Sunday, December 18, 2011

25 Days Of Christmas - Our Family Traditions

Christmas is about traditions, old and new.  Whether it is the sweet smell of holiday delights originating from the kitchen, the treasured Christmas ornaments,  everlasting Christmas movies or the simple stockings hung by the fire with care, each and every holiday tradition, reminds us of the Christmas spirit in our hearts.
Here are a few of our favorite family traditions that I look forward to every holiday season....

When our girls were younger, we would decorate a Gingerbread House every year with friends.  My sister-in-law would ship the packaged gingerbread set from Canada and of course, I would purchase extra candy to add to the house and to munch on while we decorated.  It was a fun way to kick off the holiday season and in the end, the children were so very proud of their adorable gingerbread creation.
Beginning with our oldest daughter, Lara's first Christmas, my husband started buying a special Christmas Book for her.  He continued to do the same with our youngest daughter, Marissa as well.  These treasured books were read by my husband to the girls when they were younger and to this day, these books including The Christmas Tree, Christmas with Angelina and Polar Express hold a special place in their hearts.

I followed my husband's lead and began to purchase antique and vintage Christmas books for him.  He particularly treasures "The Santa Claus Story Book" signed and dated 1909, "Christmas In Legend And Story" published in 1915 and numerous other I have gifted him throughout the years.  

My husband also began a tradition of purchasing the girls including me a Christmas Ornament each year.  My mother did the same.  She cleverly labelled each ornament with the year and signed her name, Grammy.  These ornaments hold a meaningful place in our hearts and on our tree.
Christmas Tree shopping was always a family event.  On the first weekend in December, we would all pile into the car and take a short drive down to Simmons Farm and spend too much time picking out the tree.  With our girls both living out of town, my husband and I continue this tradition but now we send along silly photos of us picking out the tree to both our girls.  My husband always comes up with a clever line to make them laugh.
The Christmas Ornament Shop was set out every year for the girls when they were younger.  We would unwrap each ornament and the girls would then open the 'shop' for us to 'pretend' buy the ornaments.  Everyone participated in the actual tree decorating while watching "It's A Wonderful Life" and it was fun way to kick off the tree decorating. 
Wrapping our girls' present in their own paper not only saved us time but the girls could then easily identify which gifts belonged to them under the tree, especially when they were too young to read.  It always amazed my girls that Mom knew what paper Santa chose for each of them.  Now, it allows me to color coordinate the packages under the tree.   

And lastly, one of our most treasured family traditions is sharing Christmas Eve with friends.  We have lived in Pittsburgh for 27+ years and have been blessed with the most precious gift of love and friendship.  Each and every year, we celebrate with one extended family that has opened up their hearts and their homes to us at Christmastime and throughout the year.

Wishing you a season full of laughter and love,



  1. Thanks for sharing your traditions with us. I love that you have collected the books over the years. Nice touch.

  2. Lovely traditions! Love the idea of giving a book each year.
    Just stopping by from the Blog Share. Have a Merry Christmas.
    I am now following your blog.

  3. Fabulous blog. I'm your newest follower!


  4. So fun to learn about other family Christmas tradition.

    Oh my gosh! I love the ornament shop idea where the girls set up shop and you pretended to buy the ornaments! And how cute that the girls were surprised when you knew which wrapping paper Santa chose for them! :)

    p.s. I found you through the 25 days of Christmas Blog share :) Good stuff going on there..

    I'm now following your blog! :)

    You can check out our home remodel blog at One House, One Couple ... "follow/join" if you feel so inclined ;)

    Merry Christmas!

  5. Heather. a beautiful post....lovely memories and traditions. I have been with you when you were searching for the vintage Christmas books and have always thought it was a lovely tradition!

  6. Thanks for sharing your lovely memories and traditions. What fun you must have had buying the ornaments in your Christmas Shop. :0)
    Warm Christmas wishes.

  7. Finally made it over to follow you from the blogshare!

  8. Christmas is all about tradition and I love your traditions. I thought I was already a follower, oops...but I am now! Thanks again for your sweet comments.