9 FAMILY CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS

I love traditions. I mean LOVE!!! Holiday traditions have special meaning as I grew up in a household that held them dear. I remember a conversation my husband and I had early on in our courtship about traditions as he grew up with them too.  We knew they would be important to the dynamics of our family and I think our sons really appreciate them and hopefully will continue them on with their own families.

Here are 9 of our family's Christmas Traditions:

1. Day after Thanksgiving Tree Chop
We often discuss getting a pre-lit tree but the boys will have no mention of it. They relish going out to the tree farm, picking out the most perfect Fraser Fir and taking turns with the saw to chop it down. We also get out the tri-pod and do a family photo, more to come on that next week...

Last Year

This Year


2. Breakfast before chopping down the Tree
Before we get the tree, we head to breakfast and fill up with protein for the best day of tree decorating. 
 One of my Favorite Cracker Barrel Pictures a few years back on an exceptionally warn day after Thanksgiving.
And one from a few years before that at Cracker Barrel as it was a picture fail this year at the restaurant "Stacks"


3. Bailey's and Coffee 
As soon as we get home from getting the tree, I'll brew a cup of coffee and add Baileys and whipped cream. Now, most likely I'll get so busy that I'll set it down and forget where it is, but it's tradition so if I have to reheat it 4 times, then so be it or maybe I'll be so tired I'll just swig the Bailey's from the bottle.


4. Christmas Eve Appetizers at Mom's
 Christmas Eve has always been at my moms. Instead of a big meal, we opt for an appetizer feast. Favorites include her cheese ball, sour cream fudge, eggnog truffles, meatballs, fruit dip and pineapple, and all kinds of goodies. Each year she usually tries a new app as well like bacon wrapped bite size filet mignons.
Just a sampling from last year

5. Gifts on Moms Tree
She has the most adorable spinning pencil tree with pink, silver and white ornaments. On it she hides a gift for each of us and it is the last thing we open and search for. It's so fun trying to find them and we always help each other out. Things include pocket knives, gift cards, candy, jewelry, etc.


6. Mistletoe
Years ago my mom got us a mistletoe. When I was a little girl I remember my parents kissing under our mistletoe. The boys get out our tallest ladder and hang it in our entryway. They've kissed a few girls under it but since those girls are not in the picture anymore, I thought I better leave those pictures out, lol
Here they are hanging the mistletoe a couple weeks ago for us.


7. Reading Twas Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve 
Twas Night Before Christmas is the 2nd best Christmas story next to the reason we celebrate this glorious day: The story of the birth of baby Jesus! I have read this to our family on Christmas Eve forever, even when they stopped believing in Santa and plan to read it to by grand kids someday too or make sure their parents do.

2009

8. Leaving all the Lights on Christmas Eve
My parents would always leave every Christmas light on in the house and outside on Christmas Eve. Usually it would still be dark outside when we awoke to Christmas morning so they felt it was magical to have them still be on. And so of course I am all about magical. While I know firefighters will say this is a fire hazard, it is just a tradition I must stick with (making sure there are no frayed cords, of course!!)

We do turn the fire off ;)


9. Christmas Day PJ's and Routine
Christmas morn is spent taking turns unwrapping presents, hanging in our PJ's, looking at our new stuff, having a nice dinner, usually a red velvet cake for dessert, watching movies like A Christmas Story, maybe playing a game and simply relaxing by candlelight.


Christmas funny gift: Silly Straws

Bonus: The SANTA Purse
Years ago Bath and Body had these adorable bags in red and brown with these darling fluffy white balls hanging from them. They were filled with Bath and Body products. The next year I decided to use it as a purse and people went crazy for it. Although the balls are getting a little dingy now, I still pull it out and carry it around while shopping.

What are your cherished Christmas traditions? I'd love to hear about them!!


xoxo














49 comments:

  1. So fun reading about your family traditions and seeing your photos! I love the idea of hiding gifts in the tree! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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  2. Your traditions are so fun! I love the one about getting the tree that day after Thanksgiving - we start decorating right after as well! The mistletoe is so cute - love how it was your parents thing and now you guys do it!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  3. Love all of your family traditions!!!! We always put the tree up day after thanksgiving as well. It is a pre light though because of all my allergies lol!!

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  4. You're such a fun mom! I hope I'm able to create awesome traditions like this too! Cracker Barrel is my favorite--it always makes me feel so holiday festive at the gift store! Happy Monday!

    www.rosyoutlookblog.com

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  5. Amazing traditions! We always go to get our tree the day after Thanksgiving too and Baileys and coffee? Yes please <3

    Green Fashionista

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  6. So much fun in here with your family!!!! I love the coffee and Bailey's tradition - with whip!!! I need to adopt that one for sure. Love the mistletoe too, so sweet :)

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  7. These are all great traditions! Our little one is just two, so we are still trying to figure out what ours will be. Christmas was always so much fun as a kid, so hopefully we can make it magical!

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  8. I love traditions too! All of these are super great and look like lots of fun!

    Sarah
    http://mybowsandclothes.blogspot.com

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  9. I love traditions and I enjoyed reading about your families traditions! So fantastic! Ok, I need a Santa purse too! That is so adorable!!

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  10. Aww! I just love your Christmas traditions! You are so blessed! Love how you and your boys pick out a tree each year! We just started this tradition ourselves and my little one seems so love it! He helped us decorate the tree this year too! Anyhow, wishing you and your family a blessed HOLIDAY SEASON! Much love, dear Andrea!
    xoxo, Vanessa
    www.WhatWouldVWear.net

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  11. I love all of your traditions. It makes me think that maybe I should stop and write ours down! As I was decorating the tree this year, I kept thinking how fun it will be in the future - to get help from Ariana and any future brothers or sisters who get added to the mix. It makes this Christmas feel extra special!

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  12. So fun reading about all your traditions! You are so blessed to have such a beautiful family to make wonderful memories with. Wishing you the best holiday season, and I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! -xo

    Shauna

    www.lipglossandlace.net

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  13. I loved this post and so glad that we have other things in common like apps at your mom's on Christmas Eve! We do the same thing!! I love the idea of your mom hiding gifts on her tree! And, my! What handsome sons you have, my dear!

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  14. Awe I love all your Christmas traditions!!!! We had some fun traditions when my sister and I were younger. Of course, now that we are all adults and have our own families...we all have new traditions. We go to my MIL's on Christmas Eve for apps like you do! You already know about my Black Friday tradition with my mom. My Christmas tradition that I want to start this year is exchanging stockings with my husband. We go to my SIL house for breakfast Christmas morning. And my mom's for Christmas dinner. Every year after Christmas...we go to Gatlinburg with my husband's family. I want to start reading the night before Christmas every year. My mom used to read us the Charlie Brown Christmas when we were younger.

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  15. All of these traditions are so cool! I love hearing what other people's traditions are and incorporating them into ours:) I hope your Monday is going great!

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  16. It's nice to have traditions that you can stick to every year and pass down to your kids and grandkids. The santa bag is a so cute! That definitely has to come out around the holidays.

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  17. I love reading about Christmas traditions!! My family keeps all the Christmas lights on, too! We always watch a ton of Christmas movies as well...usually A Christmas Carol. My parents own so many different versions of them!

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  18. What a beautiful family and lovely traditions! I also read a christmas story to my children the night before Christmas, and several days leading up to it as well. Have a great day! :)

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  19. You look SO beautiful in every one of these pictures!!! Your boys are so handsome too!! Love all of your traditions and I LOVE Baileys!! :-) I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too!!

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  20. I love traditions too! You have some great ones, especially the baileys and coffee!! ;)

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  21. I love that appetizer feast idea! Appetizers are one of my favorite things to eat. Maybe one day if Michael and I start hosting any holiday festivities we will adopt that tradition! The presents on the tree is really fun too! :)

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  22. We normally cut out tree down the weekend after Thanksgiving too, but this year the weather just didn't cooperate! You have a beautiful family! I can't believe that one day my tiny boys will be BIG boys like yours!! Oh also, I made your sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving, it was the best!

    Brooke
    Pumps and Push-Ups

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  23. love this!! I love reading about other people's traditions.
    I remember as a child my mom having to go downstairs in the morning and turn on all of the lights before we were allowed to go see our presents. lol
    so fun seeing a glimpse into your holiday season!

    Confessions of a Frumpy Mommy

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  24. I LOVE these Andrea! Nothing beats how perfect the house smells when you bring in a fresh cut tree!!! I got mine Saturday and every time I walk inside I smile:)

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  25. You have such a lovely family & your boys are so handsome! Traditions are the best. I still read Twas' the Night Before Christmas to my boys on Christmas Eve, and they still love it!

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  26. I love all of these family moments!! The excitement over picking out the tree is palpable!! I love the picture of you reading with the little one - so sweet!

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  27. Such fun traditions! My family does appetizers on Christmas eve as well. Thanks for sharing all your traditions!

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  28. Love every single one of these traditions! We love doing the Christmas PJs and leaving the lights on on Christmas Eve is a must do for us, too :) It's the most wonderful time of the year!

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  29. We are HUGE on tradition and since being married my hubby and I have created some of our own! We always go downtown and look at the crazy display of lights on Christmas Eve. We then drive over to another town where you get a hot chocolate, sit in your car and listen to Christmas music while you drive through their lights. We always eat at a Steakhouse and then open our presents at midnight. Then we wake up late on Christmas, eat a big breakfast, lounge around in PJ's all day, play with our gifts and eat a ham dinner. I loved reading your traditions, thank you so much for sharing them with us my gorgeous friend! XO -Kim

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  30. Love your Christmas traditions. One of ours was that mom always made homemade cinnamon rolls for Christmas brunch and fresh fruit salad served in an antique cut crystal bowl used only at Christmas. I can remember the light from the chandelier reflecting off the crystal bowl and hearing the happy chatter around the table. We always opened one gift on Christmas eve and had tacos and played board/card games with the family !! Good memories.

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  31. I absolutely love this list! We do a lot of the same things. We have three boys and we cut down our tree the day after Thanksgiving. The farm that we go to has already cut "perfect" trees, but my crew prefers a "wild" one. Every time I look at our wild/imperfect tree it brings a smile to my face. Thanks for linking through Totally Terrific Tuesday!

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  32. Those are great family traditions. We also do appetizer's on Christmas Eve. My boys always insisted on a fresh tree every year ---- sigh --- but now that they are grown up and out of the house I opted for an artificial tree. I am happy (no watering, no vacuuming needles) but they are not (even though they don't live here....go figure). Thanks for sharing.

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  33. I loved reading about your family's traditions. Our oldest daughter is about to turn 3 and is just starting to get the magic of Christmas. It's going to be so much fun to start our own traditions.

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  34. Love Love...LOVE! We take one night to play Christmas music, turn off the TV and decorate the tree. We also have a cookie baking Sunday which Ethan always loves...frosting is his specialty! We always do the feast of the fish for Italian Christmas Eve dinner and leave cookies for Santa at our house on Christmas Eve. Ethan has a tree in his room so Santa always leaves one gift there and it's the first one he opens on Christmas and starts our morning. I love the holiday..so fun!

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  35. thank you so much for linking up with us today! You have so many fun traditions. Your family of boys is so sweet. Love the appetizers meal and cutting down your own tree. i have been looking for some new traditions, so thanks for sharing!

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  36. Traditions are what unite our families together. Thanks for sharing some of yours!

    Lexie
    http://www.thegenesisfeminist.com

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  37. What a great looking family! You don't look like the pre-lit tree kind. Bailey's from the bottle... Nothing wrong with that!

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  38. What great traditions! I have happy memories of going out to actually cut our own tree when I was little but I have yet to do it with my own kids. Some of our favorites are gingerbread waffles for breakfast on Christmas day and new pjs on Christmas Eve.

    I am co-hosting the #HomeMattersParty link party this month and would love to have you stop by for a visit. The door opens for the next party tonight at midnight! http://alaynascreations.co/blog/

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  39. Hahaha... you made me laugh when you said take out the Bailey's and swig from it. I love that stuff but never seem to have any at home. These are all wonderful traditions. and some of them are follewed by my family. What can be better than hanging out in pajamas and opening presents. Have a Merry Christmas.

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  40. Thanks for sharing these this week on Tuesday Talk. You have some very handsome young men. Such fun times to remember and continue each year.

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  41. I've loved reading your traditions. We've always called the whole appetiser feast "picky bits". Appetiser feast sounds SO much classier!
    When mine were small I read them "This is the Star" by Joyce Dunbar, I don't know if you know it but it has THE most beautiful illustrations. Now they are big I just read it to myself!

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  42. You boys are adorable! What a team. Our family used to do the big appetizer Christmas Eve as well. My moms dining room table was so full of bowls and platters we had to spread to serving from the kitchen counter as well. :)
    Our party guests at Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop loved reading about your traditions as much as I did. Your post was one of the most viewed and will be featured this coming week. Congrats!
    Sinea ♥

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  43. Awesome ideas! I love the mistletoe (and your comment about the girls no longer in the picture made me giggle), and the Christmas Eve appetizers!

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  44. Love all your family traditions. I always start my decor the day after Thanksgiving too. Your boys are so cute, God Bless. I need to incorporate your coffee recipe. Amazing! Merry Christmas!!

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  45. Traditions are so important, especially as our kids get older. My son is going to be 15 in two weeks and there are some things that I get the "oh, Mom" saying for. Just being a family and spending time together is a blessing!! :) Merry Christmas!

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  46. I love to read about other family traditions! Thanks for sharing yours. Merry Christmes! Linda

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  47. You guys have some awesome Christmas traditions. I love the big event of chopping the tree and your Christmas Eve appetizers at your mom's. Your Mom's Tree is grand and gorgeous and that photo of you with the hot chocolate cup is beautiful and festive - needs to be framed.

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  48. all of these pictures make my heart happy!! what amazing memories for your sweet family!!!!

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  49. These are so sweet! I miss my mom and dad dearly and the traditions I try to recreate. Well done lady!

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