Have a very, merry not-Christmas

Photo by  Paul Rysz  on  Unsplash

Photo by Paul Rysz on Unsplash

Every family has its traditions at Christmas time. You might celebrate on Christmas Eve, spend the morning at church, or maybe your family has a relaxed BBQ and then gets on the bevvies (a term for beverages that I stole from my younger, much cooler brother).

With Christmas fast approaching it seemed an appropriate time to share a few of my family’s Christmas traditions because, well, some of them are totally weird and some are a bit crazy, which makes for great reading, right?


A small Christmas gathering is out of the question

If you weren’t aware already, my family is huge. I have six siblings, three brother-in-laws, two sister-in-laws, three nephews and two nieces – and that’s just the immediate family. By the time you add aunties, uncles and cousins into the mix, you have a pretty big bash. At this year’s Christmas we’ll have 19 people at the dinner table – and it’s a quiet year this year.

We do church on Christmas Eve

Remembering the reason for the season is an important element to Christmas for my family. It’s all about remembering the day Jesus was born in a Bethlehem stable. It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle on Christmas day, and so every Christmas Eve you’ll find my little family (and a bit of my immediate family) celebrating Christ on Christmas Eve. It’s such an awesome way to reflect, breathe and remember what matters most.

Secret Santa is the only way we give gifts

Because there are so many of us, we make a Secret Santa draw every year that means we only have to buy one gift. Each member of the draw writes up a short list of items we would like to receive to a limit of $80. On Christmas morning, each person receives an $80 gift and everyone is happy! No more spending big bucks on hundreds of gifts that people don’t really want.

We don’t have a normal Christmas

My family is BIG on not-Christmas, meaning each year we have a theme that has nothing to do with the silly season itself. We’ve had a Hawaiian Christmas, an Enchanted Forest Christmas, a tacky Christmas, a Karaoke Christmas, a Country Christmas, a Country Club Christmas (Different to the Country Christmas) and a Pirate Christmas. Yes it is crazy, yes we are crazy.

When my mum first suggested the idea of a themed Christmas, we thought it was a ridiculous idea. But as the years have gone by and the costumes have gotten crazier, my whole family has changed our tune. Not only do we have games for the kids and games for the adults (of course!), but our Christmas day is unlike anyone else’s!

For our Country Club Christmas (2015) my dad constructed a mini golf course around the whole backyard, for Pirate Christmas (2016) we had a two-team treasure hunt and for Country Christmas (2014) we turned the living room into a Ranch.

It’s the best not-Christmas event of the year and it’s the perfect way to bring family altogether for a bunch of silly games and good times.

Christmas traditions are so important, even the non-traditional ones. Whatever you’re up to this silly season, have a safe and wonderful time with your loved ones. Merry Christmas!

Rachel Chen