There are so many things I love about this time of year. The sights, the sounds, the smells of the holidays are intoxicating. When I really think about the specific things about this time of year that I love it all comes down to the traditions me and my family have created together.
Traditions have been proven to do many things, but one of their main benefits is they contribute to a sense of belonging. They remind us that we are part of something bigger than ourselves and they bring us closer together as a family.
Knowing traditions are so important, here are 5 holiday traditions that me and my family participate in and treasure.
I received samples for this post. Affiliate links are used below. All opinions and ideas are my own.
Ornament Exchange– Each Christmas morning, since I was born, I have unwrapped an ornament. This ornament was a representation of my year or something special to me. I have a giant engagement ring for the year I got engaged, a teacher santa for the year I became a teacher… etc.
I find myself telling my kids the meaning behind each one as we decorate the tree, and they laugh and smile with me. Then I let them tell me about each of their ornaments we have bought them since they were born. It makes me tear up every year. I love scouring the stores and internet for the perfect ornament for them each year, and I love our hodge podge tree full of memories.
Book Countdown– This one has become pretty popular over the past few years, but I still love it! Each night before Christmas my kids unwrap a holiday book and we read it before bed. Some are new, most our favorites from years past. They remember them and look forward to finding and reading their favorites each year. There is nothing better than snuggling up for a story around the twinkling lights of the tree.
Christmas Tree Slumber Party– Before Christmas each year we have a Christmas tree slumber party. We put on our Christmas pjs, we read stories, eat treats, watch movies, and we all snuggle together under the twinkling lights of the tree for a slumber party. I don’t know who looks forward to it more, me or the kids.
Card Wall– I adore getting cards from all of our loved ones. My kids love to open the envelopes and exclaim with delight at the faces of family and friends. We immediately tape the pictures to one of the walls between our kitchen and living room. They stay up all season long. They are the last “decoration” we take down, we hate to see all those smiling faces go!
Sending Cards– Because I love receiving cards so much, I put a lot of thought into the cards we send out. From the pictures to the physical card choice, I really do my research and try to find the perfect card for our family to send out each year.
This year I knew I wanted a card that really showcased our last year in Alaska and that helped us announce our move next year. Because I wanted to include some updates, I decided to go with a year in review cards. The spaces on the card for text let me share details with our friends and family without having to create something separate to add in our envelopes. I love it.