Last year was my first year not living with my parents for the holidays. I bought my own tree, garland, ornaments and Christmas-themed decor. It was fun to decorate my place with my own style. When I lived at home, my mom would put the tree up when she had time, and that usually happened before Thanksgiving. I like to celebrate one holiday at a time, so last year I made it a tradition to wait until Friday night after Thanksgiving to put up my tree. This way, I can enjoy it and not feel like I’m cheating Thanksgiving.
When I was growing up, my family would bake cookies together and then freeze them. When Christmas rolled around, we’d enjoy frozen cookies. I still prefer my Christmas cookies frozen. There’s just something sentimental about it.
Another family tradition we started a couple years back was to get together with my immediate family on Christmas Eve (or another day before Christmas if there is conflicting schedules) and exchange gifts. It’s nice to be with family when it’s not so hectic and just enjoy seeing the reactions on family members’ faces when they open their presents. It’s a nice, quiet, cozy time with family, and I enjoy it more than I realized. I think just being with family means more than the presents.
Before my great grandpa passed away, the whole family would head to his house on Christmas Eve to celebrate together. After his passing, my grandma and grandpa took over duties, and we now head to their house on Christmas Eve. It’s always a good time, and we always have a laugh when one of my cousins opens a pair of PJs and then everyone else gets the same gift. Good old grandma with her uniform gifts!
Those are just some of my holiday traditions. What are yours?