Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or any other holiday this season, chances are you have some traditions. And for someone who hates change as much as I do, these traditions are very important to me and really put me in the holiday mood. Here are what my familys Christmas traditions are:
Leading Up to Christmas
2 Trees – Ever since I can remember, we’ve always had 2 trees in our house. Apparently this tradition started when my mom couldn’t decide on just one tree one year and so we ended up going home with two. In our house they’re set up in our sun room and living room- one with colored lights that represents my dad’s tree when he was growing up, and one with white lights that represents my mom’s tree when she was growing up.
3 Types of Cookies – During the weeks up to Christmas our ovens are kept busy baking three different types of cookies: Swedish Thumbprint, Sugar Cookies, and some sort of Graham cracker cookie that’s smothered in butter, sugar and pecans. Usually my mom has no problem preparing the dough as long as we help with the decorations.
Stockings First – I’m pretty sure a lot of folks follow this tradition but we always start with opening our stocking presents first. Each of us has a specific spot in the living room where our stocking is filled every year so we know exactly where to go. After everyone has opened their stocking gifts, it’s time for breakfast!
Rest of the Day
Christmas Calendar – This tradition started about 4 years ago when I made my parents a Shutterfly calendar of our family using pictures from that year. Since then my mom has asked for a new calendar every single year. It’s definitely a labor of love but very much worth it to see it hanging up in our kitchen for the rest of the year.
Turkey Dinner – After all of the presents have been opened, and if we’re not going to my aunt and uncles house for dinner, we all sit down for a turkey dinner. Up until a couple of years ago this entire feast was prepared by my mom but recently I’ve started to help out as much as I can (this usually means I get to cut up celery or open jars of cranberry sauce). It may take a little longer for her to trust me with real tasks but for now, my dessert contributions will have to do.