Hi, loves! I have been thinking so much about holiday traditions lately as this year will feel anything BUT traditional for me as it is one of the foundational years of my Christmas’ to come! We all have these years where our lives begin to pivot and change, you make different plans than usual because of life’s evolution … and it’s beautiful but also, a little scary! I asked you all what your favorite family traditions are, the ones that bring a warmth to your heart and spirit and joy into the season. You guys really showed up and I had the pleasure of reading through hundreds of traditions. If I’m being honest, it made me miss my family in the States even more and tugged on my heartstrings a bit, but it also showed me how much I have to look forward to. John and I can’t wait to start our own family traditions and your submissions gave us some amazing ideas, so thank you for sharing – it really means so much. I hope you enjoy reading through these as much as I did!
I’m also squeezing in a little holiday outfit inspiration into today’s post, as well, because believe it or not — your girl has been getting herself OUT now that lockdown is over so I hope you enjoy that part of the post, as well, hah!
My turtleneck is one I have had for quite a few years now and made of really warm merino wool! Highly recommend! As I’m writing this, it’s currently on sale but I believe it changes as you might be reading this so take a look and see! It could still be discounted!
List Of Traditions Sent In
Church on Christmas Eve
Watch ‘Christmas Vacation’ with rum-nog [eggnog & rum]
Bake treats in the days leading up and take plates to all our neighbors and close friends.
Matching PJs including the dogs and we stay in them all day on Christmas.
Cut down a real tree the day after Thanksgiving.
We fill out a Christmas memory journal. SO fun to look back on every year.
The elves leave matching PJs and slippers at our door on Christmas Eve.
Handwritten notes to one another reviewing the past year as well as things we are looking forward to in the future.
An Italian dinner for Christmas Eve.
Open stockings in the AM and then spend the day together cooking, etc. and then open gifts around the fire at night.
We celebrate December 22-26. We have different themes, meals and activities each day.
After breakfast, we go on a family hike.
For Christmas dinner, we pick a new place/cuisine and make dishes from that place. i.e. Spain, Italy, etc.
We make homemade Advent calendars.
We do family pizza night on Christmas Eve where everyone makes their own style pizza.
My husband and I hide one gift on Christmas Eve and watch each other try to find it.
My husband and I skip the gifts for one another and instead take a trip each year over New Years.
We collect ornaments from places we have traveled and write the place and date on the bottom.
We open our presents at midnight and stay up all night playing with toys.
We bake a birthday cake for Jesus.
We drive around and look at lights on Christmas Eve.
I take my kids to shop for a child their age and gender to donate.
We sleep by the fireplace on Christmas Eve.
Every year my parents multiple our age by $100 and we donate the amount to a charity of our choice.
Santa hides a pickle ornament in the tree and whoever finds it first gets chocolate or a special gift/gets to open the first gift [German tradition].
We always have a gingerbread house competition and have our Facebook friends vote.
The kids get one ornament each year, when they move out they all get their ornaments.
We take all the girls in the family to see the Nutcracker ballet.
We keep a gratitude jar throughout the year and read it on Christmas Eve.
Growing up my parents would buy plane tickets to a surprise destination as our gifts.
We still line up youngest-to-oldest to go into the living room to open gifts. Silly, but so fun.
We go ice skating each year.
We all wear Christmas jumpers of Christmas day [British tradition].
Two people in the family play ‘Santa’ and they have to sing a song, wear a hat and pass out the gifts.
We have holiday bedding we put out with our other decor. The kids love it.
We have Christmas Eve family game night. We unwrap the game for that year on Christmas Eve.
We do gag gifts for Christmas Eve. Everyone brings a joke gift for someone. Hilarious!
We always go see a movie on Christmas Day night.
Growing up, my dad would always leave boot prints in the ash of our fireplace and scatter "reindeer food" on our front sidewalk.
We save a piece of the tree bark, let it dry out then put a picture of kiddos on it from that year and make an ornament for the following year.
I don’t know about y’all, but it really warms my heart to read through all of these. Such a great reminder that even in a year like 2022 where parties and events are canceled and life looks so much different, there are still some amazing family traditions to keep up with [even if your family can’t all be together this year].
Merry Christmas, friends! xo.