In our home, the holidays are all about tradition. From getting together with friends and family to baking holiday cookies, the list goes on. I have 4 kids (10, 6, and 3 year old twins) who drive my desire to create and continue long lasting traditions. I like to believe I am building the foundation for the traditions that will continue when they have families of their own. I wanted to share some of the new traditions that we’ve created – hopefully they will inspire you to create a few of your own!
1. Tree Decorating – It’s tradition in our home to set the tree up on Thanksgiving Day and take it down on New Years Day. While the Thanksgiving meal is cooking, we pull out the artificial tree and fluff it up. Then we let the kids have their go at decorating. For the last two years I haven’t been able to have any ornaments on the bottom half of the tree because of the twins. I was super excited to have it fully decorated this year but then we got a puppy. Maybe next year is my year!
Secret: I am crazy about my tree…so crazy that my husband refuses to help me decorate it. He always says, “Why should I help? Your just going to change it” and he is right. After my kids have decorated it and gone to bed, I slightly re-arrange every ornament on the tree so they are evenly placed. And while I love the handmade keepsake ornaments, I do not allow them to be displayed on the tree. Its just too “cluttered” for me. To justify it, I just focus on the fact that I’m preserving their handmade creations for when they are grown.
2. The Elf – Call me a sucker, but I fell for the elf. It seemed like a good idea at the time but it has since become my least favorite tradition. We frequently forget to move the elf and have to come up with creative excuses. That being said, my kids love Jack, our elf. Every morning they wake up and run down the stairs to search for him. Currently, he is hanging from the fan and spinning around and around. He brings gingerbread houses to decorate, cookie mix (for the sugar cookies that the kids help roll, cut, and decorate), sends them on hunts for candy canes, and hides in the silliest places. They are so excited to come downstairs every day!
3. Cookies, Cookies, and More Cookies – Every year, we bake batches and batches of cookies. Our favorite, Nana Cookies, are a family recipe that has been passed down for over 5 generations! Its literally mixed by hand because it was created long before electric mixers. We have tried to use a mixer and it just doesn’t even compare. They are a dry cookie similar to a scone in texture and are just slightly sweet. They are rolled by hand into an “S” shape…Im not sure why that is the shape but its been that way for years and I’m not about to switch it up.