Holiday Happiness: Christmas Eve Traditions
The holidays are a very stressful time for everyone and an exceptionally hard time for some. So, until the New Year I’ll be posting a Holiday Happiness post each day to try help folks out who are struggling. As always you can reach out to me at Happinesskane@aol.com for a kind word or someone to listen. ~ Rev Kane
So Christmas Eve can be one of the loneliest nights of the year. It’s that night where families typically gather, it’s a more intimate night than Christmas Day and Christmas Dinner. It gives you time to think about way too much, and if there is nothing coming Christmas morning, well, thinking about that can weigh heavily on your mind.
If you read this blog you know I’m a loner, and generally live a fairly solitary life. As much as I enjoy Thanksgiving, I rarely have Thanksgiving with other people. So, one of the things that I created for myself was a new solo tradition for Thanksgiving Day. For some reason, I’m not sure why, I haven’t done the same for Christmas or Christmas Eve. Likely it comes from my utter dislike of the holiday. As I’ve talked about before, I love giving gifts, love watching kids experience Christmas but when you don’t have that, all you have left are your memories of past Christmases and in my case a lot of those are bad.
So tonight I have come up withsome Christmas Eve traditions that you might be able to incorporate into your own life to make Christmas Eve a bit better. Enjoy and I hope you find one that works for you. ~ Rev Kane
Christmas Eve Cocoa and meditation
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Cook up some cocoa, not with booze. Booze is a depressant and remember we’re trying to avoid being bummed out. But you can get real fancy with cocoa, there’s real expensive cocoa, marshmallows, mini-marshmallows and all kinds of funky, peppermint and chocolate spoons.
I know the term meditation messes with some people, so meditation or quiet reflection. If you want you can look up some guided meditations on the web and listen to them. Or sit quietly sipping cocoa and listen to your favorite music or podcasts. Basically, the goal for this idea is a nice quiet relaxing night.
Anti-Christmas Movies and Cookies
For those who don’t particularly love Christmas, there are a number of movies out there that are either about, or occur at Christmas that are what I would consider anti-Christmas movies. Here’s a list, so how about you bake up a batch of your favorite cookies, they don’t have to be Christmas cookies. I’d opt for oatmeal chocolate chip personally. Then sit down with a bunch of cookies, milk and some really awesome anti-Christmas movies. You could do fancy popcorns instead but I prefer cookies. Here’s a lits of movies:
My personal favorite is Gremlins, it’s not just a great movie but Phoebe Cates’ character has a speech about why she hates Christmas that will validate any negative feelings you have about the holiday and why people shouldn’t get down on people about it.
The Ice Harvest, a good Christmas caper movie including Billy Bob Thornton the king of anti-Christmas movies.
Sticking with Billy Bob, Bad Santa, is about as anti-Christmas, while still being a little heart-warming in a hilarious way, that you can get. There is so much to love about this movie, but make no mistake, it’s rude, crude and socially unacceptable in almost every way.
Krampus, can’t get much more anti standard Hallmark Christmas than Krampus, a movie about a really bad form of Christmas visitor. It’s a pretty standard monster movie in a lot of ways, but a lot of fun to watch.
There are other movies worth mentioning, Trading Places has some funny Christmas action, the Ref is a good anti-Christmas film but if you’re trigger around Christmas is shitty family, stay away from it. Die Hard of course happens around a Christmas party and has some great lines. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang features Robert Downey Jr and is a good film. I hesitate but I guess I should include National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, just for the sheer disrespect it shows for the holiday. My last one is Reindeer Games, an ok movie you’ve likely never seen about a robbery and featuring very young Ben Afflek and Charlize Theron.
Bake and wrap presents for the homeless
This one is really self-explanatory, altruism makes us all feel better. So do some giving and spend Christmas Eve backing cookies, and creating holiday bags, socks would be huge for homeless people. Then Christmas Day, drive around just randomly handing out the bags.
Do an art project
This can be something you already do or you can spend the night trying something new. Pinterest is a great site for finding ideas and this link has over 2000 different ideas. So a few days earlier find a couple of ideas, get your supplies, crank the tunes and do some art.
Christmas Eve Astronomy
One of the nice things about cold December nights is that the dry cold air is likely to yield beautiful cold clear skies. So, do a little astronomy. Gear up, hot beverage, sleeping bag, binoculars, get a sky map and go out and teach yourself some constellations. Or take your camera and do some night photography. Even better, borrow a friend’s telescope and take a good look at the stars.
I hope one of the ideas works for you and gives you a way to spend a happy Christmas Eve and a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane