The Wise Men

My Favorite Christmas Tradition – You May Want to Try It!

Overview: My favorite Christmas Tradition has transformed our Christmas into a relaxing day that EVEN MOMS can kick back and enjoy. You may want to try it!

December is such a busy time of year, filled with lots of extended family gatherings, church activities, food, presents, live nativity scenes, and other fun traditions. 

Christmas time can also become so busy that us moms can feel “thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” (Thank-you for that vivid description, Bilbo Baggins!)

I know I can have a tendency to feel this way. My husband and I are blessed in that we have lots of family who live close by. We also still have living grandparents!

Because of this, Decembers are filled with lots of family gatherings which start the first weekend of December and usually aren’t finished until sometime in January.

Even Christmas Eve and Christmas Day can be hectic. When our boys were small, we used to have one out-of-town family gathering on Christmas Eve. But Christmas Day was crazy!

First, we had our sons open their presents at home. Then we had three other family gatherings in two different cities that same day. It was a whirlwind!

By the time it was over, my husband and I were bleary-eyed from trying to help our boys hold it together the whole day without any naps to speak of. It was tough!

Fortunately, we’ve been able to spread out the family gatherings so that they don’t all happen on the same day anymore. Pshew! That has been much more enjoyable and relaxing for all of us. 

But my favorite Christmas tradition is what we do at our house. We call it our All Day Buffet.

We now set aside an entire day to celebrate Christmas at our house. We even moved our own celebration off of Christmas Day in order to make this happen. But it’s well worth it, in my opinion.

We always open our gifts first. But then, we spend the entire day playing games and eating and having a wonderful time together.

I also get to relax and enjoy the entire thing because of the All Day Buffet. It does take some preparation beforehand but it’s so worth it. Here’s how you do it.

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How to Pull off My Favorite Family Tradition – All Day Buffet

  • Come up with a list of foods which will do well in a crockpot or sitting on the counter all day.
  • Plan to use paper plates, plastic silverware and cups, or anything else disposable so that you don’t have to do dishes.
  • Prepare whatever you can the day before so that the day of the buffet will be easy.
  • The morning of the buffet, set out all the food and prepare whatever else needs to be assembled that day.
  • The rest of the day can be spent enjoying presents, enjoying time with family, and munching throughout the day
  • Most important rule – No one needs to ask you for food, for drinks, for plates, or for snacks. They get to help themselves!

Our whole family LOVES this tradition. We all enjoy getting involved in planning the food as well. I try to include plenty of variety so that everyone is happy throughout the day.

β†’ Related Content: 5 Ways to Enjoy the Holidays With Young Kids

Some of my favorite foods to include are:

You get the idea. Easy, easy, easy. Be sure to include real food options as well as desserts so that everyone isn’t sick by the end of the day.

Then, the entire day can be filled with family time. We love to play board games, play video games together, enjoy our new presents, and just kick back and relax.

We also stay in our pajamas all day!

We’ve been enjoying this tradition for several years and it’s the one thing that my husband and boys rave about throughout the year. We’ve even started having All Day Buffets at other times of the year because they are so much fun. They have transformed our Thanksgivings as well!

If you’re looking for a way to find some quiet time in the busy storm of days ahead, consider trying an All Day Buffet as well. It has been one of the best ideas I’ve had concerning our family traditions!

Question: What Christmas traditions have you come up with that have worked well for your family? Please leave a comment below.

28 thoughts on “My Favorite Christmas Tradition – You May Want to Try It!”

  1. You just saved our Christmas. No joke. This will be one of only a handful of Christmases at home completely ALONE. No travel, no transferring gifts, and no stress. Just us eight. We know this will be on the kids as they just love being with cousins and have been wracking our brains to come up with a fun plan- then this post in my email! We will be Merry thanks to you! God bless!!!

    1. Michelle Caskey

      Oh, Deena, I’m so glad! Merry Christmas to you, too. I hope your family enjoys this new tradition as much as we have. πŸ™‚

  2. Love, love, love this! So glad I spotted your post over at Thoughtful Thursdays this morning. πŸ™‚ I shared it on our facebook page. I bet it’ll be an inspiration for many other families as well. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Candy! I really appreciate it. I also saw your Crayon Drawings for Jesus post at Thoughtful Thursdays and I loved that as well. I’m sharing that on Twitter later today. πŸ™‚

  3. I love this idea! We have our main Christmas dinner always on Christmas Eve. I started this years ago so I wouldn’t have to cook on Christmas. What I love about it is we eat the leftovers throughout Christmas day. I admit, I still whip up waffles or refrigerated cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast. Plus all the goodies from the season too; popcorn, cookies, candies… this year my son has asked for cake!

    1. Leftovers works, too, Cheril. Great idea! I used to make Belgian waffles with either apple or cherry topping for my guys on Christmas morning as well. We would eat them right after opening gifts. Goodies are essential. Also, I love your idea of a cake. My sister always makes a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas. πŸ™‚

  4. love this idea! Our Thanksgiving is a large family feast, so we downplay the Christmas meal and do things similar to how your family does. Now that we have grown children with families of their own, we often often have several Christmas gatherings, and serving up an appetizer buffet works wonderfully!

  5. You inspired me last year, and I am doing it again this year. I have memories of my mother being constantly in the kitchen cooking up formal dinners for the holidays, and stressed. I want to enjoy this special time with my family and not be mad while peeling the potatoes! I set out a buffet for guests on Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning I had a breakfast buffet and added things to it throughout the day. All things I made ahead or were simple to put together. We all ate as we wanted, my then 4 year old enjoyed his time and everyone was relaxed. I called it Merry Dipmas!

    1. Oh, I love that name as well. Classic! I’m so glad I was able to be your inspiration and make things less stressful for you. I grew up in the same type of household where my mom was frustrated by the holiday cooking and it was not fun. Probably why we both are so eager to find a better way. Take care and have a very Merry Dipmas! πŸ™‚

  6. I love this idea! It helps to keep the focus on having fun with the family, without worrying about the trivial things that tend to take us away from spending more time with them like cleaning up, etc. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Thanks, Michelle! This is the first Christmas with the big meal moving to my house as we shift the generations due to aging grandparents. I’m honestly not looking forward to spending Christmas Eve and day cooking. I love your idea and plan to “negotiate” away the big turkey meal in favor of quality time together. It makes my heart say “Ahhhh!”

    1. Oh, that’s awesome, Tamara. I’m glad I was able to give you some peace. Yes, this idea also works really well with guests!!! If you think about it, check back in after it’s all over and let me know how it went. πŸ™‚

  8. Thank you for sharing! I tried this last year for the first time and loved it! I was able to relax, play with my boys and visit with my mom. Everyone else loved it too because they could snack and eat whenever they felt hungry. We’re looking forward to an all day buffet again this year!

    1. I’m so glad to hear that. Thanks for taking the time to let me know! Moms deserve the opportunity to relax and enjoy their families! I’m glad you gave it a try and that it worked as well for your family as it does for ours. Take care and have a very Merry Christmas!

  9. We do this too and I love it! We also do it for what we’ve dubbed our annual β€œstay up all night night”. Years ago my husband worked occasional 3rd shifts and the boys wondered if it was possible for them to stay up all night too. So we decided to make an event of it. It’s always a bit different but always fun and the snack buffet means a fun night for mom too!

    1. I love it when we’re able to create these types of traditions with our families. It’s awesome that you were able to help your boys experience what your husband was going through on a regular basis to support the family. And yes, whenever us moms are able to join in on the fun and relaxation rather than waiting on everyone else, that’s a win for sure! Have a very Merry Christmas and enjoy your Stay Up All Night Night. πŸ™‚

  10. We do this too. It usually takes all day to open gifts because they’ll open one and then play with it. It’s a nice, slow pace.

    1. Fantastic idea letting them play with each gift one at a time. We also go slowly – open things one by one – but we normally do all of the opening before doing a lot of investigating of each item. I love that idea!

  11. Our kids love this idea…but I struggle to figure out how to have food that needs to be refrigerated out on the counter all day. Any ideas of how you’ve done this?

    1. Honestly, more stuff can probably stay at room temperature longer than you think. I’m very careful with items that have mayonnaise. You can put smaller portions of those items on the counter at a time keeping the bulk of the item in the fridge and just put out new bowls of it as necessary. I sometimes put ice in a larger bowl and then place that beneath the bowl of salad or whatever to keep it fresh longer. Crockpot temperatures need to be adjusted as the food levels go down but the items in them are normally just fine for the duration. And use chip clips and keep items like rolls inside of bags to keep them fresh.

  12. For Thanksgiving, we have lunch at our house. Most people leave afterwards, but all are welcome to stay and hang out! πŸ™‚

    We also do a Christmas Day brunch! Have plenty of food (breakfast/lunch/snacks/treats) set out! Our families come over to eat around 10:30-11am. Then we open gifts and hang out the rest of the day! Board games, cards, football, whatever! Everyone can munch on whatever they’d like throughout the day.

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