Christmas Traditions

As Christmas approaches, our household begins preparing for a few holiday traditions. This year and the next coming years are crucial for Joe and I as we continue with old ones and look into starting a few new ones. Two families mean lots of great traditions!

For today, I wanted to share with you a few traditions that have made each Christmas very special to me.

Christmas Tree: We’ve always put our Christmas tree up in the foyer soon after Thanksgiving. Our tree is the perfect centerpiece for the front of the house. Every year, the tree is decorated with 20-year-old ornaments and hand-made garlands. Our tradition that may not be like most people is when we take ours down. My grandmother loved Christmas. It was her favorite time of year. She has since passed on, but we continue to celebrate her anyway we can. In honor of my grandmother, we keep the tree up with decorations until after her birthday, January 6th. It’s our special way of remembering those who aren’t with us anymore.

IMG_20121202_212923Spritz cookies: Spritz cookies are a butter cookie that my mother and I bake a few days before Christmas each year. We use a cookie press to form them into little Christmas wreaths. These little dessert treats are a huge hit in our household. The first Christmas I spent with Joe, I brought a batch over to his parents. Turns out my family isn’t the only ones that dig spritz cookies. Joe’s Aunt in particular absolutely raves about them. So every year, I make a separate batch just for her.

IMG_20121208_153115These aren’t spritz cookies, but chocolate peppermint crinkle cookies may be a new tradition. Yum!

Christmas Eve: Several years ago, we started a new tradition in my family. We were getting older and my brother and I wanted to do a little something for our church members. Our church offers 5-6 Christmas Eve services. For the children’s services, an angel tells the story of Jesus as Christmas songs are sung. Children have the opportunity to place an ornament on a few trees placed in the front of the sanctuary. I love these services. They’re so sweet and I love seeing all the children dressed up with eyes lit up from the trees. To help out, my family ushers for these services. I like participating because it takes away the pressure to find people to help out during Christmas. Since the whole family gets involved, we aren’t losing any quality family time. It’s just a fun way to get involved in the Christmas spirit.

The Christmas ornament: One tradition that I’m marrying into involves a new ornament every year. Joe’s mom loves Christmas I think more than anyone. She has hundreds of Christmas decorations, even an entire china cabinet dedicated to Santa figurines. On Thanksgiving, she gives everyone a special ornament that she personally hand picked. Sometimes they are sweet little snowmen or a beautiful white glass Santa. Either way, they’re always fun to have and are the perfect little memory to have as the years go by. I’m sure we aren’t the only ones with ornaments that remind us of a special time or memory.

I think traditions make the holiday season memorable. We cherish these traditions and will continue to live by them. I can’t wait to pass them on to my children. I’m sure we’ll start some news ones as well.

I want to know what your holiday traditions are. Let me know in the comments below. Have a great Monday!

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