Let’s talk holiday traditions here. I love hearing about the things people did growing up and what they are now doing with their families. Here are the traditions we do every year:
- Photo Christmas card – Each year we get professional pictures taken and have Christmas cards made with our family photo on them. I always save one of the cards and with my kids, we make a scrapbook page out of it. I let them decorate it however they want (and yes, even if it means putting a sticker over one of our faces). I love pulling out that scrapbook every year and can’t wait to see how their art skills progress over the years.
- New pajamas on Christmas Eve – My mother did this with us, so I am also doing it with my kids. Each year I get them new pajamas and wrap them up. They get to open them on Christmas Eve and wear them that night. This year, my 4 year old wanted to make her pajamas, so we are in the middle of doing that. Stay tuned!
- Snowbabies collection – When I had my first baby, I wanted to start a collection of something for her that I could add to each year. I looked around a bit and really fell in love with the Department 56 Snowbabies. There are so many different figurines to choose from and each year I get each of my girls a new figurine that depicts something either in their personality or something that interests them. Last year, I got Annalie this superhero figurine and I got Stella this Mickey figurine. This year, Annalie is getting this t-ball figurine (since she just wrapped up her first season in t-ball) and Stella is getting this cute little monkey figurine because this is about how the three of us look most of the time since she always wants to be picked up.
- Baking cookies – When I was growing up, we made a massive amount of goodie plates every year for our friends and neighbors. My mom has the absolute best recipes for holiday goodies. My sister and I have attempted to recreate it several times and I tell you, it is a ton of work. But, each year, even if I don’t have time to make everything that we did with my mom growing up, I try to have my kids help make at least a couple of things to give out to coworkers and neighbors. When they get older, we’ll go for the huge variety.
- A real Christmas tree – I have never and will never, ever, ever get an artificial tree. We never had one growing up and still to this day, we always get a fresh tree. Unfortunately there are no Christmas tree farms in Las Vegas, but each year Costco gets one truck full of the most amazing Christmas trees (and you really have to be on it to get one before they quickly sell out), so we get one and take it home and decorate it each year. Nothing beats the smell of a fresh Christmas tree and when the holidays are over, we take the tree to a recycling center where it will be turned into mulch.
- Ethel M Chocolate Factory – This is a great little place that we visit every year. They have a cactus garden that they decorate with millions of lights each year and you can walk around sipping hot cocoa, listening to holiday music and even get a picture with Santa if you feel so inclined. You can also walk through the factory and see all the workers making yummy chocolates and sample some inside. It’s really close to our house and it’s free! Definitely a must do if you are in Vegas.
- Love Actually – Hands down my favorite holiday movie. I mean there really are some other great classics (Elf, A Christmas Story, The Holiday, etc.), but this one tops my list.
What are some of your holiday traditions?