Fun & Simple Traditions to Celebrate During the Christmas Season

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Well hello there, all you lovely people! Can I just tell you how absolutely thrilled I am to see homes with Christmas lights on their porches, picture-after-picture of Christmas trees on Instagram, and the fact that it is now socially acceptable to listen to Christmas music 24/7?! It makes my heart happy, ya know?

If it wasn't clear already, I LOVE tradition. I am the type of girl who needs to do the same thing every single year. If we made a gingerbread house in 1999 then we sure as heck better still be making a gingerbread house in 2016 (and every year leading up to it)!

I'm not saying that it's best for me to be quite so obsessed with tradition and sentimentality, but I do think that tradition can be a whole lot of fun if it's done in the right way.

Celebrating the Right Way

The right way to celebrate Christmas is to focus on the good- the hope- that we are glorifying and making known during this time. The right way is to look for opportunities to enjoy family, friends, creativity, and your talents. The right way to celebrate is to think of others, not just ourselves.

A good way to have a right focus is to create traditions. No, traditions are not the reason we celebrate, but they make the celebration much more fun and memorable. Traditions give us extra ways to plan, create, give, and enjoy the people and things that surround us in our day-to-day lives. And the great thing about traditions is that they can be personalized to fit each family or individual.





Have a "Tree Day"

Growing up, my family would always take the day after Thanksgiving (or around there) to put up the Christmas tree and other decorations. We would turn on our favorite Christmas music and work until it was done. I, of course, was a little less helpful as a kid, but I have always loved tree day!
Thankfully, Taylor was fine with continuing this tradition, so that's what we've done for the past two years. It has been so nice to keep this tradition going and having my awesome hubby to share it with.

Make Gingerbread Houses

I love making gingerbread houses! It's messy, and time-consuming (for the perfectionist), but I think they are so stinkin' cute and I love working on them with my favorite people :) Plus, you get to eat candy and hope for the best when you run out of "decorations" to go on the house ;)

Unfortunately, this year we will not be making them. We have a mouse family that has decided to make our home their own and we figure that having a completely edible house sitting around would be counter-productive to getting the mice to leave. haha.

BUT, just because the Cooks won't be making gingerbread houses doesn't mean you can't! Have at it!

Watch the Peanuts

Does anyone else love Charlie Brown as much as I do? Nearly every year, my family always watched A Charlie Brown Christmas. We haven't done it as faithfully the last few years, but I want to make sure that changes this year. There's nothing like good ol' "Chuck" and Linus (my favorite). Plus, I love how Charles Schulz (the creator) delivers a wonderful message of faith in a very nuanced and simple way. That takes a lot of talent and I admire him for that.

Bake LOTS of Christmas Cookies

I don't know about you, but when I was growing up, Christmas time smelled a lot like cookies! Mama was always baking something yummy- chocolate chip cookies, wedding cookies, Rice Crispy Treats, cheese biscuits, Kiss cookies, and I'm sure there are more that I'm not remembering!
This year I have only made cakepops so far, but last year I made chocolate chip cookies and raspberry thumbprint cookies that definitely need to make a come-back this Christmas.

I'd also like to make some good ol' fashioned sugar cookies, decorated in Christmas shapes and colors. My RD in college use to do that with her girls every year and they had such a good time. I'd really like to implement that into my traditions. Thanks, Michelle, for the inspiration!

Create, Create, and Create Some More

There's something about the holidays that make me want to be creative. Maybe it's the crafty overload that happens on Pinterest, or maybe it's because my mom does a lot of crafty things, but as soon as it gets cold and Christmas music starts playing, I just want to be the best crocheting-wreath-making-baker-crafter the world has ever seen! Forget the fact that I have very little patience and a need to get it all done quickly...that's beside the point ;)

So this year, I want to make sure I am taking advantage of my desire to craft. I just completed a large candle order for one of my best friends, but other than that I haven't done as much this year. Hopefully I will get some time between now and Christmas!

Make an Ornament

Along the same lines, consider making an ornament or two (or 20) part of your Christmas traditions. Making ornaments is super-simple and doesn't require much skill, money, or time. There are all sorts of ornament tutorials on Pinterest if you can't think of anything in particular you'd like to do.

This is something that both kids and adults can really enjoy together.

Send Those Dang Christmas Cards

Sending Christmas cards is something that I always want to do and plan to do. But last year was the first year that I actually got some sent. This year I have a list of people that I would like to send Christmas cards to, but they really need to go out this week.

Christmas cards are a very simple way to spread some love and Christmas cheer with others. It doesn't take much on the senders part, but it could really mean the world to the recipient. So even though it is easy to put sending Christmas cards on the back-burner, try to make them a part of your holiday traditions.

Read About Christ's Birth

I highly recommend reading about the birth of Jesus in the Bible. Since Christmas was originally intended to celebrate this event, why not read about it? As a Christian, I think it is particularly important, but even if you aren't religious, why not read it along with your other holiday books? No harm, no foul :)

Set Up a Nativity

Setting up a nativity is one tradition that I really like because it's a way to show that we celebrate Christmas for spiritual reasons, not just for the presents and yummy food (though we like those reasons too).

A nativity is certainly not a requirement, but they are pretty, decorative, and a great reminder of the reason for the season.



There are so many different ways to welcome in this holiday season, and so many ways to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Whether you want something serious or fun, simple or grand, most everyone looks forward to some sort of tradition. I hope that this list gives you a good start and I hope you are able to make these traditions (and many others) your own. Have fun- Christmas is coming!!!!

What Christmas traditions do you love?




*This post was originally published on 12/01/15. It has since be revised and edited.

52 comments

  1. Love this list! I LOVE Christmas traditions and these are great.. my fav is music while the tree is being put up... always did that one as a kid! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! It is so great! Somehow, Christmas wouldn't seem right without that part. lol

      Delete
  2. This will be our first Christmas in our own place as a little family! I'm SO excited to get the tree, put it up, light the fire, and bake some cookies! I also plan on doing gingerbread houses with my husband. Whether he likes it or not. hahaha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bahaha! YES! He will just have to learn to like it! My hubby does some "whether he likes it or not" things too, and he WILL have fun, DANG IT! :p

      Delete
  3. (Raises hand) I love Peanuts as much as you do! ☺️☺️ The Peanuts theme song is part of Christmas! Also I agree, something about the coziness of the lit up tree makes me want to create in all areas!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love them all! I always want to fit in as many traditions as possible (without overwhelming myself)! My absolute favorite time of year! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for reading! I'm glad you enjoy it too!

      Delete
  5. This is a great post. Christmas is always a time to just teach your children that it's not all about gifts but more of the tradition that you have for your family. Great post :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Making an ornament sounds like such a great idea for a Christmas tradition. It's so personal and creative plus it'll create so much more memories for years to come.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is! You should go for it! Maybe you and "Corbin Bleu" can make one together ;)

      Delete
  7. We always make a TON of cookies! I have seen the "pretzel log cabins" instead of gingerbread houses on pinterest this year and might have to try it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Lovely! And yes I gotta send those dang Christmas cards!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yup love all these! I'm a total sucker for Christmas traditions. Especially baking!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your list made me feel pumped for December!! I also like to listen to Christmas music while setting up the tree and decorations around the house, and I like to sip peppermint hot chocolate at the same time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mmmmmmm :) Now I need peppermint hot chocolate! ;)

      Delete
  11. My favorite is the ornament tradition! I think when I have kids of my own, I’ll definitely do this. It’ll be so sweet to look back on it when they’ve grown to see their art develop. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good idea. You really would be able to see the growth :)

      Delete
  12. Send those Christmas cards hahaha I love it! I don't know why but I've never really listened to Christmas music while putting up the tree and I love that idea! Too bad I just put up the tree or I would do that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww! Maybe you should brew some coffee, sit in a chair and listen to Christmas music while you admire your work :) Close enough, right?

      Delete
  13. This post totally put me in the mood to bake lots of cookies. Might as well start now!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great list! We did put up the tree while listening to Christmas music this year. Also, I plan to bake tons of cookies lol.

    ReplyDelete
  15. We love making cookies and watching Charlie Brown Christmas!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is a great post! I'm excited to start some traditions with my triplets this year!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great traditions! My family always put up the tree together while listening to Christmas music and drinking hot chocolate. It's also a tradition to watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas (even now that we're all adults haha).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes! I love the original "Grinch" and I love Rudolph :)

      Delete
  18. I love this season! We grew up with a GIANT cookie baking day at my grandma's with my grandma, her sister, my mom, my sister and I. I looked forward to it every year. As we've all gotten older, it's been impossible to do that but it's one of my favorite memories growing up.

    ReplyDelete
  19. So fun! Putting up the tree while Christmas music plays is one of my favorites too. This year we've been rocking out to some Michael Buble and other Christmas CDs and they're so good! I love Christmas crafting and baking too. It brings out my crafty side too! :) PS, I don't know if I just now saw it but your blog is looking so good! I love the redesigned header. So pretty!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm all about Christmas music as we do our decorating! That was one of my family traditions growing up and I love it too. I'm also a big fan of Christmas crafting and baking (and eating). Christmas cookies are the best! PS, I love your blog design! The new header is so pretty, colorful, and clean. Looks so good! I may be way late to the game on this one if you've had this new design for a while but I really do love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! It is new (I've only had it a week!). I was wondering if anyone had noticed :)
      And yes, I LOVE EATING too. And Michael Buble' is always a favorite. As is Mariah Carey.

      Delete
  21. One of my very favorite things about the holidays are the traditions!! I'm so glad you shared these!

    Ashley | Blog

    ReplyDelete
  22. We always bake a TON of Xmas cookies as a family. One can NEVER have too many peanut butter ball!! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  23. When our children were small, we used to do a gingerbread man countdown for Christmas. We would cut out paper gingerbread men would decorate them. Every day there was a new activity to do. Some activities were cutting down the Christmas tree, decorate a tree for wildlife, make cookies, watch Rudolph, to small things like make a private wish for the world. I usually filled in the activity the night before depending on what we had going on. It was a lot of fun!

    ReplyDelete
  24. We tried baking together as a family - epic fail is an impatient two year old! Next year! We are watching peanuts though - he will sit still for that! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love the ornaments idea! My house doesn't have a mantle or fireplace so we can't put up stockings, so this is a fun way to have something that represents us all!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Baking all the cookies for sure! Yum! Do you have a good cake pop recipe? I also love to look at Christmas lights, maybe take a drive or go somewhere that has a good exhibit. And of course celebrating Jesus and making a birthday cake for Him :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Christmas traditions are so much fun! Growing up we always got our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving and decorated it as a family. We also did lots of baking. All of these are great traditions to celebrate!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Haha I love watch the peanuts! such a good classic holiday comfort!

    Rachel | The Confused Millennial

    ReplyDelete
  29. These are SO fun! Holiday traditions are the BEST! I always love making certain cookies around Christmas and of course listening to music and watching Christmas movies. Your blog is looking great!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I've been thinking a lot about Christmas traditions and the one we'll want to implement for our son. Christmas cookies and watching certain holidays movies are for sure on my list!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I love spending time with family and friends while participating in tradition. It is such a fun experience. I love your idea about the ornaments.

    ReplyDelete

Affiliates