I grew up in a very “traditional” family, in a small conservative Dutch community located on the shores of Lake Michigan. Tradition ran as deep as the Great Lakes themselves, and and regardless of what holiday were were celebrating, I always pretty much knew what to expect. Looking back, I specifically have fond memories of Christmas and the traditions that followed.
So as soon as I became a parent, I knew that I wanted my kids to enjoy some of the same holiday traditions I grew up enjoying, and of create a few new traditions of our very own.
9 Holiday Traditions My Family Celebrates:
Snow Crab dinner with cousins
This tradition is decades old, spanning many generations. Every Christmas Eve, the extended family gets together for a Snow Crab feast.
New holiday pajamas
On Christmas Eve, right before we lay out milk and cookies for Santa, the kids get to open one carefully selected gift. It’s always a pair of festive pj’s, so photos look great while opening stockings on Christmas morning.
A night of lights
One night during the holiday season we load up the family into the car and drive around our city looking at Christmas lights.
Every year, each of my children receives a personalized (and dated with the year) handmade ornament.
Christmas Eve candlelight service
Another tradition that has spanned generations is on Christmas Eve, anyone who is still awake towards the midnight hour bundles up and heads to the midnight church service for hymns and hot cocoa.
Shopping for a local family in need
Each year we pass on our many blessing and adopt a family in our community that needs a little extra holiday cheer.
Visiting a live nativity
Our hometown has a fantastic live nativity scene where children can pet animals and even interact with Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus!
Make your own pizza and a holiday movie night
Every Friday in December is “make your own pizza + holiday movie” night at our house. We break out our favorites such as Home Alone, Elf and of course Miracle on 34th Street.
I would absolutely love to hear some of your favorite holiday traditions! How does your family celebrate the season?