Christmas Traditions

In our house, Christmas is all about the food, the fizz, and the family. As we collectively grow older, all the material aspects of Christmas begin to matter less and we recognize that the company we keep is invaluable.

But there's one thing that makes the holiday season more special than any other time of the year- and that's tradition. Maybe it's because I'm feeling nostalgic in my older age or because I won't be home for as long this Christmas as I normally am, but I find myself holding tighter to these traditions now more than ever.

My family isn't particularly religious or "traditional" per se but there are a few little family traditions that we've kept up over the years that I look forward to every season (and am sad to see go as the 25th comes and goes). So today I thought I'd share with you a few of my favorite family Christmas traditions.

Christmas Cookie Making 

One of the best things about traditions is how they not only serve to create memories but also how they sometimes conjure up the same conversations every year. With Christmas Cookie making, this couldn't be more true. Every year, we say "this isn't enough cookie dough!" as my grandfather rolls out the dough on the counter. Of course, it always ends up being more than enough, especially considering that there are always so many sweets in the house. And decorating the cookies once they've been cooked is always the time where competition ensues. Who's the best decorator? The neatest? The most creative? (spoiler alert: it's always me) We always end up eating half of the decorations, and my grandfather is forever in charge of cutting out and decorating a Rudolph cookie (always the most delicate of the bunch). We're definitely creatures of habit!

Yearly Christmas Ornaments 

My mom is truly a Christmas fiend. The second the Thanksgiving Turkey is eaten, we're already scoping out a tree. And because the tree is up at the end of November, my mom has to get started on one of my favorite family traditions pretty early on. For as long as I can remember, my mom has been gifting each of us an ornament every year. And not just any ornaments- ones that are unique to the person and sometimes unique to that time in their life. If you think about that in the scope of my family, with four kids, two parents, and countless years together, you can imagine our tree is pretty full. Some of my personal favorite ornaments are my swan (to go with my namesake) and my American Girl Doll "Samantha" ornament. This year, my favorite new addition was my brother's Bean Boot.

The Boston Holiday Pops

This tradition never fails to put a smile on each of our faces. And even though we see the same show every year, the Boston Pops Orchestra always switches it up and it's always a new adventure for us. From the classics like Sleigh Ride to the legendary Boston Pops own version of Twelve Days of Christmas (listen to it here- you won't regret it), there really is something for everyone. And the best part is always the sing-along. You can bet I'm always going to be belting out my favorite Christmas tunes whenever I get the chance!

As we face a lot of changes in our family what with us kids growing older and creating our own lives, it's comforting to know that some things never change. Even when I feel like my life is moving forward at a mile a minute and I'm not quite sure where I'm going, I know I can always reach for and remember these strong family traditions.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!

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