7 of my Favorite Holiday Traditions

Its finally here, I’ve been waiting ALL year just for this. My favorite holiday has come again, Christmas time!!! (today also happens to be my youngest son’s birthday)


Everything about this time of year just makes me smile. All the houses lit up, the beautifully decorated trees everywhere, the scarves, the boots, hot chocolate with marshmallows AND whipped cream, cozying up under blankets with the ones you love. I could just go on and on about how much I love this time of year and wish it would just last a little bit longer. I’ve been guilty of leaving my Christmas lights on my house just a little bit longer than the neighborhood allows, or leaving my tree up after it was socially acceptable to do so. Y’all leave me alone, I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!

If it was up to me the weather would feel cold all the time and it would always be ok to have your Christmas lights up. I mean, if you put them far enough around your house it can light up any dark areas, so really it’s a safety thing.

Too much?!?! Fine, moving on.

November is technically considered the beginning of the holiday season, that being said November and December are busy times around our household. Our oldest boy’s birthday is in November, then there is Thanksgiving. Our youngest was born in December as was I and, mine and my husbands anniversary is also on my birthday. Then of course there’s Christmas and the traveling that’s associated with that. So yeah we are busy. While it can be stressful at times, its still the most amazing time of the year to me.

Christmas is the time of giving, it’s a time where you see the best in people (for the most part). You see people getting excited to see the look on people’s faces when they open their presents. It really shows you that there is good out there in the world still. So here is my gift to you, a few of our family traditions and favorites.

  1. Experiences as Gifts

Something that my family has started doing lately in the gift giving department is giving the gift of an experience. So one of our first experiences we have gotten was concert tickets to our kids favorite musical group. They LOVED it and its something they will remember for a very long time. My kids don’t usually remember most of the gifts they got last year or who they came from. They do however remember the meaningful gifts. There’s one experience I’d LOVE to give to my kids one day, and that’s a trip to the happiest place on earth during Christmas time. Working toward that goal right now. None of us have ever been and it would just be the most magical thing in my whole life to not only see it with my own eyes but to see it through my kids eyes as well. Have any of you ever been during Christmas? Is it as magical as it seems to be? Who am I kidding, of course it is!

   2. Donating unused toys

 Another habit we’ve gotten into over the last several years is around November we start sifting through forgotten toys and seeing what they no longer want to keep around and we donate it. My kids usually have a great time finding toys they don’t play with anymore and setting them aside for those sweet little kids.

   3. Looking at Christmas Lights

 One of my very favorite traditions at Christmas time is to go and look at Christmas lights. This started when I was little. My Oma (German for grandma) would take me out to look at Christmas lights and I just loved it. I’d get in my cozy jammies and away we’d go. Even as a teenager I would get in my jammies and my bestie and I would hop in Oma’s van and we’d get some hot chocolate and go look at more lights. I love seeing the creativity people have.

   4. Living Nativity’s

To sort of go along with the going and looking at lights thing we do, I am usually also on the hunt for a living nativity event happening wherever we happen to be. If you’ve never been to a living nativity, they are really quite spectacular. It’s the story of the first Christmas acted out by people and you usually drive through the whole scene with your windows down listening to the story as you pass by each set up. These are usually put on by churches in the area so if I’ve just sparked an interest in you please start searching for living nativity’s in your area.

 To see some of my favorite Christmas light and living nativity spots we’ve been to, stay tuned.

    5. Putting up the tree

Another tradition started by my Oma was always putting up our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. Then we’d leave it up until January 2. I love decorating the Christmas tree, I am a purist when it comes to light color. A nice warm white light for the tree as well as for lights on our house, its just magical. Don’t get me wrong, I like looking at other people’s colorful lights but for me, the white light is the way to go. (Its how my Oma did it, man I miss her) For a long time there wasn’t really any rhyme or reason to what ornaments went on the tree. Now our downstairs tree would be the more “adult” tree with more of a color scheme and the upstairs tree would be the playful tree, decorated solely by the kids. The kids tree would usually have mine and my husbands old childhood ornaments as well as any that they have made in school over the years. Its really quite cute.

    6. Holiday food/leftovers

When we lived far away from our family and could not afford to make the trip home while being in the military, I started cooking our holiday dinners at home. I truly love holiday food. I’m used to having turkey for both holiday’s, so I would make turkey breast myself at home. Turkey breast is a quick and easy way to get the feel of the holidays without having to wait so many hours to have your food. I have even made these homemade rolls a time or 2. My biggest tradition when it comes to holiday food though, is the leftovers. Mmmmmmm   I make sandwiches the next day with Miracle Whip, American cheese and leftover turkey breast. You can absolutely add some dark meat in there and it would taste just as good. Which meat do you prefer?

Now I know some people have STRONG opinions about Miracle Whip but I personally enjoy it, especially paired with the savory turkey breast.

    7. Setting up the Christmas Village/New pieces

A couple of years ago we started collecting pieces for our own Christmas village. Our first piece was a cute little toy store that was Marine Corps Toys for Tots themed. It is so cute with little Marine Corps bears guarding the front door. I love it. My husband liked it too as I’m sure you could imagine. Here’s one like it. We agreed that each year at Christmas time we would add to it. My mission one day is to get a Chick-Fil-A piece. That would just make my day!!! I love how creative they are getting, not only are there the typical churches and houses and libraries and such but now there are even branded stores and restaurants, ooh maybe there’s a Target one?!?!?! O.M.G.

What kinds of things do you and your family do to celebrate the holidays? Do you take a trip each year? Do you start decorating on a certain day? What sorts of foods do you eat for your Christmas meal? Maybe you don’t celebrate Christmas and you celebrate one of the other many holidays around this time? If so, I’d love to know your holiday traditions, broaden my horizons and please leave those in a comment below. I’d love to answer the questions from my kids about other holidays that happen around this time.

When I decided to start this blog, I had so many ideas flowing through my brain. One idea was a take on what YouTuber’s do around this time called Vlogmas. Instead I thought a Blogmas would be kind of cool. If you’re unfamiliar, Vlogmas is 25 days of videos leading up to Christmas day. Would you be interested in 25 short posts each day until Christmas, or is that too much? I want to make interesting content for y’all so you let me know!!!

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Have an amazing day y’all, see ya next time!!

Ruth 1:16 ~ But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.
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