I love celebrating the Christmas season to prolong Christmas as much as possible! I couldn’t stand it if we only celebrated one day a year!
So the day after Thanksgiving begins our Christmas season as well as our Christmas traditions.
Many of these traditions I am carrying on from growing up, but Jimmy and I have also been thinking of our own traditions since this is our FIRST Christmas as a family of three.
I am sharing these with you today to give some inspiration and ideas for your own traditions whether you are married, single, or have children. It’s not too late or early to start traditions!
Here’s what we have so far in the order we celebrate:
Inaugurating the Christmas season
The day after Thanksgiving, Jimmy, Lily and I pick out our Christmas tree and start unpacking all the Christmas decor! Decorating the house and tree takes me about two days, but Friday is when I get most of it done. We play Christmas music and drink holiday Starbucks coffee. We did this pre-Lily as well, and it was much easier to decorate then but definitely not as fun ;).
Bentley Decorating Party
The next day, we go to my parents house to celebrate the start of Christmas. All years prior to this one, we helped my parents decorate their house and tree while eating Christmas party food. This year we decided to start a new tradition since we all have our own houses to decorate by decorating gingerbread houses! It was so much fun and we made it a competition. (Jimmy and I won this year!!!)
The Creagh Christmas Party
This was our third annual Christmas party that Jimmy and I hosted with a white elephant gift exchange. We love hosting the Christmas party and invite our closest friends to celebrate the season together. The gift exchange always gets a bit lively because everyone (is supposed) to bring a gift that you would enjoy receiving, so sometimes the “stealing” gets heated :). When our kids get older, I would love to bring them into it as well, but for now, we will enjoy it while they sleep.
Baking with the Girls
My grandmother, mom, sister in law, myself, and now Lily get together one day to bake for Christmas eve and Christmas day. My family has tried and true recipes that we love to have every Christmas, so it’s fun to make those together.
PJ Run for Christmas Lights
When my brothers and I were little, my parents would run in our room after we went to bed and yell “Pajama Run!”. We would get in the car with treats/hot cocoa and ride around to look at Christmas lights after our bedtime. We continued this tradition even through college though now we have to plan it to all be there ;). I am excited to continue this tradition with our kids as well, though we aren’t going to wake Lily up after bedtime right now because I don’t think her little baby-self could handle that yet (nor her parents haha).
Moore/Bentley Christmas Dinner
My family and our best friends, the Moore’s, have dinner together and an ornament exchange. We have been friends since I was 5 (all the kids are around the ages of kids in my family too), so we consider them like family! It has been especially fun the past few years because the kids are getting married and having babies, so the family is growing! We cherish this night together.
My family and Jimmy’s parents have a yummy Christmas eve dinner and watch a Christmas movie at our house! Growing up before we got married, we would read the Christmas story together. I want to reignite this tradition with Lily :). We also have a prayer time together as we thank God for all He has done over the past year.
Oh! And I can’t forget the Christmas cookies and letters for Santa!!
I am so blessed to have Jim’s parents and my parent’s live so close to us. Since I have been with Jimmy, we have started the morning at his parents house, then we go to my parent’s house. We eat and open presents!
Christmas night is always hard for me because it means Christmas season has ended. I try to plan something fun with friends the week after Christmas to keep the spirits up :).
The one tradition I am trying to decide on starting this year is what gift I will let Lily open on Christmas eve. Growing up, we opened one gift which usually was pajamas. I love Christmas pajamas, but I am thinking through if there’s something that would be fun for Lily to open.
So I would love to hear your ideas! What ONE gift would be fun to open on Christmas Eve???