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Holiday Traditions

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

I often find myself reminiscing on the the old days, closing my eyes and going back to my childhood just by a familiar place or smell. Like the paint on the girl's art projects that takes me back to elementary school art class, or the sound of a train that would pass through my backyard growing up. It's always the little things that bring back the greatest memories, especially around the holidays.

I read a quote the other day that really made me stop for a moment and think about Christmas from my childhood and what I want to create for my girls now.

I don't remember what I got for Christmas when I was 3 or 7 or 11..but I do remember the smell of cinnamon rolls and the sound of mom's voice as I ran down the stairs. I remember my dad charging the video camera so he wouldn't miss a single moment. I remember feeling magic before a gift was even open. Don't forget : It's not the gifts that make the magic, it's the moments. It's the memories. - Anonymous

The magic really is in the moments and although this year seems to have been filled with only moments we have missed, there are little things we can do to help keep the magic alive. Take a second and think back, to what your favorite Holiday traditions were. What brought you joy that you still remember to this day?

(my older Sister and I on Christmas morning 1996)

I can remember always having a fresh cut tree strung with colorful lights, candy canes and ornaments that we had made throughout the years. We would come home after attending the Christmas Eve service at church and were given one gift that we were allowed to open. ( I remember snooping through my grandparent's closet or under the tree a few days before, slowly unsticking one side of the tape to get a tiny peek of what was inside.) Christmas morning, My sister and I would run down the stairs in our matching pajamas filled with so much excitement, even thinking back on it now makes me smile.

I wish the true magical feeling of Christmas could last forever. You know, the feeling when you thought you heard reindeer on the roof or a creak of the floor downstairs. Believing that every child around the world was going to wake up with gifts under the tree and finding an empty plate and cup where the cookies and milk were the night before.

As a mom, I want to keep this feeling alive as long as I possibly can. Not only for my girls but for myself too. They love dancing around the living room or in the car with Christmas music turned all the way up or baking Christmas themed cookies with shapes of candy canes and Santa hats. They love running through the tree farm, finding the biggest one for their Dad cut down.

I hope they look back when they are older and smile when they remember these moments. I hope they carry on the same joy to their family and kids one day saying "Grandma loved Christmas time, it was always the most wonderful time of the year."

Carrying on or starting your own traditions is the best way to keep the magic alive and to give your family something to always remember throughout the years. Here are some of our family traditions, both old and new that we look forward to every year :

Community Holiday Outreach

This is the most rewarding tradition we started participating in the past couple of years. Our church organizes an outreach program to deliver meals and presents to families in need within our community. Getting the girls involved in giving back and helping someone less fortunate is something my grandmother always did for me growing up too. There are so many ways we can help people around us especially during the holiday season, check with your local churches or shelters on how you can volunteer your time! Remember, our children are always watching and it will make an impact on not only them but those we are able to reach and share some kindness to.

Kayleigh had a blast helping out in the kitchen making pancakes, delivering presents and a hot meal to kids her age, being reminded of how important it is to always be kind as we never know someone's circumstances and to appreciate all that we have . Alexa is old enough this year to tag along and help spread some joy!


Christmas Tree Farm

(the weekend after Thanksgiving)

Although our Spotify Christmas playlists starts the day after Halloween, the decorations come out and our tree goes up before December 1st! Our family started cutting down our tree in 2014 and we have done it every year since. These days, fake trees look just as real but we do it for the experience of picking out our favorite, watching dad cut it down, loading it into the back of the truck and setting it up at home. Before bringing it inside, we always cut 2"off the stump to dry out and save as ornaments!


Christmas Eve Boxes

Totally stole this idea from my sister and it might be our new favorite! Instead of opening one of their gifts on Christmas Eve, we put together this fun box of things to do as a family. I picked up a few decorative boxes at Target to fill with some Christmas items - pair of pajamas, a Christmas movie and book, some hot chocolate and a new special ornament for them to hang on the tree each year. My sister-in-law said her mom use to buy an ornament each year when she was younger and I really fell in love with the idea. We write the year on the bottom and will save them to use on their own trees, to pass down to their children too.

*This book was a great Target find for only $12.00 (hardcover)! It's a story about the night before Christmas and on the last few pages, there is a section for you to write your child's name, age and what they wanted most this Christmas. I am a sucker for sentimental things to look back on in the years to come and this was a perfect, inexpensive option.

(Click the title buy)


Christmas Light Hunting

If we could drive around forever in our pajamas searching for Christmas lights, we would. The pure excitement in their little voices every time they see someone's house lit up, makes us so happy. I wish everyone would keep them up all year round! Along with our drives to find lights, we also attend a different Christmas light event every year and it's always something we all look forward too. This year, we are attending a drive thru of a beautiful light display with some hot chocolate, wrapped in our blankets. Next year, we plan to attend the Polar Express Train Ride!


Christmas Cookies for the Family

Who doesn't like a tasty treat or homemade dish to be delivered to their front door? Another idea inspired by my sister who bakes cookies every year for family! We chose a new recipe to try and delivered to our local family and friends. Our recipe book is starting to fill up and it makes me so happy. Thanksgiving looked a bit different this year, not seeing all of our family together. Dropping of a little something, made the day a bit brighter for everyone. This year, we cooked my grandmother's famous meat stuffing and it was a hit! Along with a fancy banana, oatmeal & chocolate chip muffin, it was a simple gesture to show love to our family and it was a whole lot of fun to make with the kids. Check out these recipes to try out yourself!


Other ideas :

Mail Christmas Cards or Letters

Donate Canned Goods

Have a gingerbread house making contest

Write letters to Santa

Elf on the Shelf


At the heart of every family tradition, is a meaningful experience.

Whether you have continued a family tradition for years or this inspires you to start something new, the memories are truly something you will never forget. It's the little things in life that bring the greatest joys. Make memories, take lots of pictures, be in the moment and whatever you do, do it with love.

From our family to yours,

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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