It’s that time again: CHRISTMAS TIME. Also known as, my favorite time. I think one of the reasons I love this time of year is because of all the traditions that come with it. Traditions that remind me of being a kid. Traditions I made with my family growing up and make me happy to relive. It’s also a time to make new traditions with my husband and even more when we have a little family of our own. Here are some of my favorite holiday traditions, old and new:
1) Put up my Christmas decorations on Black Friday – I’m not one of those people who will put up her tree and decorations before Thanksgiving; I like to give Thanksgiving its time to shine. But as soon as Thanksgiving is over? You can bet I’m hanging my stocking while listening to Christmas music!
2) Order and send Christmas cards – You probably know by now that I love photos and sending cards in the mail, so sending out Christmas cards is definitely a favorite tradition of mine. I like to get this done early since I order custom-made holiday cards online (vs. buying a pack from Target) to allow time for shipping, exchanging the cards if for some reason I don’t like them, and addressing them. I ordered my cards over the weekend and I can’t wait to share here how they turned out.
3) Drink hot chocolate while watching Christmas movies – Home Alone. Elf. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. These are all awesome movies that are perfect to watch this time of year. The only thing that could make these movies even better is watching them while drinking some good ol’ fashioned hot coco.
4) Donate a toy gift to a child in need – During this time of constant shopping and Christmas wish lists, it’s important to remember those who may not have much this holiday season. Every year, I like to pick a name off of a Giving Tree at the mall or donate a toy to a local children’s shelter. It makes me happy knowing I can brighten a needy child’s Christmas with a gift they’ll love and appreciate, no matter what it is. If you live in Sacramento, a good shelter to donate toy gifts to would be The Sacramento Children’s Home or The Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento.
5) Bake sugar cookies – In my opinion, sugar cookies are the best kind of Christmas cookie because you can cut them into all kinds of Christmas shapes and decorate them with red or green frosting. When I was a kid, my aunt used to bake sugar cookies, package them up, and give them to me and my siblings during our family Christmas get-togethers. I loved those cookies so much when I was younger, I decided to learn how to bake them from scratch a couple years ago and now bake them every holiday season. I’ve also added these double chocolate peppermint cookies as part of my holiday baking tradition.
6) Listen to Christmas music while wrapping gifts – I love Christmas time so much, I even love wrapping gifts. And nothing gets me into the holiday spirit more than listening to Christmas music while doing some kind of Christmas-related activity. I’ve been loving the Pandora Christmas station lately in case you’re in need of some good holiday tunes.
7) See The Nutcracker Ballet – Seeing this ballet never fails to get me all nostalgic for my childhood because I was in The Nutcracker Ballet three times when I was a kid. Chris and I actually went and saw the ballet over the weekend in downtown Sacramento (picture above), and even though the ballet is literally the same every year down to the story, music, and costumes, I still love the magic of seeing such a famous Christmas story come to life on stage.
8) Drive around and look at Christmas lights – Christmas isn’t Christmas without a bunch of pretty light displays to look at. Chris and I live in an apartment complex, so there aren’t a ton of big displays to awe over here, but luckily, there are a lot of great neighborhood displays to look at in Sacramento. This one is my favorite.
9) Exchange Christmas tree ornaments with Chris – Every year since our first Christmas together, I’ve bought Chris a Christmas ornament to put in his stocking. I like to choose ornaments for him based on his interests. For example, he loved the cartoon Thundercats when he was a kid, so one year, I bought him a Lion-O ornament. Another year, I bought him a Star Wars ornament. He bought me an ornament last year, so this has officially become a tradition of ours. I can’t wait to see our Christmas tree 10 years from now and see all the ornaments we’ve collected between the two of us!
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?