When I was a kid, the wait to open gifts on Christmas day got downright unbear-able sometimes.
One year, weeks of watching TV programs like “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown,” “Frosty the Snowman,” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” hearing Christmas music playing from every record player and radio station, and the hustle and bustle of shopping, fueled the anticipation to inferno levels.
My siblings and I couldn’t take it anymore. Seeing all those packages wrapped under the tree sent us into frenzied begging for our parents to let us open our gifts on Christmas Eve. Making us wait another seven or eight hours until Christmas morning would be cruel and torturous punishment.
Sensing our pain – and an opportunity to sleep past 5 a.m. – they broke with tradition and turned us loose.
Step outside the lines
Like that year, some of my most memorable Christmases resulted from breaking with Christmas norms.
Every once in a while, putting your own twist on the holiday can keep it fresh and more fun.
For instance, don’t spend all that time untangling and testing the lights, assembling the tree, or hanging up bulbs. Use that time to play games, explore the town, or listen to crashing waves while celebrating Christmas at a beach resort.
Or, forget the headache of planning, cooking, and cleaning up after a big Christmas dinner. Instead, go to a good restaurant where all you have to do is sit, order, eat, and leave.
Make it your own
The point is, that although we’re creatures of habit, stepping outside of the routine can create extra special holiday memories. Get creative when thinking of ways to break your family’s Christmas norms. I guarantee that your children – and you – will never forget it.