Two years ago I talked about our holiday traditions (you can read that full post here!), and we have since updated some. When I last wrote about this, we were newlyweds, living in our current home, both working corporate jobs, and Sprout was our only baby. My oh my how things have changed!
Our family Christmas traditions
Some of our holiday traditions are the same…
Every time we travel, we add a location-themed Christmas ornament to the tree. Last year we added a Nantucket ornament (it was both T and Eleanor’s first time on the island!), as well as a San Francisco ornament. The other thing we started doing was putting the photo from our Christmas card into an ornament with that year on it. Slowly we have replaced “filler” ornaments with ornaments that mean something to us, and that makes looking at the Christmas tree that much more special.
a photo from Eleanor’s first Christmas season and a photo of Sprout at our wedding in 2014, an Eiffel Tower ornament from a trip to Paris, a San Francisco ornament that Eleanor picked out from her first trip there, and a cotton candy machine ornament that reminds me of the baby shower my sisters threw for me 2 summers ago!
I love putting together Christmas cards each year! Last year was the first year I did pre-addressed envelopes, and my goodness it made life a lot easier. I did that again this year. I just knew that with a toddler on the move, work, and life, those Christmas cards weren’t going to make it out unless I was able to make things a little easier! You can see last year’s card here. (I love how they came out!)
Christmas dinner with friends
I still get together with my high school friends every year for our annual Christmas dinner. Whether we bring our husbands or not, it’s such a fun time to get together and just catch up. This group of girls are my OGs… and seriously no matter how much time has passed, it’s so so nice to be together! It isn’t super easy to schedule since 3 of us are in MA but one is in FL and one is in CA (talk about being spread out!), but somehow we always make it work.
I definitely still love spending time in our home before heading anywhere for Christmas morning. It’s just nice to get up and have homemade pancakes, exchange gifts, and relax next to the fireplace with all of the festive lights on (plus music!). The past two years we have had a very relaxed Christmas morning. Eleanor was only 3 months old two years ago, and we didn’t go all out with gifts for her because she was still so tiny. Last year she was awake by 7:30am every day, and she was SO excited about her big gift. This year my sister and her husband (and their 2 pups) will be with us the week of Christmas, so it will be a bit livelier for sure.
Photo from our first-ever vacation with Baby Eleanor
More of our family Christmas traditions
The family Christmas party with my husband’s side of the family. The party includes lots of extended family and friends and always happens the weekend before Christmas. It is always a very busy, but fun, night. Unfortunately, last year Eleanor and I had to miss it because the poor girl wasn’t feeling well.
Some things have had to change for us, like midnight Mass. E’s first Christmas year we went to an evening Mass and Eleanor was so amazing through the whole thing. She has a definite schedule now, and I don’t think we would make it through a Mass late at night – that could be a disaster! We haven’t yet decided what to do about Church this year in terms of timing.
My grandmother used to make a LOT of cookies and buckeyes (a midwest thing, they’re peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate) around Christmas. I definitely miss dipping into those big glass jars of sweets! My sisters and I are getting together this year to do some baking, and I’m really excited for it. I think it would be cute to do this as an annual tradition! Especially as Eleanor and my sister’s daughter get older (and any future children/nieces/nephews come along!)
What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
(Psst… want to start some of these traditions with your own family? Pin the below image for next year!)