December 13, 2011

Christmas Traditions

I love this time of year. I mean, who doesn't? Yes, it is stressful. Yes, people are extra crazy. Yes, everywhere you go is crowded. But...I still think it's all totally worth it! For me, the thing that makes this season so special and makes it "feel" like Christmas time are the traditions! When I was young I didn't really think too much of the traditions we did year after year. Now that I have my own little family, they are especially near and dear to my heart. I can't wait for my little guy to get a little older so he can share in all the fun things we do!

So, I thought I would share a couple of my favorite traditions that our family does each year. Maybe you will get an idea to start with your family!

The "Spending Christmas Eve at Grandma's House" Tradition
It just wouldn't be Christmas without a get-together the night before Christmas. The whole family gets together and we eat, play games, and usually open an ornament that my Grandma gives each of the grandkids (another tradition). Also, every year we each write our predictions for the next year. We all complain about it while we do it, but the next year when we open them and read them, it was all worth it!

The "Advent Calendar" Tradition
When I was a kid, at Mom & Dad's house we had this old green advent calendar. There was a little mouse that would move from day to day. Each night an "elf" would put some candy in the pocket for each of us kids to eat when we woke up. We looked forward to every morning!

Two years ago, my hubby bought a new advent calendar for our little family. He wrote on little pieces of paper, one for each day of December, a little nice note to me or a song that we love. We have continued that tradition this year by each taking half the days and writing something we love about each other (cheesy, I know..but I love it)! When D gets a little older, I'm sure we will fill each of the boxes with candy like we did when I was a kid.

The "White Elephant" Tradition:
This is one of my favorite traditions. We usually do a white elephant party with our friends and one on Christmas Eve with my whole family. 

I know everyone plays this game differently...but...
Here is our version: We each buy a $10-$15 gift and wrap it. Then we draw numbers and take turns picking a present out of the pile. You open it, and see what you get. The next person goes and can steal that first present or choose to open theirs. That specific gift can only be traded twice in a round. The game ends when the last present is open. It gets pretty crazy and heated with my family. There are usually two or three gifts that everyone competes to get! It's so fun! 

The "Driving Around To See The Lights" Tradition:
This was always one of my favorite ones. I love seeing all the colorful lights and displays people come up with. There is a street called "Christmas Street" and EVERY house in that neighborhood is filled to the brim with lights. It's a must-see event!

Where we live now, they go all out and light up pretty much everything! The trees, the parks, the bridges, the bushes, EVERYTHING is lit up like a Christmas tree. I love driving home at night during this time of year.

The "Santa Gifts" and the "Wrapped Presents" Tradition:
Every Christmas morning, it was filled with suspense. We weren't allowed to look into the living room to see our presents (I'm sure one of us kids peeked a time or two). Our gifts from Santa were always left unwrapped and placed in our "section" of the room. Those were always the biggest, most exciting gifts like an American Girl doll, or a play kitchen, etc.. Then we would eat breakfast (my Mom makes the BEST orange rolls ever).  After that, we got to open the wrapped presents from our parents. We each take a turn (youngest to oldest) opening our gifts until there were no more. I loved all the excitement about not knowing what you were going to get from Santa!

The "Give to Others" Tradition
My hubby and I really love this one. It truly reminds us to be grateful for everything we have. We will do an Angel Tree or Sub for Santa every year. I wish we could do more!!

Some new traditions I want to start with my family are:

The "Wrapping 24 Christmas Books and opening/reading one each day of December" Tradition (pretty self-explanatory, right?)

The "Sleeping Under the Christmas Tree" Tradition 
One of my friends told me they do this every year and I thought that sounded so fun. You pick one or two nights, and have a slumber party under the tree. Reading Christmas books, drinking hot chocolate, etc. 

The "Christmas Cookie Decorating Party" Tradition
Get all the kids together and go nuts! Get some sugar cookies. sprinkles, candy, frosting, and decorate your little heart out! 

What is YOUR favorite Holiday Tradition?

Happy Tradition-making!
He's SO excited for Christmas!

The Wife Pin It


  1. I loved the advent calender! I forgot about how mom told us "elves" put candy in there for us.

  2. these are all great. a family's got to have traditions!

  3. ooo!! love the sleeping under the tree tradition. that is the best. maybe i will have to that when my siblings come for a sleepover next week.


  4. Aw, I love your traditions Jenna!! I'm so with you!! My Mom still buys my brother and I chocolate advent calendars. This year I've been SO naughty and I ate ahead!! (Don't tell my mom!!). Other traditions I love are tree decorating, watching classic and horribly awesome made-for-tv Christmas movies, our city's Santa Parade, ice skating, baking...oh I could go on and on! Happy Holidays! xx Nat

  5. Such great ideas :) Thank you for linking up my friend!


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