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Christmas Traditions That Keep the Magic Alive

Christmas Traditions That Keep the Magic Alive

I have said it once and I will say it, again and again, I love the holiday season. One of the biggest reasons why I love it so much is the Christmas traditions that I have been doing for as long as I can remember. The traditions help keep the holiday season alive, the magic/mystery of what is going to happen on Christmas Morning. It is these moments that I love driving three hours to my parent’s house to make new memories with my siblings, parents, and other family members. It is these moments that help me get through the hard days at work. They are the traditions that I hope one day to create with my own kids. 

To me Traditions are important they keep the spirit alive, but most importantly they keep the magic. I know I keep talking about the magic of Christmas but it was there once. Once upon a time, you used to collect all the Toys R’ Us flyers circled all the toys you wanted, and wrote a letter to Santa. You’d get excited to head to the mall or your local Santa’s village to see him, tell him how good you were this year, make sure he got your letter, and maybe even tell him what you want this year. You would toss and turn at night on December 24th trying to fall asleep so Santa could come to your house and deliver your presents. Waking up at the crack of dawn to see what was under the tree, hoping you were good that year. It was this magic or hope, dreaming of the impossible, believing in something even though you never saw it. It was magic, and for me and my family that made Christmas when we were younger, and well we chose not to let it go. 

Now don’t get me wrong not all of us LOVE Christmas time…but we do it because for some of us it is what we look forward to all year, and the others well they suck it up because they love us and want to see us happy. So let me tell you some things my family does to keep the magic of Christmas alive. 

Decorating the house (inside and outside)

  • This sounds simple but you would be shocked how much it adds to the Magic. In my house, we start the Day after Thanksgiving. We bring down all the decorations and typically start hanging the lights and such on the outside. Then continue with the indoors, and even get a tree. Thanksgiving time all of us who no longer live at home are well home. So it feels like the old times all being home helping decorate the house, nostalgia a great source of magic. Plus now we all crack jokes and fight over who gets to go on the roof and hang the lights. 
  • Now believe me when I say nothing brings a smile to my face like driving to my parent’s house and seeing it lite up from down the block, parking in the driveway, and seeing the tree. Plus walking inside to see my dad’s crazy Department 56 village all set up and decorated.

Still writing a letter to Santa/ Wish List 

  • This sounds crazy but we all still do it. Granted it is more of a wish list and less of a “Dear Santa how are the elves and Ms. Claus”. We all try to do our best to create a list, at times some of it is 30 things. By no means does that mean we open up 30 things; but it adds more to the surprise of “what is in the Box” on Christmas day when we Unwrap present Christmas morning. 

GIfts labeled From Santa with special Santa wrapping

  • Now all of us are old enough to know who Santa really is but that doesn’t stop my Dad from making sure every gift under the tree is labeled from Santa just like when I was a little kid. And to make it even more special the wrapping paper is always very specific wrapping paper. It’s this wrapping paper that has this old-school Santa photo and vintage design. (Don’t worry we always make sure to thank our Mom and Dad, Mom says your welcome. But Dad well he says Why are you thanking me Santa brought all this!)
  • Don’t worry I will post the wrapping paper Christmas Morning, just something about a tee full of gifts that makes me think I’m five years old hoping one of them is Barbie’s Dreamhouse.

Christmas Cookie Baking 

  • For as long as I can possibly remember I have always spent hours around Christmas time in the kitchen making batches upon batches of Christmas cookies from scratch. My parents would flip if you bought pre-made cookie dough into their house. My dad and mom have a collection of cookbooks where they have flagged and highlighted all their favorite cookies. As a family we bake, sugar cookies, gingerbread, butter cookies, peanut butter, snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, and so many others. Whenever we are home there are always tins and trays of cookies to keep your sugar fix and needs filled. 

Milk and Cookies

  • Childhood move but on Christmas Eve we always leave out a plate of cookies and a glass of milk. If I’m being honest a lot of us still are kids at heart and still believe a jolly old soul comes down the chimney 

Christmas Movies and Christmas Music 

  • Christmas movies are always playing in the background. Be it we are judging the movies on hallmark or Netflix, or sitting down and watching the classics. And if the Christmas movies are not playing in the background we have a Christmas playlist that is well over 4 hours long blaring through the speakers. Do not skip on the classics It’s a wonderful Life is a fabulous movie and the classic Christmas songs set the tone for the season. 
  • Don’t worry all the Santa Clause’s get watched so does Elf and even the Polar Express. And we play the new Christmas songs too! The speakers in my parent’s house are always playing some Christmas tune you can sing or dance to.

Driving around to See Christmas Lights 

  • When I was a little kid and we would get stressed out we would always load up into my dad’s car and we would drive around to see all the lights in our neighborhood and sing Christmas Carols.
  • We even found a few places that you could buy tickets to and drive around to see some professional light shows.
  • Even now when I’m stressed at Christmas Time I hop in the car put on some Christmas music and drive till I find some really awesome decorations. 

Christmas Eve Family Time 

  • Christmas Eve almost always sets the tone for us. We go to this little boutique on Christmas eve (the owners know us by name and always expect us) where we get 1 or 2 last-minute gifts. Then by 4, we head to Christma eve mass followed by a big family dinner. Where we all go back and have a ton of dessert while (shocker) a Christmas Movie plays in the background. We take the Classic family photo by the tree where we all do our best to mess up at least one photo to give my momma a good laugh.
  • Typically I also play a video/movie of about 30 minutes from our vacation that Summer. Reminds us to be really grateful for what we have. Then we usually get ready for bed till my parents kick us all to our rooms so they can set the scene for The Next day. 

Christmas Morning 

  • We always wake up early (now we typically have a rule no wake-up call till after 7) My parents head down the stairs while all of us sit at the top of the stairs waiting for them to get the coffee going, walk the dogs, and find their perfect angle for photos. Builds the suspense, and my dad likes to stop saying that the tree was stolen by the grinch in our sleep.
  • We look for the Christmas pickle before we open any gifts. Now in my competitive family, it’s a must and elbows get thrown. First to find it gets to open the first gift or even get an extra special gift. (if you do not know this tradition let me know I would be happy to explain it)
  • We’re happy and excited about each other’s gifts. We even shout them out about what we got and check in with each other. Something about seeing your siblings happy makes everything better. And if you are the last one to open all your gifts you better believe you have a crowd cheering you on saying ooooh ahhh
  • We all take turns passing out the gifts we got each other gifts, someone may get iced every now and then too 
  • Big Breakfast always! My dad always makes bacon, homefries, toast, cinnamon rolls, back, and so much more, and we all get to sit down and laugh at each other. Most importantly enjoy each other’s company. 
  • Throughout the day we nap but we also play games, watch Tv, and hang out. We do our best not to take for granted spending family time together. Savor the moment enjoy the time we have together.

Now I know for some this may not seem like a super magical Christmas tradition list, and I may agree. I have heard and seen a lot of other people’s Christmas traditions and as they grow up it’s more about the gifts and less about the Family moments. That may work for some but for me I hate it; because if you go back and read my list almost all of them are moments with my family. Moments I cherish and rush to head home to be a part of.  Especially with Covid, I know I am so lucky to be able to spend time with my immediate family. Especially being away from where I grew up I don’t always get to see my family as much as I want to. 

With the Christmas season, I see it as two options. Believe in the possibility that anything can happen. Magic, happiness, hope, love, and peace. Not just things that are wrapped in a box but the things we feel as well. Or you could choose it as nothing, a day that just exists like any other time or season. You get to choose, personally, I hope you choose option one so the little kid in you can be proud. But also to add a little bit of magic to your life. Musically now; we all need a little Christmas right this very minute. 

Oh and don’t worry about me as you are probably reading this I’m already rushing home to keep making the magical moments with my family and make Christmas 2020 one just as if not more magical than the last. Be sure to follow us on Instagram where I’ll show you some of my magical traditions while I’m Home for Holidays.



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