Hey friends!!! Back with just FIVE days to go until Christmas and I wanted to take a minute to share some of our family’s favorite [and most treasured] holiday traditions… growing up, my parents made sure we went ALL out for the holidays and it’s something I absolutely want to continue to do with my very own children and Jeff and so we are making the most of this oh so merry season.
And P.S. scroll below and link up with your favorite traditions… ALWAYS love hearing what you enjoy doing with the ones you love this time of year 😉
One. Visiting Santa
Well of course you can’t have a holiday traditions roundup without talking about your visit to see Jolly Old St. Nick! We get the girls dressed up in their Christmas dresses, take them to the mall, and then we always cap off the day with a special treat, usually ice cream or cookies at a nearby restaurant. Mimi and I started making it a girls’ day since Caroline’s first Christmas back in 2o12 and it’s something we so look forward to each year. It’s crazy to see how far we’ve come with their willingness to share their wishlist with Santa and the crying pics have stopped, which made me sad!!
Two. Baking Cookies + Watching Christmas Movies
If there is one good thing about my babies getting older, it’s that we can make the most of our nights at home during the holidays AND they can help me bake in the kitchen! There is something so sweet and sentimental about gathering around the kitchen together and baking cookies… the more icing the better, with sprinkles on top of every single cookie and of course MAJOR taste testing happens, too. Then, we pick out a few of our favorite Christmas movies and make it a movie night all snuggled up on the couch… fan favorites?? Home Alone, White Christmas, ELF, Miracle on 34th Street and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer!
Three. A Fancy Date Day
Last weekend, one of those milestones that you wait for as a parent FINALLY came… we took the girls to see The Nutcracker at TPAC. Growing up, I can remember my mom taking me to see the ballet and the awe and wonder of all the ballerinas, costumes, set props, music and more and I couldn’t wait to take Caroline and Carson. It was a day filled with fun… brunch at The Hermitage Hotel followed by orchestra seats and then backstage VIP passes to meet the cast = complete joy and my girls had a ball!! Of course I have to give a big thanks to their daddy for being the best date in town AND to Kapital K for their gorgeous pink and gold dresses, which were the perfect ensemble for our family outing.
Four. Adopting Angels from the Tree
Another family favorite for our little foursome is grabbing angels from The Salvation Army Christmas Tree and spoiling these less-fortunate kiddos with everything and more from their holiday wishlist. Not only does it warm my heart to do for others, but it’s even more thrilling to see my little ones join in and love to give back to others… I know it’s easy to get wrapped up in everything WE want for Christmas, but seeing your children WANT to help and give is an absolutely amazing experience. I can thank my parents for starting this tradition long ago when I was a kid and it’s something I look forward to each and every year, even more so as a parent myself.
Looking for other ways to help and give back this season?? Some of my favorites to partner with include St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Hope for Domestic Violence, American Red Cross and Compassion International.
Five. Completing the Christmas Book
And finally, if there is something you’re looking to commemorate Christmas AND start as a family keepsake, it’s this Christmas Memories Book. I found this years ago at a local store and instantly fell in love… basically, it’s a fill in the blank book that you write in after Christmas each year. You can list out your events and happenings, what happened on any year’s Christmas Eve/Day celebrations, what presents were received, things you want to highlight and of course it has a space for your family’s Christmas card for that year. Hands down, one of the best gifts you can give and it’s a treasure I LOVE!
Let’s face it… it’s HARD to list just five, so a few other family favs include: getting dressed in our pajamas, grabbing hot cocoa and hitting up local neighborhoods to check out the lights, attending candlelight church on Christmas Eve, buying poppers to open for Christmas dinner [cute options include these snowmen or these Santa and his reindeer], and of course getting to open ONE present on December 24th!
OK, so tell me… I want to know all of YOUR favorite holiday traditions… LOVE hearing your family’s big celebrations and special memories!