!


Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins by day and coaches Volleyball and Track in her “me time”. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

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Why are all the photos of the kiddos watermarked? Why should you think about watermarking pictures you take of your children before you post them on your own blog?


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