I really love holiday traditions! Growing up my family had our own holiday traditions and it makes for some wonderful family holiday memories. Now that I have a family of my own, I try to incorporate some of my favorite family traditions that I grew up with, as well as starting a few of our own. I wanted to share some of my favorite holiday traditions today to help inspire you to start some of your own, and some of my fellow blogger friends are sharing some of theirs as well.
Because we live far away from our family and prefer not to travel (since we had Charlie) to our small hometowns where the weather is unpredictible in the winter, we don’t have big family dinners or Christmas traditions that involve other family members. So to make it feel special, I try to make Christmas morning a big event: hot chocolate, a special breakfast, fun stockings, opening presents, a yummy dinner for just the three of us. While it might not be as big of an event as if we were near our families, we enjoy being relaxed and low-key and having no pressure to go anywhere or do anything (which can be nice too!). We miss our families, but you make the best of what you have, right?
Christmas Eve & Day Tradition Ideas:
- open one present on Christmas Eve
- get a new pair of holiday PJs to wear on Christmas morning (usually the gift we open on Christmas Eve)
- prepare a special Christmas morning breakfast: my mom always made Monkey Bread, which I now make for my family
- lottery scratch offs in your stockings: this was one my dad did every year, and after he passed away my mom, brother, and I all bought scratch offs for our stockings – so we kept his tradition going.
- see a movie on Christmas day: my husband and I always saw a movie on Christmas night every year since we met. Sometimes our families would join us and it became quite an event. Since we had a baby, this tradition has been put on hold, but this year we’re going to try to take Charlie to see a family movie in the afternoon instead.
- make Christmas cookies as a family to leave out for Santa
- Skype or FaceTime with the grandparents and let Charlie open one of the presents they sent so they can watch him
- Family walk to the playground or The Grove – everything is empty in LA on Christmas Day!
A great holiday tradition to start as a couple:
Every year when we set up our christmas, we make a yummy dinner and open a bottle of champagne to enjoy during the tree decorating. we save the little wire cage from the wine cork and write the year underneath the top – that little beaut ends up on the tree we now have 7 champagne wire cork holders hidden around the tree. it might seem strange to some but a) it’s a great excuse to drink champagne, as if anyone needs that and b) it’s become a fun tradition that we look forward to every year. tree decorating just wouldn’t be the same without bubbles! – Jacin, Lovely Little Details
Start a holiday tradition to remember another family memory:
My family’s tradition dates back to when we lived in England. Christmas crackers are a big thing across the pond. So before our big Christmas Day dinner, we’ll tug open a Christmas cracker for each of us, read the goofy jokes in each of them as well as showcase whatever toy is in each of them and don the party hat for the rest of the meal. We have done this every year even when we moved to America. It’s rather silly, but we love it. We now buy our’s from either World Market or Williams Sonoma. Lydia, Ever Ours.
Childhood holiday tradition that you carry on into your own family:
Rather than head to the local lot, my husband and I take a weekend to head up to Apple Hill (an area on the way to Lake Tahoe, near my hometown) and cut down our own Christmas tree from a fresh tree lot. My family has done this since I was very young, and it’s so fun to continue the tradition with my husband. Even though it’s a 3 hour drive now from where we currently live, the memories that we continue to create are priceless. Fresh cut trees are awesome; they last super long so we go as early as we can—Thanksgiving weekend is ideal! Of course, no trip to Apple Hill is complete without bringing home a dozen apple doughnuts to munch on as we trim our tree. It’s something I hope we can continue to do with our own kids one day. If only they would open the tree lots up earlier – we’d go in the beginning of November! No shame in our pre-holiday game! – Cathleya of Weddingbee & Momtastic
Holiday tradition for a big family:
Every year, our family gets together to celebrate my mom’s birthday that happens to fall on Christmas Eve. We’d make a conscious effort to take her out to a nice dinner, or cook and bring dinner home, so she won’t have to cook. We’ll feast and do the birthday cake thing and let her open her “birthday” gifts. When she’s opened the last gift, then it’s all game, where gifts are flying across the room, from one family to the other, and kids opening gifts and wrappings piling everywhere. It’s really quite chaotic, but a whirlwind of fun! – Henny, Utterly Engaged
Documenting your tree trimming and decorating:
Jeni of Found Rentals shares that her family makes decorating the tree a family tradition. And her talented photographer husband Joel documents it by taking one photo per minute and then creating a time lapse video. What a great way to document your traditions!
What are your favorite family traditions for the holidays or Christmas morning?
I’ll be taking the rest of this week off to spend quality undistracted time with my family. I hope you and your family have a lovely holiday season and very Merry Christmas!
And if you need something to read while you’re on a holiday break, here are a few suggestions:
Catch up on all of our real weddings here.
And get ready for nesting, because in 2014 we’ll be sharing more of our home tour and some fun home styling and DIY posts!