My Favorite Christmas Traditions

Thursday, December 17, 2015

I can't say it enough, I love the Christmas season. I wish it lasted longer.

As we celebrate this special time with our girls, I think about all the traditions my family has had over the years and I can't wait to show my girls them. Some of them they won't be able to enjoy until they are older, but I get excited for what the future holds. Plus we will get to start new traditions of our own.

My Favorite Christmas Traditions:

- Christmas Light Looking. Growing up my parents would often take around the city to look at Christmas lights. We would gather blankets, hot chocolate and venture out in our pjs (well my sister and I did). We would spend hours driving around checking out the light displays. It was always one of my favorite things to do, and it still is.
 Lights of Tanea (amazing display in Reno, Nevada)

- Our family friends annual Christmas Eve party. My family friends have been having a Christmas Eve party ever since I can remember. Every Christmas Eve we would drop off presents at my grandmother's house to exchange with my moms side of the family. Then we would head back to my parents friends house for a party. There is more food than you can imagine, drinks are flowing, Christmas movies on repeat, Christmas music playing throughout the house, friends galore and presents to be shared. There is so much love and happiness in that house, it makes for the perfect ending to Christmas Eve.

- Making "twister" cookies with my dad. My grandmother (my dad's mom) passed down a cookie recipe to my father and every year near Christmas we made a huge patch of them. They are like a sugar cookie that has been cut into a diamond, slit in the middle and pulled through itself. Then they are fried in oil. They may not be the healthiest cookies, but they are the best. You can put powdered sugar on them, jam or eat them plain. It is a very laborious ordeal, but so worth it and brings me back to baking with my grandmother. I literally eat these cookies ALL DAY when they are in my house.

- Watching A Christmas Story all Christmas Eve and Christmas. After we would get home from our friends Christmas Eve party, we would turn on TBS and watch A Christmas Story over and over again. We can recite the whole movie practically and never get tired of it. I usually fall asleep to it and continue to watch it the whole day in the background. It is definitely my favorite Christmas movie. "You'll shoot your eye out kid".

- Cutting down our Christmas tree. The day after Thanksgiving marks our tree cutting day. We venture out bright and early while others are Black Friday shopping to hunt down a Christmas tree. We go with my family and our family friends (the ones who host and go to the Christmas Eve party). We have since added my in-laws to the mix. We drive up into the woods, everyone disperses, cuts down their tree and then celebrates together with food, drinks and some touch football. And this year we got to trek around in snow which made it even more festive.
 My sister and brother in law admiring the snow after we cut down our trees this year

- My mothers homemade cinnamon rolls. My mom has been making cinnamon rolls everything Christmas Eve since I can remember. The house smells amazing and I always looked forward to it Christmas morning. About midway through opening presents, we took a break to eat the fresh and hot cinnamon rolls (and coffee) and talk about the holiday season. And since moving out, I secretly hope my mom shares a batch with my husband and I so we can carry on the tradition every Christmas morning.

- Christmas dinner with my family. I always look forward to the feast we have on Christmas night (a fat kid at heart), followed by all the pie choices. It is always fun to get together with my family and extended family and watch football, eat more than I can handle and catch up. These times have changed since Rory came into my life. Now we typically host Christmas dinner with both sides of our family coming over. We have done it for the six years we have been together, minus last year. It was still at my house, but my mom and sister did all the cooking since I was ready to pop (Read: I had the girls 4 days later). This year is extra special with the girls celebrating their first Christmas.

- Christmas ornaments. Every year my mom would take us out to pick out a Christmas ornament for the tree. When we were young, my mom picked out something for us, but as we got older, it was our choice. I picked the classics (santas, snowmen, reindeer), sports related (49ers), snowboarding related, the Grinch (love that movie) and pretty much anything I was into at that time. Now I have a huge collection of ornaments for my tree and a way to remember the past Christmases.

I can't wait to celebrate all these traditions with my girls in the years to come. I hope to add new ones like Christmas pjs and a Christmas book on Christmas Eve, make Christmas crafts together, decorate gingerbread houses, bake cookies for Santa, read a Christmas book everyday for the month of December and many more.

What are your favorite Christmas traditions?


  1. Such great traditions! So special. I love pulling out all the ornaments too. It's such a neat reminder of all the good stuff!!

    1. Especially the ones from when we were babies. So special.

  2. All my favorite traditions from our childhood (and now) as well!! I can't wait to see all the traditions that you continue on from our childhood and the new ones you start.

    1. I knew you would love these (since you are my sister and enjoyed them with me through the years). And Auntie Ashley can join us on these new traditions with the girls.

  3. I love your traditions! We drive around and look at the lights too. It's so fun. I have all of my ornaments growin up too. It's so fun and I'm looking forward to pass in my kids into them when they are grown.

    1. Did you get your babies (ok Cam isn't a baby anymore) first Christmas ornaments?

  4. Mmmm! Homemade cinnamon rolls sound delish!

    1. They are the best. I don't know how she does it (I try to mimic them and come close), but they are my favorite by far.


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