Holiday Traditions – Linkup!

I love traditions.  Not just Christmas ones, but for the 4th of July, for Halloween, for the prophet of our church’s birthday…you name it.  But Christmas ones have a special place in my heart.I feel like the last few years, Christmas has sort of sneaked up on me and it gets to be halfway through December and I haven’t really had time to reflect and I’m frantically trying to brainstorm gift ideas and before I know it, Christmas is over and I’ve given nary a thought to that whole reason for the season business.  This year, I’ve made a conscious effort to plan out all of our Christmas things in advance, I have the vast majority of my presents purchased/assembled/wrapped, and it’s been so lovely to just sit back and enjoy the season.

I also love finding and starting new traditions, and I certain you all have some good ones.  Doesn’t matter if it’s an old post or new – just share, read, and enjoy!

Pre-Christmas Season

Making ridiculous amounts of food (as much from scratch as possible) for Thanksgiving.

(picture stolen from sister)

Participating at least minimally in some of the Black Friday craziness.

Going to get a tree and putting up decorations the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Christmas Season

Daily Activities – lots of family time involving these activities:

  • Listen to and sing Christmas songs
  • Pull a piece of paper out of our Advent calendar bag with scriptures listed on it (taken from here and here) and read them as a family*


  • Read a Christmas talk given by a leader of our Church from our Advent binder (if anyone wants a list, feel free to email me)
  • Open a wrapped Christmas book each day (we got some from the library since we don’t have 25)*
  • Put a little paper “present” by the nativity each time someone does something nice (as our gift to the Savior)*



  • Make clementine candles – we used to do this all the time when I studied abroad in France and I love doing it around the 8th, the start of the Fete des Lumieres in Lyon
  • Make paper snowflakes
  • Go caroling at the nursing home down the street
  • Make eggnog*
  • Make things for gift baskets – sugar scrub, apple cider caramels, cookies, bread, caramel corn, etc.
  • Make gingerbread houses
  • Go see train displays – the Botanic Gardens and Union Station have great ones in DC
  • See the lights at the zoo
  • Opening holiday outfits the Sunday before Christmas
  • Occasionally frequently nightly making s’mores in our fireplace.  Or cookies.  Or both.  Ever had a cookie s’more?
  • Boxing Day* – take a box of stuff to someone in need, special feast

Christmas Eve:

  • Have a simple dinner while reading/dressing up/acting out Luke 2
  • Listening to the Messiah (see the obsession?) and reading the accompanying scriptures
  • Opening jammies/yearly ornaments
  • Singing and playing Christmas carols on the violin (and perhaps also the hand chimes this year if I can figure out how to make them)

Christmas Day:

  • Presents + brunch
Probably this amazingness again
  • More music (yes, to me, Christmas pretty much = music)
  • Christmas mass*

So as you can see, our traditions generally involve music, food, and books.  So long as we have those things, we are rather content with life.

What are your traditions, hoped-for traditions, lack of traditions?  Write your own post and come back and share – the link up below is open until Christmas!

*Something new we’re trying this year

7 Responses

  • It's nice that you're posting this today, as today is Sinterklaas in the Netherlands. While many Dutch celebrate Christmas, a lot also celebrate Sinterklaas (it makes for a holiday-heavy month! It's a good thing we don't have Thanksgiving over here.)

    Our Christmas traditions are getting harder every year, as we all live scattered and my parents are divorced. But the highlights are: going to the Nutcracker in SF if we're in the States; reading The Night Before Christmas and The Polar Express on Christmas Eve; buying a new ornament every year to complement the Christmas tree.

    I can't wait till I have my own family and can really get into the holiday season.

  • I loved going to the midnight Mass when I was in high school. My organ teacher would play for one of the local churches, so I would go to listen to him. But it was a great experience.

    One of my other very favorite traditions I stumbled on was something that my friend's ward did. They had their own version of a midnight mass, only it was an hour of sitting in the chapel, which had no lights on except the one at the organ. Then it was just an hour of quiet Christmas music. It was really cool. I'd love to try and start that tradition here, someday.

  • I would so love to see the Nutcracker this year! I used to dance in it…and then had to stop dancing, so it's been bittersweet for me and I haven't gone for some years. I think you just might have talked me into it 🙂 And ditto on the advent calendar…we just put up our manger scenes last weekend

    <3 Cambria

    Check out my … Jose Eber GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!

  • Those clementine candles are so cute! Enjoyed reading your list… so many fun things to enjoy during the holidays! Your list reminded me that I need to make some paper snowflakes with my girls. 🙂

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