Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Start your own New Christmas Traditions!

Published in Northern Living / Southern Living Magazines (Print) 2012

Start your own New Christmas Traditions!
by Alan & Ching - R. de Luzuriaga

Television shows and shopping malls have started to remind you that the yuletide season is coming. As we ponder on Christmases past and the great times we had with our families, we cannot help but yearn for equally meaningful and memorable ways to celebrate the coming holidays with our loved ones.

There are many wonderful Christmas Traditions. The Christmas tree, donating to charities, a visit from Santa, and Christmas programs are but some of the usual practices that have been enjoyed by countless families.

For those who would want something different, here are some new ways to make your own Christmas Traditions.

1. Welcome a less fortunate family into your home. - Many families give to charity, volunteer in feeding programs and throw parties for the less fortunate. This Christmas, why not make it closer to home. Invite the family of your household employee or community worker over for a Christmas lunch, complete with gift-giving and other activities. Make it a different family every year. You and your children would give a whole family immense joy on this occasion as well as give you heart warming memories as the years go by.

2. Eco-friendly and money-saving Christmas decorations - Instead of spending on decorations, re-use materials to make your home festive. Assign each family member an area to decorate (ex. Mom - living room, Dad - dining area, Children - garage, patio, kitchen, etc...). Make sure that everyone uses only existing household materials like newspapers, magazines, bottles, jars, candles, cartons, cans, cardboard, etc.. ( you're allowed to buy glue and adhesive tape) to create decorations such as Christmas trees, wall decor, wreaths, a Christmas Belen, lanterns and the like. Guests during the Christmas season will marvel at how you and your kids decorated your home for the holidays - the creative and environment friendly way.

3. "Translate your favorite English Christmas Carol to Filipino" - Singing is part and parcel of Filipino celebrations and Christmas is no exception. The use of sing-along machines as well as the ever dependable guitar, make Christmas day a musical experience for many families. To create something different than the usual karaoke night, why not create some semi-original numbers from the staple Christmas classics. Translate your favorite English Christmas Carol into Filipino or the native family dialect. Performing such novelties will surely make the Christmas program something you will not easily forget. And who knows, you even might perform these "originals" in the family reunion.

4. Capture it on Video ! - The digital video camera has been an indispensable tool to capture memories for many families. But, it can be more than just a way to preserve those delightful moments when the kids open their gifts and shout with glee.

Using the video camera and editing software in creative ways can make Christmas celebrations truly remarkable and memorable . Try some of these out.

A) Instead of forcing your chubby Uncle to get all made up to play Santa Claus, (Kids aren't fooled as easily nowadays, anyway), make a video of Santa climbing down from the roof and placing gifts under the tree ( make sure the children are all asleep when doing the video shoot). Show these to the kids when they wake up, right before gifts are handed out and it will add magic to their Christmas morning.

B) Gather the old Videotapes, video disks, and scanned photos, of the yearly Christmas celebrations and edit the highlights in one video show. Seeing how your family celebrated the occasion through the years will give everyone a smile. Don't forget to take a video of the coming celebration and edit it in for next years gathering. Do this year after year after year, and see how the family and the kids have grown as time goes by.

C) Make a Christmas Video greeting and post it in Facebook or email it to your family and friends. Not only will it be cheaper than sending greeting cards, it will also add a special touch for those who receive your on-cam holiday greeting.

5. Hold a Christmas Master Chef competition - To prepare for your Christmas feast, let everyone pitch in by making a Christmas dish - from a simple ice cream sundae that the kids can make to Mom's special salad. You can pick a a Food Theme if you like - Filipino Food, Dessert, Anything goes, etc... and let Grandpa and Grandma be the judge. The winning dish earns bragging rights and gets to be a regular dish every Christmas to be prepared by your very own family's Christmas Master Chef 2011!

6. Family Christmas Run or Bike trip- Get physical and prepare for those extra pounds to be gained later in the day. Wake up to an early Christmas morning and see the sun rise while going on a family fun run around the community. For those who prefer biking, hop on those wheels and start on an early family bike trip to your favorite trail. Don't forget to wear Santa hats / helmets to mark the occasion.

Christmas is all about love and family. And the best way to celebrate it is by making your own Christmas Traditions to be shared and handed down through generations.