Over the last few years holidays have become even more special with my family now that my sister and I aren’t living at home. While Thanksgiving always seems like a whirlwind, Christmas gives us time to relax and actually spend time together to do some of our favorite traditions. I especially love that we’ve created so many Christmas traditions that are constantly evolving as life changes. Since everyone’s family is different I thought I’d share a few of my favorite traditions 😊 I would love to hear some of your favorites in the comments so that we can all try something new this holiday season!
Annual Christmas Tree Ornaments
Every year my mom picks out an ornament for my sister and I that commemorates something special from that year. They’ve included everything from a Patriots ornament when we moved back to Massachusetts to an NYU ornament when I graduated college. This year we picked our ornaments together while in London to remember our time together there! Once my sister and I get home for the holidays we all spend an evening together playing Christmas music, drinking hot chocolate, and hanging up the ornaments from years past to kickoff the beginning of the holiday week.
If you’re wanting to start this tradition there are still plenty of ornaments that can be delivered before Christmas. There are ornaments for the engaged couple, the recent graduate, the new new yorker, and even the new puppy owner!
Christmas Morning Pajamas
Growing up we were never the matching pajamas kind of family, but a few years ago after seeing the cutest plaid pajamas at Old Navy (for under $20) I picked up a pair of everyone in the fam. Fast forward and now it’s become an annual tradition that even my grandmother will get to take part in this year!
These are my personal favorite pajamas and even work for the whole family (see mens & girls). However, they’re on the expensive side so if you’re buying for the whole fam I suggest these plaid pajama pants for under $15! Since they’re pretty unisex I’ll just size up for mens!
Personalized Gingerbread Men & Women
Everyone loves cookie decorating at Christmas and it’s even more fun when it’s personalized! A few years ago, in addition to making fun colorful cookies, we started creating personalized gingerbread men for everyone in the family! We also make ones for friends and deliver them before Christmas as sweet personalized treat!
My favorite cookies to make are the college t-shirt cookies, though last year’s #rStheFamily cookie was the clear winner in my book! Some other ideas you can incorporate are adding friends’ initials or creating sports jerseys of their favorite teams. This year we ordered a dog set of cookie cutters to be able to add (wo)man’s best friend into the mix! If you’re new to cookie decorating I definitely suggest ordering a piping set with small tips and practicing on a few less pretty cookies to start!
Pretzel Log Cabins
No disrespect to gingerbread houses, but after years of decorating gingerbread houses my family needed a new challenge. Enter pretzel log cabins! If you search these on Pinterest there is some truly amazing inspiration and unlike with gingerbread houses there isn’t any preparation or baking needed ahead of time! Once you get the basic idea on how to stack the logs it is pretty much all customizable to wherever your imagination takes you. I use cardboard supports on the inside of my walls to keep everything stable, but you can also go completely edible and use perpendicular pretzel rods for support.
Before making your first log cabin spend a bit of time on YouTube watching how-tos to get the gist of things – then go crazy! If you want to make things easier order the ingredients on Amazon so you don’t have to deal with the grocery store lines!