“Home is where memories are made and traditions are created”

For me, the holidays are all about taking the time out of your busy life to spend time with family and loved ones. We try to do as much together as possible, from decorating to baking and enjoying hot chocolate at the end of the day.

Growing up, I looked forward to the holiday season because of all the traditions we had and things we did every year together! When we were young, we would go to a Christmas Tree Farm and pick out our tree to bring home. My dad would go up in the attic and bring down the boxes and boxes of ornaments and we would decorate the tree together.

My parents made Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies every year, so much that we would fill a large cooler in the kitchen with rows and rows of cookies! It was an event at our house, with my mom always “trying” lots of dough to make sure it was perfect! On Christmas Eve, we would get all dressed up and go to a party at our best friends’ house with their entire family before going to church. After church, we sometimes went back to their house or we would go home and most years we opened one gift before bed!

Christmas morning was always the best, waiting at the top of the stairs for my grandparents to come over and indulging in cinnamon buns and danishes while we opened gifts! For dinner, we made lunch meat and cheese sandwiches with chips and different salads and listened to Christmas music.

For the rest of my life, I will never forget how magical my parents made the holidays for us and I have always wanted to do the same when I had children. I want Olivia to grow up loving the season as much as I do and cherishing the memories we make together as a family!

I am so excited to share with you some of the traditions we have started!

  • Picking out our tree: We make this a big deal at our house! We go to the local fire station, their trees are so beautiful, and we take our time picking out just the right tree. We love getting hot chocolate from Dunkin Donuts either before or after, too!
  • Elf On The Shelf: Joey and I started this when Olivia was two years old and it has become a staple at our house! Olivia’s elf is named Christina Marie and she has blonde hair and blue eyes, just like our beautiful daughter. She comes on Thanksgiving night, when we are all in bed, and stays until Christmas Eve. She doesn’t do anything elaborate or crazy, she just hides in different places and leaves letters for Olivia every now and then!

Christina Marie

  • Wrapping a gift for Santa to take: This is something that Olivia started about three years ago and still does today! When she asked Santa for a Barbie, she decided to wrap one of hers and put it under the tree for Santa to take to a little girl who doesn’t have any toys. We have always tried to teach her about giving back and she helps us pick out her old clothes or toys to donate. Since then, she picks a different Barbie and leaves it under the tree. I love the big heart that she has!

  • Baking cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve: During the day on Christmas Eve, Olivia and I break out the oven mitts and KitchenAid Mixer and we bake cookies for Santa! For a few years now, we have been using the same recipe which is from a Build-A-Bear baking kit my parents got for Olivia. I don’t have the exact recipe, it is not out yet, but I found a recipe that is almost exactly the same from The Bearfoot Baker! We roll ours in sugar before they completely cool!

  • Christmas Eve Box: This is something that one of my best friends told me about and we are starting it this year. I am putting a pair of Christmas pjs, a funny book, a new movie, hot chocolate and popcorn in Olivia’s box! Money Saving Sisters has a great post on creating the cutest box! We are going to give it to Olivia after dinner on Christmas Eve so we can cuddle up and watch the movie together before bed!
  • Tracking Santa: Once the day’s festivities are done and Olivia is ready for bed, we let her track Santa for a little while! She loves seeing where he is and when he should be to our house. One year, she was begging us to go to bed so she would be asleep by the time Santa got here! It was so cute!

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?? XOXO