The holidays are getting closer and closer.
How is your planning going? Is your holiday a minimalist or a all-out extravaganza?
We finally go our Christmas tree and started some Christmas present shopping. It’s the first year Little Miss C can ‘understand’ Christmas. She’s excited about the tree, the decorations, and the cookies. It’s wonderful to see the holiday in a new light.
As a young family, we’re in a transition period of starting our own experiences and traditions. We keep some of the old but get to add on some new. One traditions we’ve kept over the years are my Mom’s “Gooey Buns”, lovingly made from my grandmother’s recipe. We have those on Christmas morning.
Another tradition I share with my Dad. We attend our church’s “Longest Night Service”, which is a quiet and reflective service on the longest day of the year. With all of the hustle and bustle approaching Christmas, a quiet service with candlelight and carols centers me.
Opportunities of moments with my parents become more important as my own nuclear family gets busier. This is Little Miss C’s third Christmas and as she’s getting more aware of the season, we are taking opportunities to re-experience things we’d taken for granted. The smell of the Christmas tree, decorating cookies, playing in the snow, curling ribbon, and sharing the season with a lot of family members… we’re steeping in the season.
So I am excited to share a round-up of Christmas traditions from other bloggers. Do you practice some of these? Share some of yours in the comments.
Related: Christmas Menu & Recap
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Fun Christmas Traditions Blog Round-up
Hannah from Hannah Elizabeth
I’m a single, 21 year old student midwife. Of course, spending time with family is what Christmas is all about for me but I love a tradition that I’ve created since I first started university. There’s something magical about London at Christmas time and Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is a place I visit every year. From the rides to the lights, the music to the festive smells, it’s the perfect place to start the festive season. Of course, Covent Garden is stunning with the bells and decorations too. It’s those two things that start my December off right!
*Note from Jo: I absolutely love London at Christmas time. They don’t have American Thanksgiving so they start decorating in November. The lights across the streets against the Georgian architecture make you feel like you’re in a postcard. The carolers, the windows at Harrods, and ice skating at the Natural History Museum or Somerset House…priceless.
Karen from Karen Sincerely
Wrapping a gift for Santa to take: This is something that Olivia started about three years ago and still does today! When she asked Santa for a Barbie, she decided to wrap one of hers and put it under the tree for Santa to take to a little girl who doesn’t have any toys. We have always tried to teach her about giving back and she helps us pick out her old clothes or toys to donate. Since then, she picks a different Barbie and leaves it under the tree. I love the big heart that she has!
Christmas Eve Box: This is something that one of my best friends told me about and we are starting it this year. I am putting a pair of Christmas pjs, a funny book, a new movie, hot chocolate and popcorn in Olivia’s box! Money Saving Sisters has a great post on creating the cutest box! We are going to give it to Olivia after dinner on Christmas Eve so we can cuddle up and watch the movie together before bed!
Note from Jo: These are great ideas from Karen. What a great idea to associate Santa with sharing and helping other kids. It could be neat to think about where the toy may end up around the world and what that child’s life is like. Have you heard of the reverse Advent box? Every day leading up to the holiday, you add an item to the box to donate to a family in need. I love the idea of a Christmas Eve box too. Do you think my husband will notice if Love Actually is in there every year? I’d probably use these treasures: Woven Tote Basket, Starbucks mugs and hot cocoa, Love Actually DVD, Popcorn Trio Gift Tin, Little’ Blue Truck’s Christmas book, and matching Family PJs.
Zuzana from Being a Mama Abroad
Christmas in Slovakia is full of unique traditions and customs. All kids impatiently await 6th December which is St Nicholas day. He is, in fact, Santa Claus and visits all children who were well behaved throughout the year. In the morning kids find some treats such as sweets, chocolates and fruit next to their shoe, which was left the night before on the windowsill. It’s almost like an early Christmas for kids. The most anticipated day of the whole festive season is Christmas Eve when Slovak households have traditional Christmas dinner, with several different courses. Main course is always fish. It can either be deep fried fish fillets or more traditional, a locally sourced carp fish. People buy carp while still alive and keep it in their bathtubs till Christmas Eve, when they kill it and prepare for dinner. Christmas dinner is followed by the fun part, unwrapping the Christmas presents.
Note from Jo: It’s so interesting to hear about other cultures (especially if it involves food!). There is a Polish tradition I’d like to keep going as our family grows. Polish families shares as oplatek, a very bland wafer, imprinted with a Christmas scene. As you share the wafer, you also share your good wishes and thoughts for the coming year for a family member. You can read more in this article: “Polish Christmas Wafer: A Flavorless Tradition That’s Oh So Sweet“.
Anne from One Determined Life
My favourite family tradition is getting one new ornament each year for the tree. Every year we pick an ornament that represents a special event: baby, wedding, moving and put it on the tree. Now, we have a tree full of memories and things we can be thankful for.
Note from Jo: My mother-in-law is excellent at this. We have ornaments from our family events: our wedding, our new house, and C’s first Christmas. We just added them to our tree tonight and they bring me warm memories every time I see them.
Sarah from Super Savvy Sarah
After Thanksgiving dinner is cleaned up, every member in our family receives $20 cash. During the month of December, we use that cash to do something good for someone else, a stranger needing help paying for groceries, buying coffee for the person in line behind us, mailing it anonymously to a friend in need, etc. Before we open presents on Christmas Day, we all tell what we spent the money on. It really makes you start looking for ways to help people and realize how grateful you should be for what you have.
Note from Jo: What a wonderful idea. Acts of Kindness couple with gratitude keep the holidays in your mind and your heart.
Nicole from Coffee and Carpool
We help our children purchase and wrap gifts for each other on a special night and then to keep it special, these are the only gifts we open on Christmas Eve.
Shannon from Making Mommas
My boss knows our love of traditions, so she started us on this one. She gave us a Pickle Christmas Ornament. On Christmas Morning, we hide it somewhere in the tree. Whichever child finds it first gets to be the first one to open a present.
Bola Adesanya from Godfidencefabgirls
Our best tradition is reaching out to at least one needy person just before Christmas to make it
What are your traditions? Be sure to share in the comments!
A big thank you to the other bloggers in this round-up for taking the time to share their traditions. Be sure to share this pin with your friends to help support their efforts!