Alternatives to Traditional Christmas Dinners

This year, we are sharing ideas on how to celebrate the holidays differently. You’ll be sure to find something for everyone!

As the holidays approach, we set off in search of non-food-related Christmas traditions in Quebec families… and we came up with some interesting options for people living with food allergies.

Board games for all ages

Getting together with family and friends is the perfect time to dust off your old board games. Whether you’re in your pajamas or your best party dress, good times are right around the corner. Here are some suggestions:

  • For those who like a good laugh: Cranium (Hasbro, 4+ players, Ages 16+), Speak Out Showdown  (Hasbro, 4-5 players, Ages 16+), Dad Joke Face-Off  (Playroom Entertainment, 2-12 players, Ages 13+), Pictionary (Mattel games, 2 teams, Ages 8+) , Twister  (Hasbro, 2+ players, Ages 6+);
  • For strategic personalities: Scattergories (Hasbro, 2-6 players, Ages 12+), Carcassonne (Z-man games, 2-5 players, Ages 7+), Monopoly  (Hasbro, 2-4 players, Ages 8+);
  • For more traditional types: Mille-borne, Uno, Rummy, cards;
  • For kids: Camouflage (Smart Games, 1 player, Ages 6+), Dobble (Asmodee, 2-8 players, Ages 6+), The Legend of the Wendigo (Scorpion masqué, 2-6 players, Ages 6+)

Outdoor activities

The great outdoors is the perfect place to celebrate Christmas. Here are some activity suggestions that could easily turn into family traditions.

  • If the weather is right, put on your skates and discover Quebec’s many outdoor (or indoor) skating rinks;
  • Organize a game of ice hockey or street hockey between cousins; ask your aunts and uncles to come out and cheer.
  • Go on a family adventure to discover new hills for sledding;
  • Try dog sledding;
  • Once back inside, why not organize a karaoke party in which young and old alike can belt out their favorite tunes? Or sit down in front of a good movie dressed in your coziest pajamas…We really enjoyed the 1946 Holiday Classic, It’s a Wonderful Life.

Reading suggestions: How to store and protect epinephrine in the winter. (in French)

New traditions

Christmas is undoubtedly a celebration of traditions: gifts, decorations, elaborate meals. But in some families, customs have been revisited by putting emphasis on love and gratitude.

  • Every year, as Christmas approaches, Annie and her family visit the Village Québécois d’Antan . They go there in the evening when the village is illuminated, which makes the setting even more magical.
  • For her part, on Christmas evening, Sylvie-Anne takes the opportunity to go for a walk with her family and breath in the fresh air. There’s no better way to spend a relaxing night after a hearty meal.
  • Isabelle is starting a new tradition this year: a homemade Advent calendar. Every day in December, her children will delightfully discover their surprise: one day could be a 15-minute massage, the next, a chores-free day.
  • Amély-Kim recently organized a craft workshop with her children to make Christmas decorations. Her sons were proud of their creations… and it also allowed the family to reuse materials that would otherwise have been thrown away.
  • For some years now, as Christmas approaches, Soleine and her daughters have been going through their closets and donating clothes they no longer wear to a non-profit organization. The family also chooses two or three charities during the holiday season to get involved with during the year.

In closing, if you live with food allergies, yet you enjoy family gatherings around a delicious meal, remember that it’s possible to limit the risk of allergic reactions while maintaining a calm attitude. Read our article on this subject. (in French)

Happy Holidays!