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Family traditions do not have
to be tied to a specific date.
Family traditions do not have
to be tied to a specific date.

Christmas In January

384 words

How To Make Christmas In January
by Dianne Roth


Frequently, children have two Christmas celebrations. One will be spent with Dad and the other with Mom. This is the common arrangement in divorced families.

On alternate years in our family, Christmas was on the 25th. On the other years, we created a Christmas on the 29th. Families who are sick or traveling might also need to fudge a bit on the calendar.

Our first “late” Christmas was when the children were four and five years old. They came back to my house on the 27th of December, ready to open their presents. They were surprised to find out they had to wait for another two days.

During that time, we used the cookie cutters to make and decorate cookies. We did some final shopping and decorated the tree. They contributed ideas for Christmas dinner. We even built a gingerbread house. It was a busy time, one that filled our home with the sights and smells of Christmas.

On “Christmas Eve”, we read our traditional Christmas stories and hung our stockings. They were not convinced that Santa would know to come on the 29th, but they put out cookies and milk. It was a bit hard to get to sleep that night, just like Christmas Eve. The next morning, they were up at dawn and found that the magic of Christmas morning did not depend on a specific date on the calendar.

We created that magic in our home every year. When we celebrated on the 29th, it was hard to imagine that we were the only ones who could feel it.

One year we even moved Christmas to mid January. My youngest son was coming home from an adventure in Alaska and knew he would be missing out on our family Christmas. I kept the tree in water and warded off the cat who liked to unwrap presents. We had the customary preparations, and on “Christmas”, his brother joined us for the festivities.

We made cookies, built a fire in the fireplace, and played Christmas music. We watched "Christmas Story" and read Red Rider Came Calling, our favorite Christmas stories. It is possible it even snowed that year.

It was Christmas that brought our family together and we continued our family tradition of joyous gathering right in the middle of January.


Dianne Roth is a teacher, mother, grandmother, and freelance writer. She lives in Oregon.




Last updated on October 8, 2012