These are my brothers and sister on my mom’s side of the family. Weren’t they precious?? This picture was taken in 2003 or 2004. They were so sweet and jubilant.
Although we don’t have the same traditions that Hank Jr. does, my family definitely has certain things that we do every year during the holidays. So, with all of this talk about holidays and what-not in the air, it has made me start to think about what kind of traditions I want to start with my little family. I know that since JL is small this year, we might not get to do AALLLLL of these, but others we will be able to go ahead and start right away! So I’ll split these traditions up into two catagories: To Do Now & To Do Later:
TO DO NOW
- Get a yearly Christmas ornament for JL so that when she gets married or moves out (let’s hope she moves out first, lol) she will have at least 18 ornaments that have sentimental value to her that she can put on her own Christmas tree
- Make ornaments every year for MY tree And possibly the grandparents, too
- My family always had this tradition growing up — new PJs for Christmas night. I think I will wrap hers up and let her always open that present on Christmas Eve (already washed of course so she can wear them that night)
- Pictures to take – with Santa, with her in her PJs in front of the tree & with the family in front of the house
- Christmas Cards
- I really like the idea of opening a book and reading it every night from December 1st until December 25th. But books these days are expensive! Plus I don’t like getting them from the thrift store (it gives me the heebie jeebies). So we might start small with this one (like on the 15th) and work our way up to 25 books
- One of my all time favorite things to do during the holiday season is to go and look at Christmas lights! Bobby isn’t as thrilled about it as I am, but he humors me just the same. Hopefully JL will enjoy it just as much as her momma
- Decorating the tree as a family. My brother-in-law and his family took a video and did a time lapse last Christmas of the decking of their halls (check out the holidayness here). I really like that idea, but we will see what we can come up with
- Speaking of Christmas trees, I like LIVE trees. The kind that you go out to a farm and cut down yourself, not the kind that you get out of a box and open like an umbrella or the kind that you go and get from Lowes or Home Depot. A trip to the Christmas Tree Farm is definitely in order. Now, to find a car to bring it home with…
- When I was little, my mom always had an advent calendar hanging in our home. Ours had a little elf that we got to move from day to day, counting down the hours to Christmas and SANTA. I definitely want to do this, but am thinking about having a more DIY approach. I will post on here once I figure out what that approach is going to be
- Not all of our family lives in the US, so I am planning on having a very special video Christmas with our family across the pond every year that we are unable to be together
- Speaking of family, for as far back as I can remember I have had Christmas Eve dinner at my grandmother’s house in Opelika. I would love to continue that tradition with Junah Leigh on board
TO DO LATER
- As my little girl grows up, I want her to think more of others than of herself. So we will be doing at least one of these things: Random Acts of Kindness (you can find examples here), adopting a family from the Angel Tree at Salvation Army, or something along those lines. Last year, a lady that I was working with needed help with her children’s Christmas. I was lucky enough to have such wonderful friends and family! We were able to provide those kids with new beds and a ROOM FULL of toys She took pictures of Christmas day and the best part were the smiles on their faces. Nothing could have been sweeter!
- We are lucky enough to live near an awesome railroad museum, the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum. It is a pretty short drive from our house and every year they do a lot of different events for families. During October, they do a Pumpkin Patch Express where you can ride on the train to a pumpkin patch that has a moonwalk, face painting, refreshments and of course, lots of pumpkins for you to choose from. During December, they run The Polar Express! They serve hot chocolate and chocolate milk (for the kiddos) and cookies to all of the passengers. They also have story time and a visit from the big man in red himself! How fun would that be?
- I am the oldest of 6 children. I have 4 brothers and a sister. When I was growing up we always had so much fun baking cookies for Santa and making reindeer food to put out on Christmas Eve (good example here). The way that their eyes lit up with excitement made the entire sleepless night worth it…well, almost.
- Popcorn garland!
I am sure that there is a ton more that I will continue to add. What are some of your favorite family traditions during the holiday season?