DO | Holiday Traditions

Growing up I recall many traditions for Christmas. Once I moved out of the house for good about 8.5 years ago (to live with my then-boyfriend now-husband) all of those changed. I’m a sucker for nostalgia, but everyone keeps telling me I have to “make my own traditions.” I think this was the first year I actually felt that I could do that while still holding my old traditions dear.

Here’s a few of my favorite Christmas traditions, new and old:

  1. Put up a Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving
  2. Turn on Christmas music as often as possible between the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Day
  3. Watch Christmas movies often (Love Actually (yes it’s a Christmas movie), Rudolph, Frosty, The Grinch, Trolls Holiday (obviously a very new tradition), Christmas Vacation, etc.
  4. Participate in my family’s voluntary gift/name exchange (though now instead of asking for gifts we ask that they donate to a charity (I give a few options))
  5. Wrap gifts in brown craft paper, shiny ribbon, and homemade origami bows
  6. Finding an “angel tree” or place where we can sponsor a few children to get them gifts for the holidays
  7. Bake Christmas cookies – spritz, pizzelle (vanilla and chocolate), sugar cookies
  8. Bake a Kransekake (I’ve done so for the last 3 years)
  9. Make candy (peanut brittle, marshmallows)
  10. Bring treats to neighbors and coworkers
  11. Send Christmas cards via mail and email
  12. Write a letter to Santa with my daughter (only the second time this year)
  13. Leave out cookies and carrots for Santa and the reindeer
  14. Put presents under the tree on Christmas night (ALL presents currently because otherwise the toddler gremlins would open them up, but I recall Santa and parent presents would show up on Christmas morning – all other gifts from family/friends would go under the tree when we received them)
  15. Open a few presents before Christmas morning but open the majority the day of
  16. Go to a candlelit “midnight” church service (this year was at 2pm, we used to go at 11pm with family)
  17. Sing happy birthday to Baby Jesus and blow out the candle on the Advent wreath (my job at my grandma’s, as the youngest…)
  18. Set up mini Christmas trees in our bedrooms
  19. Hang a wreath with ribbons and glasshead pins to display the Christmas cards we have received
  20. Hang lit garland in the dining room
  21. Hang stockings (thanks for the reminder, Dad!)
  22. Get a chocolate-filled advent calendar
  23. Put Christmas lights/lawn friends out
  24. Laugh at my husband wrapping gifts the night before
  25. Loving watching my children enjoy the season

Traditions I’d like to add as they get older:

  • Visiting the city’s beautifully decorated trees and buildings
  • Ice skating on city rinks
  • Visiting the botanic gardens’ evening light display
  • Going to Zoo Lights
  • Hot chocolate and marshmallows as often as possible
  • Shopping together for gifts (instead of 95% online)
  • Involving the children in the angel tree gifts (though this year my 3.5yo daughter started getting the hang of it and even after the fact still brings me things to see if we can “give to the girls” or to “the kids with no toys”)

There are so many great traditions I’m sure I’m forgetting, both on my list of ones I participate in and ones I’d like to add. What are your favorite holiday traditions?



5 thoughts on “DO | Holiday Traditions

  1. jacquio10 says:

    I love this post.I love the idea of your asking to donate instead of gifts for the family $50 gift exchange. Is that what you did this year? My hope is that the person actually does what you wish. I’m happy to see that your daughter is being influenced to be generous and thoughtful of those less fortunate. 💕

    Sent from my iPhone



    • Danielle says:

      Thank you! Yes, they do donate to where I’ve requested. This year we are ‘sponsoring’ a llama through Oxfam! I’m glad to be able to pass on this tradition that I learned from you and Dad. 🙂 Love you both.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s