As I was growing up, I always swore I was going to have so many holiday traditions, and start them young enough so that my kid(s) would always remember them.
Then of course I had a child and realized how hard it was to actually create traditions and keep to them every year. Luckily though we do have a few traditions that we have done around the holidays for the past few years, and hope to continue doing for years to come.
December 1st is tree day! So while I love Christmas with the best of them, I also understand that we should try and keep Christmas beginnings until after thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is always getting the short end of the stick and I am guilty of trying to start early. So while I may decorate the house right after thanksgiving, our tree tradition is December 1! We like real trees, so we go out and as a family pick a tree, try to find the best one, and bring it home for it to get ready for decoration.
Christmas box– I’ve written about Cameron’s Christmas box in a previous post, so I won’t go into much detail here. But this is a tradition that we started when she was born and will continue for as long as she’ll allow us. It may change up a bit but the sentiment will remain the same. She will receive her box either December 1 or 24, with some fun Christmas goodies.
Cookie baking- She may not remember her first few years of cookie baking, but I really enjoy finding a few recipes on Pinterest and testing them out. When we bake them all depends on how hectic our schedules are, but I figure, the closer to Christmas the better so they are fresh for Santa.
Christmas book/movie on Christmas Eve– as Cameron is getting older, I’m getting more and more excited for this one, as she understands movies more and can sit through them. But what we do on Christmas Eve is sit down with a movie of some sort, trying to find a family friendly one, and then ending the evening reading “A night before Christmas,” before sending her off to bed.
One present on Christmas Eve– this is one that I remember doing as a kid, we always got to open one gift on Christmas Eve. It was normally one from an extended family member, but it was always kind of fun to have a little taste of what may be coming the next day. So now we get to do that with Cameron, let her choose one gift and she can open it before bed on Christmas Eve.
Christmas music while opening gifts– this one may seem silly, but I loved opening gifts while listening to Christmas music on Christmas morning. There is just something magical about Christmas music.
Ornament exchange– I got this idea from a friend of mine (shout out Sarah) when her and her fiancé exchanged ornaments shortly after they got engaged. It was such a great idea I decided we should do it too. This way our Christmas tree becomes filled with memorable ornaments. It’s super fun to see the different ornaments each year and what they represent from the past year.
Christmas lights– this is one that we have yet to really start, but I’m hoping it kicks in soon. Driving around town with Christmas music playing and looking at Christmas lights. Or going downtown and seeing them, however we can look at Christmas lights as a family I want to do.
Matching pajamas– I’ll admit, I never thought I would want to do family matching pajamas, but seeing how cute people look while matching Christmas morning made me a believer. It started with just Cameron and I because I couldn’t convince my husband, but this year I was able to convince him to at least participate for at least present time. And I had to make sure to get “manly” pajamas.
I’m sure as the years go, these may change, or get updated, or we may find new ones that work with our family, but it’s so nice to find things to do as a family around the holidays.