Part of the reason Christmas felt so magical when you were a kid was because of all the special things you did only at that time of year. This will be the first year we won’t be back home for Christmas. We will be here in Santiago for the entire holiday season. As much as we are going to miss being with our families, we are excited about being here for our first Christmas together; waking up on Christmas morning to see if Santa ate his cookies and being together with Ziggy. Love this time of year!
Traditions are what make the Holidays merry and bright. Those simple times together that bring back memories while making new ones are one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. I wanted to share some of our favorite holiday traditions; the ones that make Christmas feel like Christmas! (from my family and Fran’s family)
NEW ORNAMENT // Fran’s mom started this tradition with his family when they were born. Each year she gives everyone a new ornament for the tree. Since they were born, she’s kept all of their ornaments in separate boxes to give to them once they had a family of their own, so they’d have an ornament collection to share with their families. Cue the tears!
CHRISTMAS PJ’S // One of my favorite traditions! Every year my sister Mary picks out new Christmas PJ’s for our family that we all wear on Christmas Eve. And yes, we are all matching; it’s the best thing ever! She tells us that she’s Santa’s special elf!
DECORATING THE TREE // There is nothing better than blasting Christmas music and decorating the Christmas tree. Growing up, every time my sisters and I would pull out an ornament, we always told the story of where it came from or a funny memory about it. A great way to take a trip down memory lane!
HOLIDAY COOKIE EXCHANGE // Every holiday season throughout high school and college, I hosted a cookie exchange with my friends! I loved hosting my best girlfriends, sitting around having some wine, and eating lots of cookies! Over the years, it has gotten harder to continue this tradition because we all live in different places now, but those memories are ones I will never forget.
SANTA & HIS REINDEER // Every year my sisters and I put out milk and cookies for Santa. But my mom always made sure we put something out for the reindeer! We would put carrots out for the reindeer but then my mom added a fun twist; magic reindeer dust! Mix together oatmeal and glitter or sprinkles and spread it out all over the yard. The glimmer in the moonlight will light the way for Santa and his reindeer!
ELF OF THE SHELF // This tradition didn’t start in my house until my youngest sister was born. The elf on the shelf is where the magic elf comes to visit to check up on the kids for Santa and report back if they’re being naughty or nice. At night, when everyone is asleep, the elf goes back to the north pole to report to Santa. Before sunrise the next morning, your elf comes back from his nightly report in a totally different location in your house. There is only one rule but it’s SO important—don’t touch the elf! If you touch the elf, his magic will disappear!
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY TRADITIONS!?