Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Favorites: Christmas Traditions

Good morning! I am dragging a little bit today, trying to get back into my routine and catch up on all of the things that pile up while one is out of town. As I did not have a chance to read too much while on the road  I do not have a regular "Friday Favorite" post today, instead I thought it would be fun to talk about Christmas traditions. 

Do you have any Christmas traditions, do you add new ones every once in awhile?

In my family we have a few traditions that make Christmas special.

 For instance, one tree at my moms is always decorated with the ornaments that my brother, sisters and I made or collected over the years. 

You know the kinds I am talking about; the string, buttons and bobbins that you put together one winter afternoon as a five year old to make a wreath, although I am sure that it would never be mistaken for one. Or the misshapen mouse made from dough and the tiny hand and foot prints pressed into clay. Each ornament made with love and filled with memories of Christmas past. 

We make a lot of cookies but our favorites are the ones we made as children with my grandmother. We always make a huge batch of sugar cookies and then the entire family, kids, parents, and  siblings get together to decorate. We have frosting's, sprinkles, "jimmies" and more to make the cookies look fabulous. 

In the weeks leading up to Christmas we watch all of the classic holiday movies and to this day, the Rankin Bass classic Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer is a favorite. 

On Christmas Eve we have a large party with my immediate family, my cousins, aunts and uncles and some family friends. We have buffet diner, music, and of course presents. To this day we only get to open one, and often times it is pajamas! 

Christmas Eve mass is at the church that my mother and her family grew up going to. Although it is no where near where we live we love going there because it is filled with memories. Many family events have taken place within the walls of that church; baptisms, weddings, funerals and everyday mass. Whenever I am there I feel like the arms of my grandparents have wrapped me in a hug. 

Before bed the little ones always leave cookies and milk for Santa and some carrots for the reindeer. When we awake there is a trail of candy and presents from the fireplace to the tree. 

One of my favorite traditions is driving around to see the holiday lights. My grandfather started doing that with us when we were little and after 40 something years it is still an outing that we enjoy. We each get our cup of cocoa or coffee, argue over who gets to sit in the front seat and off we go. 

I could go on and on because we do many little things that make the holidays magical and bring back happy memories of times spent with those who are no longer here. But instead I want to hear about your Christmas traditions. 

What are your traditions? How do you spend your holidays? With family, friends, on holiday? What do you eat, make, decorate or do do make the days special? Please share.

I hope that you have a fabulous weekend!

If you would like some warm, chocolatly drink ideas come and visit Once Upon a Chocolate Life.


  1. Happy weekend, Elizabeth! I loved reading about your holiday traditions. My family's are very similar to yours. My children (who are certainly no longer children) still have me read The Night Before Christmas and we still put out milk and cookies - I think they just indulge me!

    Have a lovely weekend...xoxo

  2. I loved reading of your traditions. Neither R nor I came from families who enjoyed celebrating Christmas. We both love the holidays, and have through the years created our own family traditions. They are so important this time of year don't you think? I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Hugs! Bonnie

  3. Christmas used to mean more to me... we had Christmas Eve presents as opposed to Christmas morning (aside from a stocking stuffer).

    This year, with all that's happened, I don't know how I can think of Christmas.

  4. Good morning my dear! How you manage to get so much done AND travel is way beyond my understanding! As far as Christmas traditions, my husband and I have had our own here and while in Boston for the last 28 years. We are typically alone since family is scattered all over the country. But this year, we are going back to visit with our immediate family in California, and the tradition I will be returning home to is making tamales on Christmas Eve with my cousins. That is an old tradition that I engaged in as a kid, and one memory that will never fade.

    Enjoy all your preparations! Anita

  5. Hi Elizabeth! There are always new ideas for cooking, baking, and decorating that tempt us but we always retain some of the traditions. I think that's so important, particularly for kids. Our traditions are similar to yours ;) and we also make gingerbread houses every year. Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

  6. love your traditions and the inspiring images you shared. enjoy this magical season!
    ps; snowing big flakes here and loving it!


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