Traditions are BIG in my household. I grew up with many traditions of women who effortlessly pulled off so many traditions. Now that I am a grown-ish woman and mother with her own house here are the holiday traditions I really do every year. I know I and they are insane to try to pull all this off in less than two months while keeping my sanity but it wouldn’t be the holidays with out it.
Christmas music-All year don’t judge me
I’m serious about this one I really love Christmas music so I secretly (well not so secretly now) all year long. I love how it makes me feel.
Hallmark Christmas movies- They start up in October
I love these oh so simple movies that you can keep on and know the plot to. They always include 2 people, most of the time a single paret or cute kid, Christmas tree farm, an almost kiss, an ex that doesn’t get it and a kiss complete with snowfall. And I love every second of it.
Decorate start up- Thanksgiving week
Most of the time I decorate most of my home Thanksgiving morning while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade (which is also a holiday tradition) but lately we have been hosting holiday meals for people who don’t have anywhere to go. So now I have to get an earlier start so I don’t feel overwhelmed.
Elf on the Shelf -Thanksgiving Night
If I could go back I would have never started this tradition. That being said I am stuck now. Thanksgiving night just as the book says my crazy Elf Pepper Mint makes her way from the North Pole to where I live. She has two brothers (S.D. =Stunt Double and Jingle or Mingle I think his name changes) either way the 3 of them are my nightmare. I just get into bed every night and I forget to move the damn elf. It is my enemy every night. This is my kids favorite tradition so I put up with the stupid thing. The things we do for our kids!!
Advent Calendar- Dec 1
I love this tradition. My kids love counting down the days til Christmas and getting a little surprise each morning. I usually do a chocolate advent each year for each kid. Next year when I am not pregnant I am getting one for myself except it will have wine in it instead of chocolate.
This is a given although I out-do myself each year and I decorate every room in my home. I have a tree in the living room, a tree in the dining room and a tree in each bedroom. The bedroom ones are small. I let each kid decorate their own tree because they cant touch the other ones. I know I am psycho but I love it!
St Nicholas Tag- Dec 5th-6th
This is a German tradition my grandmother started when they were stationed in Germany. Mother continued it with us and now I am with my kids. I will let you look into all of this if you are truly inspired to but long story short on the night of December 5 my kids will put their shoes by the door. St. Nicholas (Santa) will come and fill their shoes with small toys and candies. If they are naughty he fills with sticks or rocks. (Mine does sticks.) It’s kind of a check in on if they need to work on their attitude before Christmas day. My Santa is usually pretty predictable. It’s usually one shoe good the other bad… just to keep them on their toes. I like this one because you can check in with your kids if the they belong on Santa’s nice or naughty list.
We Interrupt for Hannah Birthday- Dec. 12
We interrupt this holiday merriment to bring you Hannah’s birthday! Almost 19 years ago my precious first born was suppose to be born November 28th instead she took her sweet, sweet time and after being induced and having a c-section she came out December 12. (She was also suppose to be a boy but that’s another story for a later time.) So now we have to halt all merriment to provide a grand celebration for my oldest. Thankfully she has always loved Christmas so I can talk her into Christmas themed parties pretty easily. One year we did Holiday Spa and I made hot chocolate masks and peppermint scrubs. One year we did a caroling party. Last year we did a glamorous Christmas party decked in silver and gold. This year I’m going to try to talk her into ice skating or Disney cause I am too pregnant to deal and she is 19 she probably doesn’t want to spend it with me anyway. LOL
Christmas light looking
Nothing is better than getting the family, throwing them in the car with hot chocolate and driving around looking at Christmas light displays. I absolutely love it. I also find myself driving by neighborhoods I know are all lit up and ready for Christmas. I do this on super stressful days on my way home from work too by myself. It helps make the hard days a little bit more merrier.
Pics with Santa are the best. I bring the kids every year and when they are all way too old to see Santa I will bribe them or bring my animals.
This is a tradition I have been slacking a bit on since the invention of social media but I do keep it up to anyone who takes the time to send me a holiday card. I also love to decorate my house with these wonderful seasons greetings.
Attempt a Gingerbread house
Each year I try…. I try to do a gingerbread house every year. It never comes out Hallmark Christmas movie perfect but its the attempt and sugar overload that helps. I also seriously enjoy the time spent doing it. We build family then I hot glue the damn house together.
Cookie and baking
My girls love baking and usually a week before Christmas we bake up a storm and eat as much as we can and give to family, friends and co-workers.
Hot chocolate nights and mornings
This is a small but an important one. During the holidays I turn into Buddy The Elf. I feel my top food groups are candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup. Hot chocolate with candy canes, marshmallows and whip cream are a family must.
Make Christmas gifts
When we can we try to make gifts for people we present for. My girls love making ornaments and cards for relatives and me. In fact we have so many homemade ornaments I had to put up another tree to house them on. I also have made body and lip scrubs as presents. It helps the Christmas budget and really shows people you care.
Armenian Christmas -Jan. 6th
This is also my mothers birthday so I have to be creative. Armenian Christmas has become one of my favorite traditions. I married a man that is Armenian and took his last name so I am glad to celebrate his heritage. We keep up the trees. I order in traditional Armenian food ( I swear someday I will make it.) We feast, talk and bond as a family. The table is laden with a lavish spread of Armenian favorites such as pomegranates, stuffed cabbage, cheeses, cured meats, cakes and plenty of good drinks. Last year my husband was very touched. It is said, the table should be so covered with food that you cannot even put your hand down, and everyone must eat a bit of everything. This year I am already making plans to really make him feel loved. I absolutely love tradition and passing down culture to my children.
Lastly, showing my kids to give back. My spoiled brat of kids literally get everything they want and then some. I show them how to give back. Each holiday we celebrate we open our home to people who don’t have family around. Sometimes only two people show up sometimes 5-6 come unexpected but still we feed them. We also randomly pay for a coffee or meal for the person behind us in the drive through. I also have my girls donate to toy drives. We try to show them how lucky they are and giving back makes the holiday and life so much sweeter.