Recon Rendezvous: Our Christmas Traditions (Giveaway)

Welcome to AWN’s Monthly Recon Rendezvous We are so glad you are here. Just as the name implies, Recon Rendezvous is a place of community and connection. It is an opportunity to explore and learn about our fellow Army supporters’ lives, victories, trials, and experiences.

Each month, we “rendezvous” here to provide information, resources, and encouragement. Oh, and be sure to enter our giveaway below. We appreciate you! Thanks for contributing to our interactive empowerment for Army Wives across the globe!


Remember how last month we chatted about our fans’ favorite Thanksgiving traditions? Well, now we are shifting gears and are ready to jump into some Holiday Hooah. That’s right, we are checking out some very cool milspouse Christmas traditions! So grab that cup of hot chocolate, snuggle up, and let’s make a list and check it twice — because these traditions are all super nice!


Our family attends Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. ~Em J. 

The elves leave a gift for our kids to open when we get home from Christmas Eve church service. It usually has a box of jammies, a letter from Santa, and a new Christmas book to read. On Christmas morning we love the tradition of finding the pickle. A pickle is hidden on the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve and whoever is the first to find it on Christmas morning gets to open the first gift. ~Tiffany S.B. 

We always decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. When December comes, we wrap 25 books and each kid takes a turn opening a book each day. Another favorite tradition is making and decorating sugar cookies for the elderly. We go and sing Christmas carols, too, with them and it’s the best! ~Joy H. 

We have not had the opportunity to see family on Thanksgiving or Christmas yet, and so we made some of our own traditions. I’m sure it sounds odd, but it’s really kind of special to be spending Christmas just us — like someday maybe we’ll look back and remember our Christmases away from family. No one else with those same memories except me and him.

Anyway, the traditions we made pretty much all revolve around special foods! We make beer cheese soup together on Christmas Eve and dunk homemade dinner rolls in it. On Christmas Day, we make meatballs together with a recipe from a cookbook we picked out on a date. I make homemade gnocchi because that tradition came from my family and I kept it! Sometime during the Christmas season we make sugar cookies together and have a secret activity while the dough rests in the refrigerator. We have an engraved first Christmas ornament, but last year we didn’t even have a tree. We have a small one piece carved Nativity that I picked up for our first Christmas together. 

We call or Skype with our families. On his side, we send presents to each niece and nephew and then between all of his siblings and respective spouses we do a Secret Santa gift exchange. We send parent gifts, sometimes as a combined group and other years individually. Also, we send out Christmas cards. ~Angie A. 

We love going out Christmas Eve and looking at all the beautiful Christmas lights on people’s houses. We usually try to find out ahead of time where there’s a neighborhood contest or where HOAs require all homes to be fully decorated. We cruise around in our PJs listening to Christmas music. 

Christmas morning we let the kids open their stockings while we get up. We always have A Christmas Story playing after presents are opened and while the kids play and we make something fun to eat. 

And Christmas doesn’t always happen on December 25. Sometimes, like during deployments, it gets its own special day. Those Christmases are extra special. ~Sharon H.G. 

We bring out Elf on the Shelf for the kids and decorate for Christmas because it is our family’s favorite time of year! Two weeks before Christmas the kids leave their shoes by the fireplace (German tradition) for Kris Kringle to leave small presents and treats. Christmas Eve, each kid gets a present to open with new PJs freshly washed and ready to wear, a movie, a voucher for Mom’s fresh hot cocoa, popcorn, and a homemade cookie. We then put our letters to Santa out with cookies and cocoa and carrots for the reindeer. Christmas Day, of course we run to see what Santa brought. Stockings are first then presents from family, and lastly, we open presents from Santa. Then a great French toast breakfast. YUM! We do Christmas dinner around 2pm with my mom’s casserole. ~Anne M.B. 

 My husband is the child of German immigrants and growing up he always opened all presents on Christmas Eve. When we married and had children he wanted to continue the tradition with our children. However, I wanted the whole Santa comes at night wake up and do presents show. I always told him that if we ever lived in Germany, we could do it his way (thinking we would never, EVER live in Germany. He wasn’t even in the Army then! Ha ha!) Fast forward 13 years and we have now lived in Germany five years. I begrudgingly agreed (I can be a European Christmas Scrooge, I know…) but it has been so good for him, our kids, and me for him to share that part of his childhood and heritage. So now we do it the German way for the foreseeable future. My kids love it because they get their presents a day earlier! ~Kelly M.S. 

 A new Christmas tradition my husband and I have as a new family is filling a “wish ornament” that we were gifted for our wedding. When we decorate our tree, we privately write a wish for that year and put it into our wish ornament. It stays hanging on the tree all holiday season and is packed away at the end. The following Christmas, we open our wish ornament and read last year’s wishes and make new ones for the following year. ~Jacquelyn W. 

For our Christmas traditions, we have a Christmas Eve box . Then we open presents from mom and dad, open presents from Santa, and afterwards go to my mom’s for Boxing Day to open presents with the rest of the family. ~Cricket. D. 

Christmas Eve the kids get to open one box which includes PJs, a new Christmas movie and some treats, and all the family gifts that are sent to us. This way under the tree is empty for Santa to leave his gifts. Christmas morning they open stockings and Santa’s gifts with a yummy breakfast and then a feast for lunch/dinner. Of course, we play with the new gifts and call/Skype/FaceTime with family. ~Jaricka B.P 

We open one gift (usually PJs/Christmas movie) on Christmas Eve night. We decorate the tree the day after Thanksgiving. We also always make a fruit salad together and serve it in an ugly green 1970’s bowl that belonged to my grandma (I’ve had fruit salad in this bowl my whole life). Each year our kids get a new ornament with the year on it. They then get to put “their” ornaments on the tree. I love seeing them each year and the memories they hold. We’ve also done Elf on the Shelf for the past six years. It’s a HUGE deal! Our youngest gets excited every morning to see what Tink did overnight. ~Kim D. 

We have many Christmases it seems. My mom’s family does a big dinner earlier in the month, then we do a Secret Santa with my dad’s family. Then we see both sets of my husband’s grandparents and then do Christmas Day at his mom’s. ~Mary O.S. 

I am German myself and when we had our firstborn we decided to combine the two traditions. So our children open their presents on Christmas Eve, but they have always known that those presents are from their grandparents, aunts, and us. (That helped to teach them to be thankful for the things they receive.) But there is also always one gift from Santa on Christmas morning in their stocking. ~Marika G.M

On Christmas Eve, we have a holiday party where our close friends and family come to eat, drink holiday punch, and open gifts. Christmas morning, the kids wake up and open their stockings until Nana and Pap come over. Coffee is a must, so Daddy brews a pot while Mommy gets the ham and turkey in the oven and the sides in the warmer and crockpot. Opening presents is time consuming as we we take turns and have to guess before we open. Dinner after presents and then time to figure out how we are going to fit more toys in the playroom. ~Nichole L.W.

We do a book advent calendar where we wrap a variety of Christmas (faith-based and secular) and winter books, opening one each night until Christmas Eve. We have a big, fancy Christmas Eve meal together before candlelight services, then come home, put the kids to bed, and invite friends and neighbors for yummy treats to finish off the evening.  ~Sarah P. 

Every Christmas our meal is homemade pizza! We have tons of topping options and everyone builds their own! ~Erin H. 

For Christmas my favorite tradition is when we put up the tree. My mom makes homemade Chex mix and hot spiced punch (it’s the best) and we listen to the Amy Grant Christmas album. Christmas morning we open presents, eat breakfast casserole, and talk about our hopes/dreams/goals for the upcoming year. ~Mackenzie G.E. 

For Christmas Eve, my kids get to pick and open one present from Mom and Dad or each other. Christmas morning is like my childhood: being woken up by my excited kids, and having a few minutes to wake up and play. Then we eat leftovers from Christmas Eve and play with all the new fun toys. My kids aren’t required to wait for us to go through their stockings from Santa. ~Alisha C.

Each of our three kids have a Christmas tree in their room. Santa leaves his presents there and each year a different kid opens their gifts first. We go room to room opening gifts. It’s good because the kids actually get to see what they get and it builds up excitement for the other kids while they wait their turn. ~Tabatha M.M. 

Readers, we would LOVE to hear all about YOUR Christmas traditions. Jump in and leave a comment below. Also, don’t forget to like/comment/share this post and enter the giveaway below.

We wish you a very Merry Christmas this year!!

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About Sharita Knobloch

Sharita Knobloch is the Executive Officer for Army Wife Network. She is married to her beloved infantryman husband Brandon. The joys and challenges of #ArmyWifeLife ignited her faith on a deep level, so she answered the call to ministry in July 2011. Soon after, Sharita received her Master’s Degree in Christian Leadership from Liberty University.

Sharita is not only an Army Wife, but is also a Toddler-Mama, Smallish-dog-owner, aspiring-runner, writer, speaker and spiritual leadership coach. She loves encouraging others through her personal blog, 7 Days Time. The Knobloch family believes that it is a great privilege to watch God work as they minister in their Army community, regardless of zip code or time zone (They are currently stationed at the 5th Ranger Training Battalion in Dahlonega, Georgia.)

Sharita gets way too excited about office supplies and journal shopping. She is a certified auctioneer, wore duct tape to senior prom (for a scholarship contest #DontJudge), discovered that Zentangle is her relaxation jam, overuses #Hashtags on a regular basis and frequently uses #America! as a verb.

3 Responses to “Recon Rendezvous: Our Christmas Traditions (Giveaway)”

  1. Sara Zielinski December 1, 2017 3:02 pm

    My favorite christmas traditions are baking cookies and putting up the christmas Tree.

  2. Ashley Walkowiak December 4, 2017 8:56 pm

    Listening to Christmas music and drinking eggnog while we decorate is one of my favorite parts of Christmas time. Skyping with loved ones is also a dear part of our Christmas time.

  3. Donna December 8, 2017 10:14 am

    We love our fun secret santa swap!

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