I’ve mentioned once or twice that Corey and I are pretty big on traditions when it comes to the hoildays. I love for things to be the same year after year, and there are some traditions that I look forward to so much. I love having a few special things that we can anticipate each year, and I love trying out new traditions too!
I’ve talked quite a bit about all of our traditions already, but I thought it might be fun to round up a few of our favorites here. And I’m hoping some of you will share your traditions too!
– Looking at Christmas lights -I’ve always loved how magical Christmas lights can make an entire neighborhood feel, and they’re always one of my favorite parts of Christmas. There’s nothing like coming home after being out for a while and seeing our gorgeous lights shining – it makes me feel like it’s definitely Christmas!
(No, that’s not our house! The photo is from last year when we went out looking.)
Last year we went to a street in downtown Austin that has always been known for over-the-top, super elaborate light displays. It wasn’t quite as amazing as I remember it being as a kid – many of the families have moved and the new families that moved in aren’t as into it, but it was definitely fun. This year we plan on going to the Trail of Lights display at Zilker Park – it hasn’t been lit for the past few years because of the economy and how dang expensive I’m sure it is to light all of those lights, but it’s back on this year and Corey and I can’t wait to go. It’s one of the most magical places in Austin this time of year, and I’m so excited to go check it out!
– Watching “A Christmas Story” on Christmas Day – This one isn’t exactly an official tradition in our family, but it always seems to happen and it never fails to make me happy. When I was a kid, this was probably one of my favorite movies ever, and I forced my family to watch it so many times that I think they all would be happy if we never saw it again. Yet, thanks to marathons that play this Christmas classic for a full 24 hours on Christmas, it always ends up on the television and we always watch at least bits and pieces of it.
– Singing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve – My entire family has done this every year for as long as I can remember and, um, I’ll be honest – when I was a kid I hated it. We always gather in my grandmother’s living room and sing Christmas songs and read the Christmas story before opening presents from the extended family, and it always killed me to have to extend the present opening by even a few minutes longer. As an adult, however, I can appreciate this tradition so much more. It’s a great way to remind us all what we’re really there for, and it just feels so cozy and special. Some years my dad brings his guitar and plays along, and when all of my cousins and I were younger we usually tried to help out with whatever instrument we were into at the time – I vividly remember my cousin and I insisting one year that we would play along with her keyboard after practicing all week long. It’s one of those little things I look forward to every year, even though I may roll my eyes about it when my family keeps insisting on “one more song.”
– Shopping the day after Christmas – this is one we tried out last year and absolutely loved doing. Most of the stores were picked over and there weren’t many decorations left, but we did score a few really cute things at a steep discount! Our favorite? This adorable tree (it’s supposed to be used as a 12-day advent, but we like it all filled up way too much!) from Crate & Barrel that we scored for over 50% off.
(Side note: Yes, there is still a giant hole in our wall/ceiling from when we knocked down our kitchen cabinets over a year ago. We’re lazy.)
We also got some super cute ornaments and a few other small things. It was so fun to extend the Christmas cheer for a few more hours, and we absolutely loved re-discovering all of our steals this year when we brought our stuff out!
What are your family’s holiday traditions?