Christmas Family Traditions

Christmas is such a special time each year. I love that this holiday is a season and not just a day. I love spending time with my family and friends. I love decorating my house and having it smell of freshly baked cookies. I love getting together with my sisters and my mom and decorating those cookies. Watching movies by the fireside with snow falling outside the window, that is how I want to spend this winter season.  

We're supposed to have a very snowy winter and I for one hope that's true. My dad bought a snowblower about a month ago so now I know it forsure won't snow. Isn't it funny how that works? You do everything you can to prepare early for something that might happen and then it never happens. Last year, my neighbors bought all new snow boots and sleds for their kids and I think it snowed a total of one day last year. 

// Christmas Ornament //

Our Christmas tree is a combination of sentimental ornaments and matching ones. When me and Anthony got engaged (7 years ago), we started the tradition of collecting ornaments every where we traveled to and places that were sentimental to us. We got engaged at the Empire State Building in NYC and we got our first ornament to remember the moment. Our first Christmas married, we didn't have enough ornaments to cover our tree so we added some silver neutral ones to fill the tree. Over the years, we've added many more ornaments to our tree. Maybe eventually I'll separate the ornaments into different decorated trees but I love having all our memories in one place. I like to reminisce when we decorate the tree every Christmas. We used to do it when I was growing up and that's a tradition I'm excited to share with Ellie and the more babies to come. 

 // Bake Christmas Cookies //

My family has been getting together to bake our christmas cookies for as long as I can remember. Even moving to Maryland for almost 4 years, didn't stop us. My first christmas in Maryland, my family came down to visit us and we watched Christmas movies and baked cookies. My mom, dad and sisters were all there and even though we weren't home in Ohio it still felt like our traditions. We usually go to my moms house to bake and decorate the cookies. Last year Ellie wasn't a great helper but I'm excited to see what all she does this year. 

// Candlelight Church Service //

Our church does a candlelight Christmas Eve service and it is by far my favorite service. Usually we're running from family to family Christmas Eve and Christmas day, like many other families I'm sure. Last year we made a point to make time to go to church and it was the most beautiful service I have ever been to. I think it helps us remember the real reason for Christmas and that is Jesus. Without Him this season has no meaning.  

// Christmas Eve //

Our Christmas Eve usually starts with a slow morning while Anthony goes out to help his dad prepare for dinner. Last year, my sister in law worked on Christmas so we went to their house Christmas Eve to have breakfast and watch my nieces celebrate a day early. They're too little to know the real difference so we took full advantage of that. We then came home and got all dressed up to head to church. The candlelight service was absolutely beautiful. After church we headed to my in-laws to have the feast of the seven fishes. It's an Italian family tradition that I didn't grow up with but I've definitely grown to love it. I don't usually eat all 7... maybe 7 bites but that's gotta count I think. 

// Christmas Day //

Yay... It's Christmas morning. Two years ago we stole hosting Christmas morning from my mom as we prepared for our first baby to arrive. We wanted to start something new that our whole family could enjoy. I remember as a little girl, waking up on christmas morning and having to sit at the top of the staircase with my sisters until my mom and dad said we could come down. My grandparents were always there before we woke up and that was something me and Anthony wanted for our family as well. We opened breakfast up to more of a brunch. We wanted our families on both sides to be able to come and go and not feel like that has to be there by a specific time. It just made everyone feel more relaxed and hopefully be able to enjoy the holidays without all the busyness of running around. We usually head to my mom's house for dinner on Christmas day to see her whole side of the family. We're very close with all our family and we really try to enjoy every moment we are together. 

I talked about why I donate to St. Jude every year in my last blog post but there are many great causes out there to donate to. I just recommend doing your research and find something that you're passionate about. St. Jude is very much something I am passionate about and I hold it very dear to my heart. I donate directly to their site every year but if I run into a business that donates to St. Jude I always add it on to my purchase. Not one of their patients gets a bill from St. Jude. They want families to focus on healing together and not worry about money. 

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and blessed holiday season. Leave a comment below of your favorite holiday traditions with your families during Christmas. 


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