It’s our first year acting as Santa’s liaison, so we’re trying to establish some new traditions. This will be the first time in thirty years that I won’t sleep over at my Mother and Daddy’s house on Christmas Eve. It’s a little jarring, but we wanted Annabeth to be able to open her presents at home before we join in with the rest of the family. This year we’re doing a bit of a hybrid by spending Christmas Eve with my parents until close to bedtime and then heading back over there after Santa has officially been enjoyed.
One way we thought we’d make Christmas Eve special is to turn acting as Santa’s helpers into a bit of an at-home date night. The recipe for an at-home date night is simple:
- good snacks
- something sparkly to drink
- a good flick to watch
- something cute, but cozy to wear
I’m a planner, so I already have our snack menu planned out. We’re going to do a miniature charcuterie board with something salty, something creamy, something nutty, and something sweet. I like pairing salami (salty) with a nice, smoky Gouda (creamy), and some toasted pecans (nutty…toast them with a little butter and rosemary!), and these chocolate covered almonds from Trader Joe’s (sweet). We eat Christmas Eve supper at my Mother and Daddy’s home, so we’ll really just need something light to snack on.
Something sparkly is kind of up to you. We’re religious about drinking La Croix in our home (we love the lemon, lime, and coconut flavors). We also love sparkling pear juice from Ikea. Champagne is another great option, if you’re so inclined. Whatever you pick, it should be something out of the ordinary that feels special. It’s a great time to break out pretty wedding flutes that are just collecting dust in the china cabinet.
As far as Christmas movies go, there is only one choice as far as our Christmas Eve Date Night is concerned. This is, of course, Christmas Vacation. Is there anything more quintessentially wonderful that Clark W. Griswold having a meltdown over eggnog-filled Marty Moose punch glasses? The answer is no. We’ve watched Christmas Vacation more times than I’d care to count this year and we’re not showing any signs of slowing down.
Something cute to wear is a bit strange considering that a date night at home should be about feeling comfortable. On a typical evening, I wear my afternoon uniform of running clothes with a topknot and dishpan hands, but Christmas Eve is not the time for a pair of Lulu’s and a ratty intramural t-shirt. My Mother, Queen of Coordination, ordered us all matching Christmas pajamas (and my Daddy is in for a real surprise when he realizes that we’re all matching…from him all the way down to Annabeth), so cute and cozy fit the bill.
I know it seems kind of silly to have an at-home date night on Christmas Eve. Realistically, you could just help Santa out as necessary, tidy up, and go to sleep, but where’s the fun in that? We’re doing our very best to keep ourselves centered on each other first so we can give Annabeth a great representation of marriage. Knowing that Mommy and Daddy have something special planned after bed is just another way to demonstrate how we can love each other well by being intentional with our time.
Do you have any special Christmas Eve traditions?
PS: Love, Actually is another fantastic Christmas movie that’s more “adult” than your average holiday flick.
PSS: This might be the greatest Christmas shirt of all time.