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Our family’s Christmas traditions

Posted Dec 17 2013 10:07pm
Home Holidays Our family’s Christmas traditions

4 comments Dec 16/13 Holidays

Growing up, my family had lots of holiday traditions just as many other families did.

The holiday season consisted of many evening drives to look at lights, picking from our Advent calendar (which was handmade by my grandmother), and eating my mother’s amazing homemade chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies.

traditions 1Michael with Santa last year at Christmastime.  He was so little!

Christmas Eve was a big deal, and I actually looked forward to it more than I looked forward to Christmas Day.

We’d watch Christmas movies, drink hot chocolate, and my mom would always give my sister and me new Christmas pajamas.  After a big dinner in our dining room (which we only used a few times a year), my father would read books to us, such as The Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and The Night Before Christmas.

traditions 2My mom and I on Christmas Eve several years ago.

Now that I am grown up, married, and have one child with another on the way, MT and I are bringing some of our childhood traditions into our home and establishing new ones of our own.

My mother bought me an Advent calendar a few years ago that is quite similar to the one my grandmother made for us so many years ago, and I have so much fun using it to count down another day until Christmas with Michael in the morning.  I can’t wait for his sister to join in with us in a year or two!

Fun fact:  When we were kids, my sister used to peek ahead at the days in the Advent calendar and then move all of the best things to her pockets.  Pathetically enough, I didn’t realize this until I was a teenager.  I just assumed that I had really bad luck when it came to Advent calendars!

Back CameraOur Advent calendar- a close replica of the one my family had when I was a child.

I always want Michael (and his sister) to appreciate their toys, take care of and respect their belongings, and to realize how very fortunate they are to have them.  Along with that, I want them to be sympathetic to the fact that there are many children in the world who aren’t quite as lucky.

That’s why I plan to take my children to pick out some toys to donate to Toys For Tots (or other charitable organizations) each year.  Michael and I made a donation to the bin last week.  At 13 1/2 months old, he didn’t exactly understand the life lesson, but I want him to grow up knowing that was something we always did.

toys for tots

Christmas Eve at my mom and dad’s house is still the best, especially when my grandmother has some wine, so the three of us spend time there. Nothing beats my mom’s home cooking- and I still look forward to her cookies!

When Michael gets to be a bit older, we’ll also look at the Christmas lights.  Right now, he’s already in bed when they’re shining bright.

traditions 5Michael sleeping last Christmas Eve while visions of sugar plums (and baby bottles) danced in his head.

As you know, MT and I love movies, and Christmas movies are no exception.  There are certain ones we always have to watch each year- Home Alone, The Santa Claus, Christmas Vacation, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and on Christmas Eve, it is all about A Christmas Story.

Since we’ve been married, MT and I have always exchanged one small present on Christmas Eve.  That’s one of my favorite traditions because I always get so excited to give him his presents and have a difficult time waiting until Christmas Day.

traditions 6Michael’s presents underneath the tree last year.

On Christmas morning, we’ll have Michael open his presents.  I’ll cook a big breakfast for the three of us, and then MT and I always exchange the rest of our presents privately.  In the evening, I cook a fancy meal (and we actually utilize our dining room!), and MT and I will enjoy a nice romantic dinner all by ourselves.  This year, I’m making Chicken Cacciatore- one of our favorites.

Other traditions include visiting Santa, picking out one new glass ornament for our tree, baking cookies, new Christmas pajamas for Michael, and of course, MT always tries to trick me into telling him what I bought for him.

traditions 7Family photo last year on Christmas.

I’ve always loved Christmas, but now that we have a child, it is just as special as it was when I was a little girl, and I know that the best is yet to come within the next few years when my children are old enough to really partake in everything and get excited for Santa’s visit!

What are some of your family holiday traditions?  I’d love to hear them- and maybe steal a few ideas. ;)


  1. I swear we haven’t even started any traditions yet which I want to change SOON…especially now that we have Nia! Hopefully this is the year that we start :) Your traditions sound fabulous. I really want to watch 4 Christmases on Christmas Eve!!

  2. I love filling my greatest someone’s stocking and have to get busy in getting stuff to stuff it with – ha! Beautiful post – thanks so much for sharing your traditions:)

  3. One thing we’ve always done since we were little is leave our Christmas presents around the tree until a few days after Christmas. We always left them out and when the presents started being put away, it was like the holiday season was wrapping up. I don’t know why that little tradition has stayed with me, but I refuse to put any gifts away until closer to New Year’s.

  4. You have some beautiful traditions around this holiday!

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Hi! I'm Erin- the blogger behind The Grass Skirt. This is a total lifestyle, health, wellness, and beauty blog. You'll also learn all about my family and my obsessions with Lionel Richie and classic television. Be sure to visit my About Me page to learn more. Thanks for visiting!

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