My Christmas Tradition

My Christmas Tradition

While the Christmas season is steeped in traditions, one I created and really enjoy year-round is a tradition I like to call “The Dormers 12 Days of Christmas.”

This is a tradition I started when my oldest child went to college and I felt like she was missing out on the Christmas preparations. It just seemed a little sad to me that while the rest of our family was watching holiday movies, baking and gift wrapping, my daughter was sitting in a cold dorm room stressing out and cramming for finals.

So that’s when I started this tradition, which encourages her to reach out and call me or send pictures and it also allows a few minutes each day for her and her roommate to take a study break and remind themselves Christmas is just around the corner.

So, the tradition works like this: When my daughter (and my son now as well since he too is in college) comes home for Thanksgiving break, I have a large Christmas gift wrapped box that goes back to school after the break. On the top of the package I place a note that says “Don’t Open Until December 1st.”

Inside the box are 24 wrapped gifts (don’t panic here; the gifts can be small and inexpensive, yet thoughtful). There are actually 12 items in the box, but I buy double of everything (one for my daughter and one for her roommate) for a total of 24. I assign each gift a number from 1 through 12 and I do this twice, one for each set of packages.

Simply put, you are left with two stacks of gifts labeled one through 12. Starting on December 1, my daughter and her roommate both open the package labeled 1, and on December 2, they open the package labeled 2, etc., until they get to the twelfth package, which is usually something like a card with a few dollars in it so they can go get lunch. This year they will probably need to adapt to the times and order some take-out.

I usually go shopping after Christmas and pick up some items such as holiday socks, a planner or calendar, facial masks, holiday candy and any other bargains I’ve picked up throughout the year. This tradition could easily be adapted for other people in your lives, like grandchildren, for instance, or even an elderly neighbor. I think it’s just a nice way to let someone know you are thinking about them over the holidays.


While the Christmas season is steeped in traditions, Dayna Baker has created a unique tradition that others may want to adopt.