The Christmas season is one of my favorite times of the year.  Here in the Midwest, the snow is falling, covering the muddy grayness of the end of fall with a glorious blanket of clean, sparkly snow. I love driving around town and looking at all the beautiful light displays, sipping hot cocoa, snuggling up by the warm fire with a book, or a Hallmark Christmas movie.  This season is the epitome of tradition and nostalgia for me. In the spirit of tradition, today we will talk about some old-fashioned holiday traditions that should definitely make a comeback this year, and two that should go and NEVER come back!

Popcorn Garland

Popcorn garland is something you see in most classic Christmas movies, and that’s because this tradition dates back to Victorian England!  The Christmas tree tradition was not super popular in the early days of America because many people considered it to be a pagan symbol and therefore rejected it.  Once it caught on here in the 1800’s many people used homemade ornaments and food items to decorate their trees.   Back then, popcorn was dyed all different colors and then strung around the tree for a colorfully festive look.  

Want to make your own this year? It’s really simple! All you need is some popcorn, cranberries, a needle, thread, and shellac spray.  Thread the needle and thread through the popcorn and cranberries, and then when you’ve completed enough garland for your tree, spray the whole thing with shellac to preserve it for the entire Christmas season. 

Cutting Down Your Own Tree

Now don’t get me wrong, I love convenience as much as the next girl, but there’s just something magical about getting the family all bundled up, driving out to the tree farm, and searching for that perfect tree! It’s one of those childhood memories that you just never forget, and I think it’s time to ditch the pre-cut tree and have a little adventure while you hunt for the perfect one! 

If you’re in the Green Bay area, check out Whispering Pines Tree Farm. Not only can you hunt and cut your own tree, but you can enjoy a fun wagon or train ride to the Christmas Tree field. Afterward, you can warm up in their charming heated lodge with a cup of hot cocoa and some Christmas shopping! 

Tinsel Trees

I bet you’re probably wondering why I think these should come back when I just said you should cut down your tree, right? Well, this is a great old-fashioned alternative for those who are opposed to having a real tree in their home. In the late 1950s, Tinsel Trees were the first iteration of the manufactured Christmas trees, and in the ’50s and ’60s, they became immensely popular. The Aluminum Specialty Company sold over a million aluminum trees during this time. They fell out of favor in 1965 after the release of A Charlie Brown Christmas special in which Charlie Brown laments that Tinsel Trees represent the over-commercialization of Christmas. However, tinsel trees are making a comeback these days because of their funky flair and easy upkeep.

Christmas Eve Game Night

If the Christmas season is about nothing else, it should be about spending time with the people you love. A great way to do that is with a game night. This tradition is a great way to get your family or friends together, put away the devices, turn off the tv, and just spend some time having fun together! So this Christmas Eve, get everyone in their coziest pj’s and pull out those board games and just play! Here are some great new games you can try this year:

  • Exploding Kittens- this is a kitten-themed Russian roulette-style card game.  The game is family-friendly, easy to learn, and entertaining! You can purchase additional expansion packs to accommodate up to 10 players, so it’s perfect for a game night party!

  • Spontuneous- this is a music trivia game.  Each player writes down some trigger words on a card. Then you take turns reading off one trigger word from your card. The first person to sing at least five words of a song containing that trigger word gets to advance on the game board. This is another excellent game for a larger group as it is suitable for up to 10 players.

  • The Upside Down Challenge- This is a hilarious challenge game where the player has to wear a pair of special glasses that turn everything upside down.  While wearing the glasses, the player must complete challenges like writing their name, completing a dot-to-dot picture, or pouring water from one glass to another.

Holiday Cookie Exchange

Exchanging Christmas cookies is a tradition that’s been around forever, but in the ‘60s, people weren’t just making cookies for friends and neighbors.  They had full-blown cookie exchange parties! A cookie exchange party requires each guest to bring a set number of their favorite holiday cookies (enough for everyone), and then the cookies get divvied up amongst the guests. Hence, everyone takes home a bag full of delicious holiday treats! This would be a fun tradition to include this year with a bit of a twist.  Instead of just exchanging cookies, you can make your party a Christmas cookie competition! Guests get to vote for their favorite cookies. The best tasting, the best looking, and the most unique cookie bakers get a small prize!

Traditions That Need To Go!

Fruit Cake- I know this is a big holiday tradition that started in Ancient Rome some 2000 years ago, but these days, no one eats those things! Save your time and money and choose a Christmas treat that people will genuinely enjoy!

Socks and Underwear as gifts- Let’s be honest, socks and underwear are the WORST Christmas presents! Instead of gifting these, take a few moments to think of something a bit more meaningful.  You don’t have to spend a lot to get something unique to make the recipient feel much more special than a three-pack of boxer briefs. 

What Christmas traditions are making a comeback in your home this year?  Share them with us on Social Media @snapnpicsphotobooth on Facebook and Instagram! Merry Christmas, everyone, and Happy Holidays!