Growing up, I always looked forward to the holiday season.
Don’t get me wrong, I will always & forever be a summer baby and prefer the sunshine over snow, but there was always something so magical and special about November & December. I don’t know if it was because my family had many holiday traditions or that I believed in Santa for quite some time LOL.
As I get older & hope to start a family one day, these traditions are becoming more and more important to me. This is something I want to pass down to my family one day & start new traditions with my kids. For now, I’ll just practice with Eva 🙂
One of my favorite things to do with my family during the holidays is to decorate our house for Christmas.
Every year we put up our trees the Friday after Thanksgiving. Growing up it was an all day event, but this year I did it mostly by myself (which I secretly loved). My parents have moved to Florida & my sister moved in with her boyfriend so it was just me at home to do the decorating. I know this is probably one of the last Christmases we will have in our house in CT. I wanted to make sure it was extra special.
We don’t do “perfectly themed” trees. All of our ornaments have meaning behind them & represent special moments or memories. I love that we can reflect on these special events from the past when we gather around our tree. One of my favorite ornaments is a blue glass ball which I made at a glass blowing place in Newport, RI during one my best friend’s bachelorette parties. It was such a fun experience & I love that I now have that ornament as a reminder of an awesome girls weekend.
Another fun tradition we have is baking our holiday cookies.
My grandmother would always bake dozens & dozens of cookies every holiday season to give out as gifts. I loved being in the kitchen with her; that is how I came to fall in love with baking. Listening to holiday music while baking in the kitchen for hours with the smell of fresh baked cookies in the air is such a vivid memory for me. Anisette cookies & Magic Squares are my favorites!
When we were really young, a tradition we had on Christmas Eve was to leave milk & cookies out for Santa.
We also always left a note with what we wanted for Christmas. Then my parents would read “Twas The Night Before Christmas To Us” before bedtime. Waking up the next morning at the crack of dawn was the most exciting part. Running down the stairs to see what presents Santa left us was so exciting as a little kid. I finally realized Santa wasn’t real when “Santa” decided to respond to one of our letters we had written. He left a handwritten note for us on Christmas morning & that’s when I figured out that “Santa” was really my parents. My Dad has really distinctive handwriting & I instantly knew he wrote the note!! Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
Watching holiday movies is also a fun tradition I love.
Home Alone is hands down one of my favorite holiday movies of all time. Growing up, I wanted to be Kevin McCallister so bad! I even asked for the Talkboy tape recorded from Home Alone 2 for Christmas one year. That was one of my favorite toys (I really wanted to be a spy & loved to secretly record everyone around me, super creepy I know!) Other movies I love to watch around this time of year: Elf, The Family Stone, The Santa Clause & Love Actually. Some new favorites that I watched this year on Netflix are: The Christmas Chronicles & The Holiday Calendar.
Only 6 more sleeps until it’s Christmas morning.
We still get up in the morning to open gifts & sit around the tree and eat chocolate croissants. I know with all my family being spread out now that having us all wake up in the same household for Christmas morning will be short lived. My hope is to stay “present” this holiday season and really enjoy the time I have with my family. On Christmas day, we’ll spend it with my mom’s side of the family. I’m really looking forward to having a relaxing day with lots of food, family & of course all the cookies 🙂 Happy Holidays!