There are more than 2 billion Christians in the world today. Approximately 95% of them celebrate Christmas. Lately, there’s been much talk about 2020 being different from all other years. This difference has not been prompted by good things. There has been world chaos, state-government mandated shutdowns and other issues related to COVID-19 and a presidential election causing stress. I’m a realist but also a person of joy, hope (because of Jesus!) and positive thinking. I say we can make 2020 different for good reasons, too. For instance, why not incorporate some new, old-fashioned Christmas traditions into your family festivities?
You might be someone who typically loves modernity. As 2020 has unfolded, however, many people (modernists included) have been feeling nostalgic. People are longing for simplicity, peace and family togetherness. Many recall old-fashioned Christmas traditions that brought them joy in their youth. Somehow, the sights and sounds and aromas from long ago feel all the more special this year.
Christmas traditions with a homey feel
I love when someone visits my home and says that they feel comfortable and welcomed here. Christmas traditions should always, of course, be focused on Christ, the Infant King. This grand celebration and season is also about the earthly family of Jesus. The simple traditions, gifts and festivities we share with our own loved ones honors Emmanuel — God among us. If you’re longing for some good, old-fashioned family enjoyment as you prepare to celebrate Christmas, these following ideas might interest you!
Christmas traditions in the 1950s included flocking
I was born in 1964 but had no idea what “flocking” was until I researched old-fashioned Christmas traditions for this post. Have you ever flocked a tree? It’s possible that you have but don’t realize it. You might simply not know what flocking is! This tradition apparently began in the 1800s. It regained popularity in southern states during the 1950s. Flocking involves dusting your Christmas tree with white powder to look like snow! You can read more about it, here.
Grab some scissors and make some paper snowflakes
This is one of my personal favorite annual Christmas traditions. Our family gathers around the table (and often, friends will join the fun!) with lots of scissors and stacks of white paper. We have Christmas music playing in the background and, perhaps, hot cocoa or cider in the crockpot. There’s always lots of chatter and laughter while we make 25 or so paper snowflakes!
Like real snowflakes, there are no two paper snowflakes exactly alike! We hang our creations from our kitchen ceiling where they bring us joy throughout the entire winter season! We all look forward to snowflake-making day every year!
Kids love green and red paper chains
Another old-fashioned Christmas tradition is to make green and red paper chains. You can hang these directly on your Christmas tree, from windows or doorways, or use them as an Advent count-down-to-Christmas calendar. The simple act of using construction paper to make this easy craft is like a breath of good old-fashioned air in a high tech world.
Never too old to put shoes out for St. Nicholas Day
It’s always been our family’s tradition to have the kids place a shoe outside their bedroom doors on the eve of St. Nicholas Day, which is December 6th. In the morning, (or middle of the night for the more precocious little ones who sneak a peak while parents sleep) they find treats and trinkets and a card in honor of St. Nicholas.
This year, in fact, when I mentioned that it was December 5th, my 13-year-old son questioned whether my kids were too old for this Christmas tradition. (He’s the youngest.) I laughed aloud when my 20-year-old and other older kids shushed him up right quickly, saying they will never be too old to put a shoe out for St. Nick!
Hand-written letters make wonderful Christmas gifts
My mother celebrated her 92nd birthday this past summer. Every year, she eagerly awaits the arrival of a large envelope that contains hand-written letters from each member of our household. We use markers to create pretty borders and decorations on our paper. My mum speaks often of how much joy this Christmas tradition brings her. She says she’ll make a cup of tea or warm milk and settle in with all her letters. In fact, she often keeps them through the Christmas season reading them over and over again!
My mother happens to be a wonderful letter-writer. We tell her not to feel obligated to write back in return. She has severe arthritis. It doesn’t stop her because she’s a warrior woman. LOL We have a special box where we keep all of my mother’s letters. It’s a priceless family heirloom and legacy that we cherish! Do you have a loved one that would enjoy getting hand-written letters for Christmas?
More old-fashioned Christmas traditions
A while back, I did a post about Advent, preparing for Christmas and several other traditions my family enjoys. Check it out if you’re looking for new ideas about how to bring a little “old-fashioned” to your 2020 Christmas season.