Growing up, one of my favorite holiday traditions was tagging a live tree for Christmas. Each year as the leaves turned and started to fall, my parents would pack us into the station wagon and drive to a local Christmas tree farm.
My whole family would walk around hundreds of trees looking for the perfect one to tag as ours. I am not even going to mention how many times we never found our original tree when it came time to cut it down for the holiday, because that never mattered. We always had a perfect tree in the end because we had picked together.
Now that I have my own children, I am trying to instill the same importance of family by carrying on my childhood traditions and creating new ones along the way. Last week we went with an old tradition. We went in search of the perfect Christmas tree. We may not have tagged it two months ago, DH may not have cut it down, but we still made the wonderful memory of searching the rows of trees and picking one together. As a special treat, the farm also offered free marshmallows for roasting and the kids got to make a tube of reindeer food to take home for Christmas Eve. Can you say F-U-N!
One of my favorite new holiday traditions has to do with wrapping the Christmas presents. Growing up my mom was always having us kids swap gifts after they were already opened because the tags were mixed-up. Now each family member gets their own pattern of paper.It saves on the need for tags and swapping opened gifts.
I also wrap any (and all) gifts from Santa in a unique wrapping paper. No one sees this specific wrapping paper before the presents appear under the tree for Christmas morning. The look on my children’s faces seeing things magically appear under the tree while they were sleeping is priceless.
Families come in all shapes and sizes. What makes a family for me is the love that the members share in the time they are together. Whether that time be spent out and about discovering new places to visit in your hometown or being at home baking up a batch of Christmas snickerdoodles. When you are with family, it’s funny how something as simple as baking cookies can inspire a spontaneous chorus of Jingle Bells. This year is also the year I will finally break out the Sharpies and have the kids make the holiday tablecloth I have been wanting to create forever. I swear!
What are some favorite holiday traditions you share in your family?