With Christmas being just right around the corner, I've been doing quite a bit of thinking about the holidays and the traditions they bring. Growing up, my mom and dad always carried out certain traditions for our family during the holidays. Each year we'd always decorate two Christmas trees. My parents allowed my siblings and I to decorate the Christmas tree that went downstairs in our den. This tree was filled with homemade, school craft, and kid themed ornaments. As we decorated our tree, Mom and Dad decorated their own tree that stood in the center of our living room. It was decorated in ornaments that they had collected over their many years of marriage. This tree held the "don't touch" ornaments. Another tradition we had was that every Christmas Eve, we'd get new Christmas pajamas. As children they were always the red plaid ones that Belk carried but as we got older they transformed into winter prints and flannel plaids meant for older kids and young adults.
Looking back, I cherish these traditions as well as the many others my parents worked hard to keep alive. I realize these were some of the small touches that made the holidays so meaningful. With that said, I want to carry on many of the traditions I had as a child as well as incorporating new ones into mine and Kevin's little family.
Here's what traditions are going to be happening in the Holt Household:
25 Books of Christmas
As a teacher, I love books so the thought of 25 books of Christmas definitely catches my attention. I had all hopes of beginning this tradition this year but it just didn't happen. Harper either went to bed early, we stayed out too late, or she just didn't want to participate! However, we did get a handful of books read and considering she's only 7 months old, I'd say that's pretty good for her first year! Hopefully next year we can tackle all 25. We've purchased 10-15 Christmas books already and the other 10 I checked out from my school's library. My goal is to stock up on more Christmas books after Christmas when they're on sale so that we can be well prepared next year.
Christmas Eve Pajamas
As I mentioned earlier, my parents bought my siblings and me new pajamas every Christmas Eve. I loved this tradition and it's one that we're carrying on now that Harper is here. We've purchased her these adorable reindeer footed pajamas from Target that she'll be wearing on Christmas Eve! They'll be delivered in a box with the book, The Pajama Elves. I can't wait to see her opening her presents by the tree in all her cuteness on Christmas morning!
Not too long ago I had popped over to Jessica's blog at The Newly and she shared one of the traditions her family had started when she was a child. I immediately fell in love with the idea, called Kevin right away, and told him we were doing it. So what are we doing? Each year Kevin and I both will choose an ornament for Harper and our other babies (that won't be coming anytime in the near future). Our hope is that when it comes time for our children to move out and have their own Christmas trees, they'll have plenty of ornaments to start out with. If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably already seen the ornament I chose for Harper. But in case you didn't, it's pictured below along with the Tarheel themed ornament Kevin chose for Harper doodle this year (that still needs her picture added to it! haha).
When Kevin and I got married in 2011, I vowed to send out Christmas cards every Christmas to our family members. Unfortunately, that never happened. So now that Harper has arrived, I plan to make it a top priority. I love receiving Christmas cards from our family and friends. I love seeing their faces decorating the front of my fridge. We leave them there all year long and it makes me feel like our family and friends are close by at all times. Here's the Christmas card we chose this year! I love the gold & black!
Elf on the Shelf
I love the idea of Elf on the Shelf. It's such a cute idea and I think it will help tremendously with behavior as well as getting kids in the mood for Christmas. Harper was too young to start it this year but we still purchased an elf anyways. He came all the way from Chapel Hill (;
These are just a few of the traditions we'll be carrying out in our family. I'm sure others will be added as Harper gets older and understands the true meaning of Christmas. What are some traditions you and your family participate in?!