The holiday season is often marked by the traditions that families create. I don’t know of anyone that hasn’t developed at least one tradition to go along with each holiday. When Dusty and I got married we spent a lot of time talking about the different traditions that we had as we grew up. Things we loved and wanted to find a way to incorporate into our own little family and things that were neat but were not necessarily deal breakers. We also talked about new traditions that we wanted to create that was just for our little family. Over time these traditions have evolved and changed based on the place we lived, the season of life we have been in, and even what our financial situation.
This year, now that we have moved back to New Mexico I am excited to be able to share some of the the traditions I grew up with that we haven’t had the ability to do.
My Favorite Christmas Traditions
Christmas Eve Services at Church
One big tradition from years past that we decided was important to carry on within our family now is Christmas Eve services at our local church. Generally these services consist of singing, reading through in some form the story of Christ’s birth, and a final song by candle light. I really enjoy this time because, at least the last few years, the nursery has even been closed so it is a time that we all get to spend together as a whole family in worship.
Driving Around Town to Look at Christmas Lights
This is my second favorite tradition. I LOVE seeing what people have come up with to display for all to see. 2 years ago we took the opportunity to drive through an amazing neighborhood in Arlington Texas. It was block after block after block of lights, Santa’s, reindeer, and beautiful creativity. The wait was not horrible the night we went and the kids had a great time looking at all the displays.
This year I am looking forward to taking them to experience a new neighborhood holiday lights tradition. Here, in a small community called La Luz, New Mexico, on Christmas Eve and Christmas night they light up the whole little town with luminarias. They line the streets, the buildings, the sidewalks you name it. Just small brown paper bags with sand and a candle. The members of the community spend the night making sure the candles stay lit and it is a beautiful display. We like to drive through the community looking at the lumiarias and listening to classic Christmas music on Christmas eve, usually right after finishing the Candle Light Christmas Eve services at church.
Open One Gift on Christmas Eve
As a kid I could never wait to tear into the Christmas presents. While my parents liked to wait until Christmas morning (usually because they weren’t done with all the wrapping) we were usually able to wear them down enough to get to open one gift. Nine times out of ten this one gift was either new PJ’s or new clothes we could wear on the next day. This is a tradition we carried over to our own kids. It is fun to get that little bit of excitement the night before. Its like an appetizer before the big meal.
My Favorite Christmas Food Traditions
Just like I have my favorite activities to do on Christmas, I also have my favorite foods that I couldn’t live with out. These are traditions we have always had and I have continued (for the most part) as I have gotten older.
When I was a kid the one thing I always looked forward to the most was the cinnamon apples my grandmother made. She peeled the apples and poached them (for lack of a better term) in a bath of water and Red Hot Cinnamon Candies. I don’t know how long they take to make (something I intend to learn this year) or what all the ingredients actually are besides the apples and the candies (another thing I intend to learn this year) but I know it is the one thing I look forward to the most each Christmas.
Cordial Cherry Candies
I never really saw my grandfather eat much by the way of candy or treats. However, at Christmas, there was always at least one box of these sitting by his chair in the den where he would watch TV. The chocolate covered cherry is so clawingly sweet that you can only eat one at a time for fear of rotting your teeth out of your head but man are they good. I still get myself at least one box of these each year.
Ok, so the truth here is I just LOVE cookies. But when it comes to Christmas gingerbread and sugar cookies are a must have. I enjoy baking them as much as I enjoy eating them. In fact I plan on getting started on my cookie baking later in the week. The spicy kick of the gingerbread helps to keep me warm during the cold season so that’s my excuse for making so many.
Alright there you have it. Those are a few of my favorite Christmas traditions. Christmas is a season for nostalgia and memories. These traditions, I hope, will be something we can continue to give to our children as they grow so that when they get older and move on to building families of their own they will have some sweet memories to look back on and remember with the love that I have now.
Share with me in the comments some of your holiday traditions. What is something you hope to continue on? Thanks for stopping by. Come back tomorrow to see what we have going on! Merry Blogmas!