girlfriend holiday traditionsI know what I’m getting for Christmas from my girlfriend Terri.

I get it every year, and every year I love it! It’s a compilation CD of songs released from the radio station I listened to when I lived in Minnesota. (And that I still listen to online, because I like their music but more because I like feeling like I’m not that far away from my great MN friends.)

It’s our holiday girlfriend tradition – and I love that.

Often we have family traditions like going to the grandparent’s house or special meals together. We have worked parties and neighborhood open houses. They’re school concerts and church events. But do you have girlfriend holiday traditions?

The holidays, aka: hectic holidays, actually are the perfect time for girlfriend traditions. Sure, we’re all busy – we have girlfriend gifts to buy, wrap, give and more things on our To-Do list than we can check off – and that’s why it’s perfect to make time and make memories with your friends. We need that ‘excuse’ to stop and share time with a friend. It actually can de-stress us (as shared in this guest blog on saying no to holiday stress). And it makes the holidays much more enjoyable.

Here’re a few ideas for girlfriend holiday traditions. Please share yours!

  • 1 – Girlfriend Get-together – Sure the calendar is full of parties, but wouldn’t you rather be with your girlfriends?! Plan a happy hour or dinner out with your friends. If you’re lucky enough to have a few gourmet girlfriends, bring appetizers and desserts to someone’s home. I guarantee that within 15 minutes all your holiday stress will have gone down like that first glass of wine! (-:
  • 2 – Ornament Exchange – We just had our annual Book Club holiday party this week and I’d skip any party to attend it! We laughed until way too late on a ‘school night’ as we did our ‘ornament exchange.’ Each girlfriend brings a wrapped ornament and draws a number. #1 goes first and takes a gift and opens it. Then #2 can ‘steal’ her ornament or pick a gift to open. It continues around the room until we all have ornaments and have stolen quite a few from each other. It’s a scream – try it!
  • 3 – Fireside Chat – For the past three or four years, my girlfriends Allison, Joan and I meet on a Friday afternoon around the holidays to catch up on our lives. We, unfortunately, don’t get to see each other very often so it’s our way of staying in touch and sharing our lives with each other. It’s just a casual conversation but we cover the past year and what we’re looking forward to in the year to come.
  • 4 – Book Swap (or Gift Swap) – My friend Joan (yes, the Fireside Chat Joan) has an annual party early in January where she invites all her friends who love to read. We all bring the books we’ve read over the past year and swap them for new (to us) books. She serves coffee and pastries (or has it in a nearby neighborhood coffee shop) and we all spend a Saturday morning sharing books and fun conversations. You could also do this with your friends and exchange gifts you got but don’t really want! That’s much better than putting in the gift drawer and possibly re-gifting to the original gift giver!
  • 5 – Cookie Exchange – Another friend invites her girlfriends who love to bake together for an annual cookie exchange. If there are eight girlfriends, each is told to bring eight dozen cookies (bagged by the dozen). Then everyone leaves with dozens of wonderful treats for family and holiday festivities. (They also share the recipes.)
  • 6 – Concert or Event Tradition – This one is a wonderful ‘excuse’ to spend time together over the hectic holidays. What concert or event (or even getting together to watch a movie like Elf or Love Actually) can you and your friends do this year that you can continue in future years? Today, my girlfriends Anne and Jill (along with other friends/family) are going to our favorite holiday tradition/concert. (Over the Rhine is a local band, loved internationally, with the most beautiful music and concerts filled with kind conversations. They do a special ‘friends and family’ concert in an old, distressed, decommissioned Catholic church that is hauntingly beautiful with cherubs, peeling paint and fabulous stained-glass windows. While the music is generally secular, aside from a Christmas song or two, you leave the concert with the most peaceful, spiritual, wonderful holiday feeling. I love sharing this tradition with my friends!) What holiday event, concert or movie can you experience with your girlfriends this and in future years?

Happy Holidays Girlfriends! What are your girlfriend holiday traditions?

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