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The Best Holiday Family Traditions

December 4, 2018

Family traditions are my favorite — but holiday family traditions take the cake. I’m always trying to think of new ones to start and love more than anything hearing about what fun and unique things other families do. Today The Mama Notes community is sharing some of their wonderful holiday traditions! Can’t wait to start some of these :) 

Be sure to check out all of our holiday gift guides here + our holiday shop here

Christmas Eve ‘buffet’ dinner. All our favourite Christmas foods, picking and grazing all night

Watching the original “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” on Christmas Eve

Matching family pjs start right after Thanksgiving! (My daughter loves it so much that we now do it every Sunday year round with generic pjs!)
 
Our daughter was born on Christmas so to celebrate her bday, we make birthday scones on Christmas morning. They are delicious and festive!
 
My husband and I met and lived in D.C. for 8 years before moving to Annapolis, so it’s not Christmas until we’ve gone into the city to see the National Christmas Tree and for a cocktail at Old Ebbitt’s. Midnight Mass at St. Mary’s is also our yearly tradition- there’s nothing more magical than ushering in Christmas morning with family in such a beautiful place, and there’s nothing like walking out from church into the quiet of the night and know that it’s officially Christmas.
 
We celebrate St Nicholas since my mother lived in Germany as a child. It is December 6th. Kids put out their shoes out before bed and wake up them filled with candies, oranges and nuts. We usually give their annual Christmas ornament as well which they can hang on the tree.
 
We like to kick the season off by going on the polar express on the Friday after thanksgiving with all the cousins. The kids wear Christmas jams and everyone gets into the holiday spirit.
 
We go to Christmas Eve Mass and afterwards, we get hot chocolate and drive around to look at Christmas lights.
 
Every year right around Christmas my parents host my mom’s side of the family for a soup and pie dinner. Each family brings a homemade soup or pie to celebrate the holiday. From Chicken Tortilla to Broccoli Cheese to Italian Wedding soup – everyone’s always taking their bowl back to try another soup!
 
We always grab a hot chocolate or hot apple cider from Starbucks and then drive around looking at Christmas lights!
 
When my spouse and I moved to another state a few years ago, we spent our first Christmas alone and didn’t plan so we had sushi for dinner, now we do it every year. Sometimes it’s cheap takeout, sometimes homemade and sometimes it’s at really fancy restaurants we wouldn’t go on a regular weeknight.
 
We go to Kennebunkport for their Christmas prelude and eat leftover turkey pie from thanksgiving. We also do a giant advent calendar at home where Santa’s elf brings a little something each night.
 
Not necessarily unique, but I wrap up 25 Christmas books and put them under the tree so we can open one each night.
 
Every year my mom gives us an ornament that matches our theme (i.e., I am angels, my sister is bears). I decided with my own kids I want to get them an ornament that represents something important about them from that year. I can’t wait to see their collection grow and change over the years!
 
Hiding the pickle! It’s a German tradition to hide a pickle ornament in the tree and the kids look for it. Then everyone gets new pjs to wear. As a family (before kids), we liked to watch all the Christmas movies- a Christmas Story, Christmas with the Kranks, Christmas Vacation.
 
Cutting down our own Christmas tree! We’ve been doing it for 3 years, and we’re bringing the babe along with us this year. We go with friends and always go out for a lunch of tuna melts and french fries afterwards!
 
 
 

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