Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Our Holiday Traditions

I have such fond memories of the holidays as a child and I hope we create a home and atmosphere for our girls to make happy memories of their own.

Passed Down Traditions

1 - Driving around and looking at Christmas lights (this has always been a favorite of mine!)

2 - Cookies! My mom always made a huge variety, I love doing this too! This year we did sugar cookies, buckeye balls, peanut butter kisses, and (my favorite) chocolate ribbon cookies.  I also like to do eggnog balls, Finnish cookies, snowballs, cocoa cookies, and double chocolate biscotti. 
3 - Waiting for Santa on the fire truck!  Love that our town does this just like my hometown.  Our Santa came at night growing up, this one comes during the day, but the fire firefighters hand out candy canes, so that works too!
4 - Giant gingerbread cookies.  I have the 1980 cookie cutters my mom used with us.  A gingerbread man, girl, house, and snowman.  We got to decorate them with icing, sprinkles, red hots, etc.  We didn't do a gingerbread house, but this was just as fun and probably easier when we were preschoolers.
5 - Hanukkah.  I grew up with parents who were raised in different religions.  Since my parents didn't actively practice either, they shared the diversity of the season and our extended relatives and we celebrated both Hanukkah and Christmas.  I have my mother's heirloom menorah and I look forward to teaching the girls the history.  And since my husband's step mother is Jewish, it's nice to be able to celebrate with her traditions, as well. 

6 -Visit Santa!  I still have a lot of my old mall Santa polariods.  Time honored tradition filled with joy or tears, and perfect either way.  Wish us luck, we are headed out for our trip today!
7 - Tree (artificial) goes up the day after Thanksgiving! 

New Traditions

1 - Elf on the Shelf.  We joined the masses, it's silly, but cute. 
2 - Gingerbread house.  I know I said we would do the giant cookies, and hopefully that's what we'll do the next few years, but I would love to do some awesome gingerbread houses maybe when the girls are in elementary school and can handle having the creative freedom a bit more.  
3 - Day of service.  It is better to give, than to receive  - and I want my girls to remember how lucky they are in a season filled with want, want, want.  Whether it's a local volunteer opportunity, doing small acts of kindness for neighbors, or going door to door to collect canned goods or clothing to bring in to donation centers.
4 - Go ice skating or a winter activity as a family.  (Skiing/snowtubing/etc... just a fun family activity that will help us bond as a family and have fun memories of the special activity).
5 - The Nutcracker.  When the girls are old enough to sit still, I would love to start taking them to see The Nutcracker in the city.  I was never a dancer, but I saw local productions of The Nutcracker as a kid and always loved the movie... even if it oddly stared Macaulay Caulkin.

6 - Advent calendar.  We had the little Hallmark ones growing up, but I would love to our new version year after year. 

I'm sure there are lot of other things we'll add over time, traditional meals - like baked french toast or cinnamon buns for breakfast Christmas morning - with Irish coffee for mom and dad and hot cocoa for the girls.  However, I just thought I'd share what we do and plan to do as I know I always love hearing what others do and what preferences are.  

What is your favorite tradition you look forward to each year??


  1. so many great traditions! i love to bake cookies, watch christmas movies and go to church on christmas eve. when we have kids i'd like to start doing an advent calendar, elf on the shelf, and go see the nutcracker! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  2. So fun!! They are going to love the could do dinner and a show every year! You're making me want a girl!! :)

  3. So much fun, love the nutcracker idea!!!

  4. Hopefully! We don't live far from the city, but we rarely ever go in. I would love for them to have those early childhood memories of going in and it being a big deal. Maybe when they are even older we'll start an annual trip to NYC for shopping! ;)


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