Image Credit: Adobe Stock: Syda Productions
When my husband and I got together we realized we had different holiday traditions.
We had different upbringings and luxuries (or not), which affected how each of us celebrated the holidays.
So when we got together, we wanted to make sure we decided what traditions we would continue from our families, which ones we would start, and which ones we would wait on.
As a family who is intentional on keeping the spirit of the holiday, these are our traditions below:
The Weekend After Thanksgiving
1. Putting up the Christmas Tree
We have a mismatched tree full of different ornaments: ones that are DIY, others collected from different places we visited, and even some ornaments we like that represent our interests and personalities. I love this tree because it is our own unique story represented on the tree.
For example, one of the ornaments I created is a wedding ornament. This ornament has some of the items from our wedding cake and also the corkscrew from the champagne in our honeymoon suite.
2. Putting up holiday stocking for each member of the family
I thought this was something that every family did.
However, when we were shopping for holiday stockings, I found out that my husband did not have one growing up.
So to add more meaning to the tradition, we did not get matching stockings. Rather we each picked out our own stockings. One day, Sierra will have a chance to pick out her own stocking when she is old enough to not just pick one based off her favorite tv show!
Starting December 1st
3. Watching Christmas Movies
My husband loves movies. Our first date was a movie. The same way I love books and how they have changed my life is how he feels about movies.
I guess because I am a bookworm and also didn’t really grow up watching TV or movies, there are many Christmas movies (or movies in general) that I have never watched.
Now, each Christmas season, we watch Christmas movies. Some of the ones in our collection include:
4. Read Holiday books
When looking at some holiday traditions to start with young children, I saw the idea of reading Christmas books.
Some families decide to wrap up each Christmas book and have the child open one book each day leading up to Christmas.
Since we are on a budget, and again want to take away from the materialism of the holiday, we have a couple of holiday books, and will be building our Christmas book library through the years. Therefore, we read some books multiple times during the season. Some Christmas books we have in our library are:
- Merry Christmas, Mouse!
- The Little Christmas Elf
- Corduroy’s Christmas Surprise
- If You Take A Mouse To The Movies
- The Night Before Christmas
5. Baking Christmas Cookies
I have never made cookies from scratch until the year my husband and I got together because I never considered myself a baker.
Once I realized how easy it was, and the number of different kinds of options to try out, I made it a tradition.
Now, I get joy of figuring out which ones are liked, which ones to scrap, which ones to recreate, and which ones may need tweaking (one time I made pistachio ones and they did not flatten, so they were big round balls of dough!)
Through The Season
6. Picking out an ornament for Sierra
When my husband and I bought our tree together, I realized we did not have any ornaments. It made me think of my mom’s tradition of having a specific colored theme for the year, and how I had to start from scratch.
Therefore, we started the tradition of picking out an ornament for her on a yearly basis, and then once she is old enough, she can pick one out herself.
This way, when she is old enough and has her own place, she can have a box of memories for her of ornaments collected through the years. Hopefully she will get out of her phase in a couple of years of picking out her current favorite movie or TV show! (I highly doubt she’ll want to keep her Frozen or Paw Patrol ornaments by then!).
7. Create a holiday ornament or decoration
I used to scrapbook, but with a toddler, a full time job, and a part time business, the holidays are usually the only time I break out the EXTRA creative supplies such as the glue gun!
8. Christmas PJs
Again when I was looking for other holiday traditions to start, I saw the idea of Christmas PJS for children. But since I, of course, wanted it to be something for the entire family, we don’t just do it for Sierra, but rather the entire family.
Through the Year
9. Pick out or create milestone/important event ornaments
This tradition started because my husband and I had a whirlwind romance that was very quick.
The year we started our tree, so much had happened in the past year. We started dating, moved in together, and had a baby.
So the sentimental being that I am, when I saw the personalized ornaments at the mall kiosk, I took it as a sign!
The first milestone ornament I purchased represented our first Christmas together, an ornament of 3 snowmen with our names under each snowman.
Now we have different ornaments from places we visited, such as our honeymoon, museums and attractions we visited, and even our first Broadway play we watched together (Aladdin!)
IN THE FUTURE
Now that Sierra is older and can understand and express herself more, some new traditions that we will be incorporating in the future will be:
- Going to see holiday lights
- Creating Christmas Cards for a casue
- Volunteering for A Specific Cause
- Sponsoring a family for the holidays
I am looking forward to all the years of even more memories and traditions we create as a family.
As you can see, we can make even habits intentional, when putting some thought and mindfulness into it.
I would love to know what your traditions are. Please comment below!